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study reveals advice gap

November 2003

Fewer than one in ten members of the UK public say they have ever received advice on socially responsible investment from their financial adviser, even though three-quarters would not like their money invested in companies that have poor social, ethical or environmental policies.

An NOP poll of 998 people found that only eight per cent of respondents had ever received advice on SRI, even though 47 per cent have used the services of a financial adviser. Yet 76 per cent of the sample claimed they would prefer to buy from companies that try to reduce the negative impacts of their activities on society and the environment.

Julia Dreblow, SRI manager at financial services group Friends Provident, which commissioned the poll, said this showed the gap between what consumers wanted and what they were offered. The low level of advice offered may explain why only one per cent of investors’ money actually goes into SRI funds, she said.

‘On the one side we have consumers wanting SRI advice, and on the other side not much advice is offered,’ she said. ‘I hope that ... financial advisers will rise to the challenge.’




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