Biggest ever survey on Sustainable Investing finds huge increase in both consumer and adviser demand

Consumer interest in sustainable investing has risen to an all-time high, according to a new research report “The Great British Sustainable Savers Census” – published today by Boring Money and sponsored by Aberdeen Standard Investments.

  • 42% of fund investors say they are currently invested in either sustainable or ethical funds.
  • A further 12% do not have any today but are considering adding these to portfolios over the next 6 months.
  • 40% of investors say that Covid-19 has made them think more about investing sustainably.

Despite this interest, confidence and awareness remains low.

  • Just 18% of fund investors would feel confident explaining what ESG means to a friend.

As demand from investors increases, adviser interest and appetite has also increased dramatically over the last 12 months.

  • In September 2019, 29% of advisers through that their clients would value a conversation about ESG funds in general. Today 54% think that this is true.
  • Personal interest in ESG funds has also accelerated - 51% of advisers say they have a strong interest in ESG and plan to invest this way with their personal money over the coming 12 months.

Fergus McCarthy, UK distribution director at Aberdeen Standard Investments, comments:  

“The survey reinforces exactly what we are hearing from the advisers we work with, a growing demand from their clients to have more conversations around sustainable investing.

“Whilst we see a number of larger firms now building their own sustainable propositions we have also seen a marked increase in advisers who currently outsource their CIP/CRP and who are looking at how they incorporate a sustainable investment proposition that links to the risk profiling for clients.

“It’s clear there are many ways the industry can help advisers support their clients on this journey, from education on the different terminology used to having the right range of funds available. All of these things will ultimately benefit choice and decision making for the benefit of investors and society.”

However Boring Money MD Holly Mackay has a cautionary note:

MiFID II is coming down the path like a paperwork steam train. Over 9 in 10 advisers agree that their remit is to discuss the non-financial aspects of investing. But only 4 in 10 say that they understand the new rules about expanded suitability and fact finds. The interest has grown, which is great. But the ability to do something about it is still shaky. People need help, and they need help fast.”

Notes to editors:

  1. Source: Boring Money’s The Great British Sustainable Savers Census Report, published September 2020.
  2. Consumer statistics come from a nationally representative sample of 4,073 adults in August 2020 and a further survey with 1,509 fund investors in July 2020
  3. Adviser statistics come from an online survey conducted with 155 financial advisers in August 2020, from multiple firms and sourced from a range of different channels.



Stay updated

Sign up to the Boring Money
business bulletin

Get monthly snippets of research,
industry developments and consumer feedback.
If you change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time.