A majority of Australians now expect super funds, banks, financial advisers and other financial institutions to invest their money in a responsible and ethical manner, it has been revealed.
The research comes from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, which has penned From Values to Riches 2020: Charting consumer expectations and demand for responsible investing in Australia, and explained that the sentiment shift is, in part, “a response to a devastating summer of unprecedented fires and floods exacerbated by climate change”.
But it also suggested that it’s a “continuation of the long-term upward trend of investing in line with one’s values and recognition of the impressive performance of many responsible and ethical options”.
“There’s a renewed sense of urgency within consumers to act, and more opportunities for investors to have an impact than ever before,” the report stated.
According to the findings, 86 per cent of Australians expect their super or other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically.
Even more individuals – 87 per cent – expect the same of the money that they have placed in bank accounts.
And while responsible and ethical investment decisions may be seen as the “ideal”, Australians are also exhibiting more willingness to act – three-quarters of those surveyed said they would consider moving their banking, super or other investments to another provider if it was revealed their current provider was investing in companies engaged in activities not consistent with their values.
There’s a drive to improve transparency, with 85 per cent of Australians expecting their bank to disclose which companies their money is invested in.
A similar amount (86 per cent) expect the same from their super fund.
According to the report, four in five Australians want their financial providers to go one step further – they want super funds and banks to communicate the impacts, whether positive or negative, that their money is having on people and the planet.
In addition, around half of Australians equate responsible and ethical investment with better financial decision making at an individual level, indicating how they would be motivated to invest and save more money if they knew their savings or investments were making a positive difference in the world.
Recent weather has also had an impact – two in five Australians have thought about changing their financial providers in response to devastating weather conditions.
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Article reproduced from Nest Egg by Grace Ormsby.