Research from mutual organisation Foresters Friendly Society (FFS) found that, despite ethical and socially responsible investing being on the rise in the UK, only 27% would accept lower returns to invest in a provider that demonstrates values they identify with personally.
This compares with 49% of the population who stated that a provider’s social values; such as consistency, reliability, trustworthiness and treating customer fairly, are as important as potential returns.
It strongly suggests that, if push came to shove, investors would still opt for higher returns over ethics.
When it comes to how ethically conscious future generations may be, rising numbers of parents are spending time investigating alternative investment options for their children, the report found.
“People are increasingly motivated by the potential social and ethical good they can enact and instil in their children, rather than being solely focussed on monetary gains,” said Paul Osborn, chief executive for FFS.
However, while wider social and customer benefits are important, financial performance remains key.
Potential for growth and security, in terms of guaranteed returns, are the two most sought-after benefits; with 34% and 33%, respectively, prioritising these when selecting financial savings products for the children in their lives.
It may be too late to change the mindset of the current generation of investors; but, by starting early, future generations may be better equipped to assess investments beyond just their financial potential.