Faith And Investment Come Together As Polling Shows The Public Want Investors To Act With Conscience

YouGov poll for Good Money Week

  • Church of England launches historic effort for Good Money Week, sending information and a new video on ethical and responsible investment to all dioceses in the UK.
  • High demand for ethical and sustainable investment – 57% of UK investors agree that investment managers, who are often used by faith investors, have a responsibility to ensure their holdings are managed in a way positive for society and the environment.
  • The wealth gap is the biggest issue of concern- 37% of the public identified the wealth gap as a concern when prompted with a list of issues. Other top 5 concerns were migration, healthcare, homelessness and access to the living wage.

(09 October, London) The Church of England is circulating a video and an infographic that discuss investment issues to dioceses across the country. The initiative is part of Good Money Week to stimulate thought on how individual churches can manage and invest their money for good.

It comes as opinion polling shows there is a high level of expectation placed on fund managers, the people that buy and sell shares, to consider society and the environment: 57% of the public think that they have that responsibility.

When asked about their concerns 37% of the public identified the unequal distribution of resources between the rich and poor. Other concerns linked to income in the top 5 were healthcare costs, access to a living wage and homelessness.

Annual research for Good Money Week has also found that over three-quarters (76%) of UK adults with a pension don’t know how much, if any, of their pension fund is invested ethically. Almost a third (30%) believe they do not have a say in how their pensions are invested.  1 in 4 would challenge their employer if they found out their pension was invested in a company that acted against their personal values.

The results come alongside a boom in responsible investment- the UK ethical and environmental funds market was valued at c.£1.5tn last year[1] and inflows of capital into ESG index-trackers on BlackRock’s iShares platform reached a record $390m in July[2]. Today’s Good Money Week research found that 57% of UK investors believe investment managers have a responsibility to ensure their holdings are managed in a way that is positive for society and the environment.

The Church of England is working to help its members find out more about ethical and responsible investment, sending a new video to around 40 dioceses and then ask them to share with upwards of 12,500 Parochial Church Councils as part of Good Money Week.

Ruth Knight, Environmental Policy Officer, Cathedral & Church Buildings Division, Church of England, said

“Although we each have the power to help create the change we want to see in our communities and environment, the opportunities are not always clear. Good Money Week provides the tools to help us take the first steps”

John Preston, National Stewardship and Resources Officer, Church of England, said

“We’re called to be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us, not just that which we give. Good money week 2017 equips us to be better stewards of that which we are holding on to, which can be the harder challenge.”

James Corah, Head of Ethical and Responsible Investment at CCLA and Lead Sponsor of Good Money Week’s faith activity, said

“Faith investors are increasingly aligning their investments with their mission. They are making a positive difference on topics from addressing modern slavery in company supply chains to accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.”

John David, Head of Rathbone Greenbank and Supporting Sponsor of Good Money Week’s faith activity said,

 “A sustainable and ethical approach to investment management has many benefits and faith funds have a wide range of responsible investment options at their fingertips. We expect the trend for increased emphasis on this style of investing to continue.”

“Individuals are increasingly aware of the risks associated with fossil fuels and are taking them into account when making investment decisions. Faith organisations should listen to the voice of their members and the public at large when it comes to choosing where to invest their assets and endowments.”

Other results from the YouGov research for Good Money Week include:

  • High demand for ethical and sustainable investment – 57% of GB public believe investment managers have responsibility to ensure holdings are managed in a way positive for society and the environment.
  • Rising demand for fossil free funds: 40% want a fossil free option, up from 35% last year and 32% in 2015. This rises to 57% of adults under 24.
  • UK savers feel disempowered by financial intermediaries 76% of GB public don’t know how much of their pension is invested ethically and 30% believe they have “no say” in how their assets are invested.

 

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