Half of financial consumers consider ethical switching

By agency reporter
October 31, 2014

Investment in companies that perform poorly on some responsible or ethical finance concerns can be almost as strong a motivator in choosing to switch financial provider as poor customer service, or a better deal elsewhere. These are the indications of the findings from an Ipsos MORI national consumer survey commissioned by leading global responsible investment research firm EIRIS.

The importance of responsible or ethical concerns in finance is supported by EIRIS’ estimate that the amount of money invested in the UK’s green and ethical retail funds reached over £13.5 billion in 2014.

EIRIS (Ethical Investment Research Information Service) commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a national online poll of 2,010 adults aged 16-75 across Britain.

Among the 1,837 of those who have ever personally bought or taken out a financial product or service around a half (51 per cent) are likely to consider switching from their main financial provider if they have reason to believe their financial activities (e.g. lending, insuring) contribute to harmful social activities, such as human rights abuses, child labour or forced labour.

Similarly, if these same consumers have reason to believe their main financial provider has faced potential fines for activities that breached financial regulations (such as money laundering regulations, mis-selling products or manipulation of interest rates), 47 per cent are likely to consider switching, against just 13 per cent who are unlikely to consider doing so.

These concerns are almost as strong switch factors as another main financial provider offering better rates, fees or conditions for a similar product or account (55 per cent) or dissatisfaction with the customer service provided (62 per cent).

The poll also explores which investment strategies consumers would like to see their providers pursue on different issues as a first course of action, and any actions consumers are prepared to take themselves.

* More at: http://www.eiris.org/media/press-release/financial-consumers-ethical-con...

[Ekk/3]

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