Demand for ethical ISAs is way up among millennials

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 17 March 2021

Savings and Investment

Interest among older investors is growing too.

Demand for ethical ISAs is way up among millennials
Image source: Nik on Unsplash.

Transparency and ethical options are among the key demands from the next generation of UK savers and investors.

Nearly all the younger investors (94 per cent of 18-34-year-olds) asked in a survey by sustainable bank Triodos said they have moved, or are looking to move, their ISA holdings to an ethical provider.

The survey was conducted by Opinium and asked 2,000 UK adults, including 500 ISA holders, on their views around sustainable and ethical investments.

Among older ISA holders (over-35s) interest in moving holdings to more ethical providers was still significant at 71 per cent.

Across the generations around a third of people said they wouldn’t want their investments to support fossil fuels (37 per cent), fracking (36 per cent) or gambling (33 per cent).

People also seem to be aware of just how challenging it is to unpick what is happening inside their investments, whether ISAs, pensions or otherwise, with seven in 10 calling for more transparency among investment options (71 per cent) and two-thirds calling on the government to do more (64 per cent).

Industry-wide standardisation around ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ investments was supported by the same number of people (64 per cent).

“When such a large proportion of young people are interested in an impact investment ISA that matches their values, it suggests that there has been a real step-change in awareness of the links between personal finances and the wider world,” said Gareth Griffiths, head of retail banking at Triodos Bank UK.

“We want to encourage people to think about what their ISA pot is doing, just as they would consider the ethics of what company to work for or what politician to vote for.”

Clearly Triodos has skin in the game when it comes to ethical investing, but the momentum and growing interest behind ethical investing is undeniable.

Add that to the large group of the population, including 42 per cent of 18-34s, who have found themselves better off as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic reducing their spending, and the ethical investment boom looks to only have just begun.

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