Scots demand banks become more ethical

Just 13 per cent of Scots who have a pension actively chose their own investment portfolio but a majority are concerned about ethical and social issues surrounding those finances, according to new research.

The two-day event, which is organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), is being hosted at the RBS headquarters in Edinburgh. Picture: Joey Kelly

The YouGov poll of more than 1,000 adults north of the Border also found that nearly a third do not have a pension at all.

Two-thirds of Scots said it is important that banks and other financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when undertaking investments.

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The research was commissioned by the Ethical Finance Hub to coincide with the Ethical Finance 2019 global summit taking place in Edinburgh.

Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub, says ethical finance matters for people. Picture: Paul Reich

The two-day event, which is organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and hosted at RBS’ headquarters, is supported by the Scottish Government. Bodies represented include the United Nations, Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, RBS, Baillie Gifford and HSBC.

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Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub, said: "The global summit in Edinburgh will bring together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

"Ethical finance matters for people because, over the years, trust in banks has diminished and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about, such as the environment.

"That’s why this poll shows that two-thirds of Scots believe it is important for financial institutions to take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making their investments.

"But any individual with a pension is an investor, even though they may not necessarily consider that they are. Very few people choose their own pension investment portfolio, so a greater shift towards personal demand for ethical finance will encourage banks and asset managers to do the same.

"With nearly a third of adults in Scotland not having a pension at all, it’s also time to raise awareness of the importance of making ethical investments in the future, both for individuals and the planet."

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