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16 Oct 2013

74% Of Investors Would Not Hold Assets In Funds Linked To Human Rights Abuse

When making decisions on where to place their money, investors are typically preoccupied with factors such as the risks involved and return on their investment. With this in mind, assessment on whether funds are ethical or not is sometimes overlooked. New research from ethical investment provider Triodos Bank shows that more than two in three investors hold assets in funds they would feel ethically opposed to if they knew about the activities such funds may invest in.

In fact, just one in five investors felt they were fully aware of whether the funds or companies they invest in were involved in ethical activities. The survey also found that lack of awareness was higher among people who invested in ISAs, compared to those who invested in SIPPs. Meanwhile, people who invested in offshore and onshore bonds showed the highest percentage of awareness - 46%.

When asked about activities that could prevent them to invest in a company, pension, or fund, close to three-quarters of respondents listed human right abuse. More than half of investors cited pornography, which came second on the list, followed by arms and munitions (46%), animal testing (40%), and tobacco (27%).

Overall, women were found to be more concerned with ethical activities, but were also less aware of this when choosing where to invest. On average, across both genders, only 17% of all investors believed that returns were more important than ethical principles, with putting returns on top of their priority lists at any cost, EveryInvestor website reported.

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