Advising on SRI, green & ethical investment

Our websites offer a wealth of support materials the most recent of which are on the Fund EcoMarket website which includes a fund tool, fact find support, links to our event videos and partner material.

See advice process support on Fund EcoMarket here.

Regulatory archive for information only (this information has now been superceded)

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 set 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.

Current (2020) BSI work – as at 2019/20 the British Standards Institute is working on three new standards relating to sustainable finance.  We await their finalisation.

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.

 

 

SRI Services materials are for information only and intended for use only by financial services professionals. We are not authorised or regulated, can not offer advice and do not deal with individual investors. The information we supply is not to be regarded as endorsements or recommendations and we recommend intermediaries use the information we publish in conjunction with other sources. Whilst we make every effort to ensure our information is up to date and accurate we can not be held responsible for decisions made using our services or those linked to our sites.

Registered Company: SRI Consultants Ltd. Company No: 03904843