UK government: “Investing should be a force for good”

Social investment should become “business as usual” for individual and institutional investors, believes the UK government.

This week the UK government said it was committed to opening up social investment to a greater variety of investors in its response to a financial services industry-led report.

In November 2017, an advisory group led by Elizabeth Corley, vice chair of Allianz Global Investors, published Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK, which had been commissioned by the government.

The report highlighted that the social investment market in the UK was underdeveloped and listed a series of recommendations.

Even if you have a small amount of savings or a pension pot, you should be able to invest in the issues you care about – Civil society minister Tracey Crouch

The government’s response, published on 12 June 2018, welcomed the report and said that departments across Whitehall would work with the financial services industry to make it easier for the general public to invest their money in the issues they care about.

The foreword to the response stated: “We are ambitious that delivering social impact should be a widely held concern – that social impact investment should become ‘business as usual’ for individual and institutional investors.”

Civil society minister Tracey Crouch said: “People increasingly want to see their savings and investments have a positive impact on society as well as bringing financial returns…Even if you have a small amount of savings or a pension pot, you should be able to invest in the issues you care about.”

She added: “By utilising the wealth of experience within the financial services industry, we can expand social impact investing to help build a society that works for everyone.”

Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “Investing can and should be a force for good…Social impact investing is brimming with potential and we are encouraging firms to develop products to meet the rising demand while championing the industry’s potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The government will provide a progress update in winter 2018. 

Read the government response here.