Only 13% of Scots chose their pension investment portfolio



Only 13% of Scottish people who have a pension actively chose their own investment portfolio, a new Yougov poll has revealed.

Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub

The poll of over 1,000 adults in Scotland also found that almost a third of those who participated don’t have a pension at all.

However, two-thirds of Scots said it is important that banks and other financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making investments.

As individuals increasingly look towards modifying their buying and disposal behaviour to mitigate against climate change, the evidence suggests that many consumers are unaware of the positive impact they could have through closer management of their pensions.

The YouGov poll reveals:

  • 86% of adults in Scotland do not consider they are an investor in finance.
  • But a majority of Scots are investors in finance because they have a pension, while 29% said they do not have a pension.
  • Only 13% of those with a pension actively chose their own pension/investment portfolio; while 44% said their provider invested their pension in a ‘default’ fund.
  • 67% said it is important that financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making financial investments.
  • 63% said it is important that financial institutions should have a critical role in addressing the current climate situation.

The research was commissioned by the Ethical Finance Hub as part of the Ethical Finance 2019 global summit which gets underway in Edinburgh today, bringing together over 300 senior figures from more than 200 companies and organisations, representing global assets worth $10 trillion. It aims to promote a fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

There will be a keynote address from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and video addresses from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and held at the RBS headquarters in Edinburgh, the event will focus on promoting the Scottish capital as the global home of ethical finance, with an opportunity to create thousands of sustainable job opportunities. The summit will also explore how to make financial investments work for the planet in the face of the climate emergency.

The two-day event is supported by the Scottish Government and bodies represented include the United Nations, Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, RBS, Baillie Gifford and HSBC.

Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub, said: “The global summit in Edinburgh will bring together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet. Ethical finance matters for people because, over the years, trust in banks has diminished and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about, such as the environment.

“That’s why this poll shows that two-thirds of Scots believe it is important for financial institutions to take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making their investments. But any individual with a pension is an investor, even though they may not necessarily consider that they are.

“Very few people choose their own pension investment portfolio, so a greater shift towards personal demand for ethical finance will encourage banks and asset managers to do the same.”



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