- 19th November 2010
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As persistent fears over the possibility of a double-dip recession continue, one part of the financial markets is showing steady growth that has so far been immune to the effects of the credit crunch.
The Guardian reports that the latest figures from Co-op Bank show the amount invested in ethical savings and investments has almost quadrupled in the past decade. The statistics, marking the tenth anniversary of the company’s annual Ethical Consumer Report show that there is just under £20bn invested in ethical savings and investment schemes.
Also, the growth in the ethical investment market still has a long way to go – despite the wealth of products now available on the financial investment markets for those concerned with how and where their investment money and savings are spent, the ethical investment market represents just one per cent of the entire UK investment market.
However, experts say that investing in ethical finance products is gaining in mainstream popularity. Mark Robertson, from an ethical finance website told the Guardian: “If you don’t choose to go with a bank that’s got clear ethical lending policies then you’ve got no way of knowing what that bank is doing with your money. It could be invested in companies that you may be uncomfortable with. If you put your money into an ethical financial institution, then your capital can be used to support positive initiatives, such as Fairtrade.”
Huw Davies at ethical bank Triodos, speaking to the same newspaper, agrees. “Choosing ethical finance is one of the most powerful things that you can do as a consumer.”
One of the biggest obstacles for the ethical investment market to overcome is the perception among the public that profits and ethical don’t always mix.