The amount of money saved or invested ethically by consumers has shown its biggest annual increase in a decade, according to a new report released by Co-operative Financial Services (CFS).
The total amount of money rose by 34% to £19.2bn, up from £14.3bn in the previous 12 months. The figure includes a surge in the amount of cash deposited in ethical banking, which increased from £7bn in 2008 to £9bn last year. The results also incorporate the amount of money invested into Britain’s green and ethical retail funds, which last year reached £9.5 billion – a record high for ethical investing.
Money held in credit unions and ethical stocks also increased by 19%, from £552m in 2008 to £657m during 2009.
Tim Franklin, Chief Operating Officer at CFS commented: ‘While ethical finance has grown steadily over the decade there has clearly been a recent acceleration. The growth that we’re witnessing is evidence that, in the wake of the financial crisis, more consumers are considering the ethical as well as financial impacts of their money.’
China worries investors
Earlier this year, the Ethical Investment Research Service (Eiris) showed that amongst leading emerging market economies, China, Egypt and Vietnam perform the worst in terms of environmental, social and governance indicators. The three best performing countries emerged as Brazil, Mexico and South Korea.
Eiris felt that China’s low environmental indicators were a concern given that its economy is set to overtake the USA’s as the world’s largest over the next 20 years.
For much more information on ethical investments and expert views on choosing an ethical fund, read the Which? guide to ethical investing. To have your say on green and ethical finance, join the debate on the Which? Conversation.
This Sunday sees the start of National Ethical Investment Week, which runs from 7th to 13th November. Led by UKSIF, the UK sustainable investment and finance association, the aim is to increase general awareness of ethical finance.
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