Advising on SRI, green & ethical investment

The menu on the left of this screen lists the main topics within this part of the sriServices site.

This includes a wealth of  ‘Literature’ – including downloads supporting Fund EcoMarket use,  videos, guides and other documents written for financial advisers

As indicated by research – and a clear growing public interest in environmental, social and governance issues – the case ‘in favour’ of offering advice on SRI has never been stronger.   

But just in case growing public understanding of and interest in ethical, social and environmental issues were not enough … or the extensive and diverse range of fund offerings not sufficiently eye catching – advisers may also like to consider the professional context within which this sits, such as the following:

Regulatory

The regulator requires advisers to consider their clients’ needs on an individual basis and not ignore certain areas because they do not fit the adviser’s business processes.  FSA paper FG12/15 sets out what this means with regard to SRI. (See here for bullet points outlining key SRI implications. See Literature Page for link to more detailed analysis.).

Advisers are of course also required to treat customers fairly – ensuring, for instance – that advice reflects what the client wants and needs, not what the adviser is accustomed to discussing.

Best Practice

The best practice adviser ISO (ISO22222/BS8577) states that in order to achieve ISO status advisers must ask clients an SRI/ethical fact find question. This requires asking a ‘ethical fact find question’ to identify whether or not there are any ‘ethical, social, environmental or religious’ issues the client may like to take into account when considering where they may invest.

Promoting your SRI expertise:

If you are an adviser who is keen to develop this area of business it can be useful to list ‘Ethical Investment’ on your unbiased.co.uk profile – as potential clients are increasingly selecting this as an option.

Join the specialists:

Many advisers who specialise in this area are members of the Ethical Investment Association, which is now part of the not-for-profit SRI industry association UKSIF.

Building SRI into your advice process

You may like to see our SRI advice process flow chart for ideas about how to build this into your advice processes.  This sets out how our tools can be used to compliment your existing information sources and tools.

Additional information on this area is available in the ‘Adviser Guide to Sustainable and Responsible Investment’ – a collaborative project between Rayner Spencer Mills and sriServices.

Advice Opportunities

  • People increasingly recognise the growing importance of environmental or social issues to business and may want to benefit from related investment opportunities
  • People are increasingly interested in green and ethical issues and may want to invest in line with their opinions
  • Clients may wish to use their investment to make a difference to society – by encouraging and supporting ‘good companies’
  • Clients who invest in SRI options are more likely to be loyal and generate referrals
  • Offering advice on SRI can generate new opportunities with existing clients as interest in this area has risen significantly in recent years, it can also help protect an adviser’s client bank from other advisers who may offer SRI advice.

You may also like to see our ‘Top Tips’ directory for ideas to help you to open up opportunities, deal with queries effectively, avoid common pitfalls and build stronger relationships with clients.

 


This information is for use by UK professional financial advisers only. SRI Services is not authorised to give investment advice, if you are an individual investor you can find an IFA on www.unbiased.co.uk. The information on this site does not in any way constitute advice or recommendation. The information and tools are intended to compliment, not replace existing adviser information sources. Investment decisions should not be based on the information contained on this site alone. Please confirm fund information with fund managers. We cannot be held in responsible for advice given as a result of using this site and are not responsible for the content of sites linked to this service, we do however of course take every effort to ensure the content of this site is as accurate as possible at time of publication.