Talking Point 

Investors unwilling to sacrifice profit for ethics

Investors unwilling to sacrifice profit for ethics

Investors are reluctant to invest in socially responsible investment (SRI) products at the expense of investment returns, according to data from Albion.

The VCT provider surveyed 250 individual investors aged between 40 and 80 with household earnings of £125,000.

Albion's research found just 30 per cent of those surveyed would be willing to sacrifice some investment return in exchange for pursuing a more socially responsible investment strategy.

A total of 43 per cent said they would consider using SRI Investment products.

The research showed high earners would be most likely to plough their cash in socially responsible investment products that are focused on healthcare, the environment and infrastructure.

The poll showed they were least likely to allocate capital to socially responsible investments in the area of housing and socially positive technology.

Patrick Reeve, managing partner at Albion Capital, said: "Socially responsible investments and its many iterations have infiltrated the mainstream investment industry, with the need to offer an ethical or environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach no longer a competitive advantage, but a necessity.

"Despite this, there is a lot of confusion at the consumer level, where people want to support socially responsible causes but don't necessarily understand the relationship between SRI and performance."

Francis Klonowski, who runs Klonowski and Co, an advice firm in Leeds, said in 20 years he has only ever had two clients with an interest in SRI investments and both of those clients sold the investments at a time when they performed badly.

david.thorpe@ft.com

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