9 Oct 2017
With Good Money Week 2017 having just started now seems like a fitting time to mention some of the positive work taking place in government and beyond that are likely to drive progress in SRI – sustainable, responsible and ethical investment – over the coming year.
Recent reviews, consultations and rule changes (listed below) vary significantly both in terms of their ‘audiences’ and intended ‘outcomes’ – however for the individual investor or pension scheme member I would suggest the details matter rather less than the overall direction of travel...
But first some background. With fast approaching 30 years of retail investment experience I should start by admitting that my inclination is normally to allow market forces prevail…
However, over recent years it has become painfully clear that constructive, forward looking and intelligent government and regulatory regimes are crucial both in terms of encouraging things that are ‘socially useful’ and for maintaining the ‘market growth’ that investors rely on to save for a rainy day, pay their pensions etc.
The financial crisis of ten years ago sadly illustrated this – as does the (snails) speed at which we have collectively ‘addressed’ climate change (remember the Kyoto Protocol – in 1997?).
It is in this context that I have taken much time out over recent months to contribute to relevant consultations – both on behalf of sriServices and by chipping in to other organisations responses.
In brief, what I believe we have started to see over the last year or so is governments, professional bodies and others in positions of influence starting to commit resource to understand and encourage the financial markets to contribute more positively towards social, ethical and environmental challenges.
The list below therefore gives cause for optimism…
My hope is that the UK retail financial services sector grasps the opportunities these present with both hands… the public mood is clearly shifting. So should we.
Financial advisers now have both the tools and the incentive to change the way they operate – and Good Money Week will no doubt help push this up the PR agenda.
As usual at this time of year, as one of its proud founders, I am looking forward to a busy week (or two!) and hoping for a lively and high profile Good Money Week #GMW17 (8-14 October).
You can read about What’s On here.
Our fund information tool Fund EcoMarket has been designed to support the integration of issues of this kind into the financial advice process. Thanks to our sponsors it continues to expand and improve – and remains free to use!
You can also read my related Parmenion article, issued to advisers last Friday, here.