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Ethical investment booms in UK

Ethical investment is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, according to figures from the Co-operative Insurance Society.

In the past five years since CIS launched its ethical investors&#39 guide, the number of ethical funds has increased from 14 to 50. Funds under management have more than quadrupled in the same per- iod from less than £0.5bn to £2.2bn. Of the existing 50 funds, 35 qualify for Isa investment.

CIS says ethical investors are also increasingly opting for monthly savings plans rather than lump-sum investments.

General manager Martin Clarke says: “It is interesting to see the significant proportion of people who are getting in the green habit by investing their money month after month in ethical and environmental investments.

“By saving regularly into an ethical unit trust, people not only benefit from steadily putting away money for the future but regular saving itself can help cushion some of the extra vol-atility that can sometimes be found in any equity-based investment.”

Simpsons partner Andrew Merricks says: “We are certainly getting an increasing call for ethical investment. People are always asking about it. Stakeholder will only increase that. The schemes are going to have to state their principles and declare how far social, environmental and ethical con- siderations are taken into account. It is going to become a lot bigger issue.”

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