The £3.5 billion fund range, managed on behalf of around 250,000 investors, represents around half of all UK ethical investors.
The decision to widen the access to financial services follows a review of the sector by the Committee of Reference, the independent panel that sets the ethical criteria for the funds and determines the universe of individual companies eligible for F&C’s fund management team to invest in.
Committee of Reference chair Tony Stoller says: “When the first Stewardship fund launched in 1984, financial services practices included little consideration of the environmental and social impacts of the sector, but in recent years, in large part due to the growing influence of sustainable investment, a number of leading insurers and banks have come to integrate these factors into their core lending and insurance practices.
“Insurance and banking services are essential components of the economy, funding the necessities of modern life. Responsible financial institutions, which are attuned to the profound social and environmental impacts of their activities, have the capacity to be a force for good, and the Committee of Reference has concluded that it is now right for Stewardship to recognise this shift.”