Brits set to embark on ethical savings drive says research from Foresters Friendly Society
24 September 2010
58% of UK adults expect the amount invested in the £7bn
UK ethical investments market to grow over the next
Independent research commissioned by Foresters Friendly Society
and undertaken by YouGov has revealed UK adults' attitudes towards
With the amount invested in ethical investment products by the
UK public having doubled to more than £6.8bn (1) during the
last ten years, the research found that the majority of people
asked (58 per cent) believe this trend will continue over the
More than one fifth (21 per cent) of those surveyed believed the
growth to date has been driven primarily by a combination of a
genuine commitment to support companies involved in ethical
operations, such as sustainable energy.
An acceptance that financial returns should not be the sole
guide of investment choices was the primary growth driver
identified by another 20 per cent of respondents.
Among higher gross income groups, for example those adults in
the £40,000 - £44,999 band, the proportion of respondents believing
investment in ethical products will continue to grow in years ahead
rises significantly to 74 per cent, compared with 58 per cent of
those with incomes of £20,000 - £24,999.
The children's savings market can potentially expect to witness
growth in volume and aggregate value of ethical investments, after
a third (34% per cent of respondents), all with children and
grandchildren, said they would consider an ethical investment if
the beneficiary was either their child or grandchild.
The publication of the research coincides with Foresters
Friendly Society's new offer of an Ethical Child
Savings Plan (ECSP) www.forestersfriendlysociety.co.uk/ethical-child-savings-plan
The product is a new variety of Tax Exempt Savings Plan (TESP),
a regular premium savings plan that can only be offered by friendly
societies. It has been designed to bridge the gap in the children's
savings market created since the Government's decision to terminate
the Child Trust Fund (CTF) scheme from January 2011.
The ECSP allows grandparents and parents to invest £25 (or from
£15 online), per month, for a self-selected term between 10 and 25
years. On maturity, the savings plan will provide the child
recipient with a cash lump sum exempt from both income and capital
gains tax (2).
Premiums will be invested in the ethical section of Foresters
Friendly Society's with profits fund, which avoids investing in
companies that are harmful to the environment, people and
The research also established that nearly half of UK adults (45
per cent) believe the Government has a responsibility to promote
Neil Armitage, Marketing Director, of Foresters
Friendly Society said, ""Ethical investing is the
ideal choice for anyone seeking a sensible and socially responsible
way to save for the future.
Neil Armitage continued: "As a
benevolent organisation we naturally have an interest in ethical
investments and we're delighted to offer our new ECSP product which
reflects both our own values and those of the public who are
increasingly endorsing ethical products."
"Mirroring the Government's drive to promote the notion of a
'big society', we believe that the launch of the Ethical Child
Savings Plan will reconcile the void left by the end of the Child
Trust Fund scheme and this new ambition to empower
The UK Regional Picture
LondonEmerges As Ethical
Investment Awareness Hub
- The research also found
that London is the UK's awareness hub of
ethical investments. Londoners have the highest awareness of
ethical investments with only 45 per cent of respondents from the
capital being unaware of the term compared to 58 per cent of those
living in the North of England.
- People in the Midlands and Wales are
the least likely to support the suggestion that the Government
should actively promote the concept of ethical investment with only
40 per cent strongly agreeing or agreeing with this view. This
compares with 50 per cent of people in the
East and 55 per cent of people
in Northern Ireland.
(1) Source: Ethical Investment Research Service (February
(2) Tax rules may change and are subject to individual
circumstances. The child may not get back the amount that has
been saved in the plan.