Ethical investing ignored by IFAs76% of investors in the dark about ethical money

17 October 2011

Many ethical funds invest in renewable energies

Many ethical funds invest in renewable energies

New research has revealed that 76% of investors have never had ethical investment mentioned to them by their independent financial adviser (IFA).

The study conducted by Ecclesiastical Investment Management (EIM) based its findings on responses from both ethical and non-ethical investors. It found that investors are often failing to receive a full range of investment options from their IFAs when it comes to ethical investing.

Lack of ethical enthusiasm

An additional 18% of respondents stated that their IFA had mentioned ethical investing in passing, while only 6% said their IFA was knowledgeable about the area.

IFA attitudes towards ethical investing also differed, with half of ethical investors stating that their IFA was positive about ethical investment, while slightly less (45%) were neutral. For non-ethical investors, 8% said their IFA was negative while 74% said they were neutral.

The research comes on the back of new figures released by non-profit sustainable investment research firm Eiris which show the amount of money invested in Britain's green and ethical retail funds has reached a record high of £11.3bn.

Ethical investing needs more exposure

Sue Round, head of investments at EIM, commented: 'This research shows a disparity between consumers - who like the idea of ethical investment, but don't know enough about it - and IFAs, many of whom may be assuming it's not of interest to their clients.

'It is important that the IFA community makes consumers aware of the wide variety of options available for investing, including ethical options, so they can make informed financial decisions.'

This year's National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) is being held between 16-22 October. It aims to ensure that as many people as possible know they have green and ethical options when it comes to their finance and investment decisions.

More on this...

  • Ethical investing explained - find out more about ethical investments
  • Choosing an ethical fund - advice on how to buy an ethical investment
  • Choosing a financial adviser - steps to help you find an adviser you can trust