Latest News

Good Money Week – helping people do good with their money

4th October 2022 By Luke Cross
Back to latest news

You may have seen or heard people mention Good Money Week this week – so what’s that all about then?

Good Money Week has been running for more than 15 years, and was known as National Ethical Investment Week (NEIW) before the name change in 2014.

It puts a spotlight on the ways the financial services industry can make it easier for the public to use their pensions, savings and investments to do good for society and the environment.

One example is that changing your pension to a sustainable or green pension is 21 times more effective at cutting carbon footprints than cutting out flying, switching your energy provider or becoming a vegetarian.

Without doubt, more people are wanting to do good with their money. But that appetite isn’t necessarily being catered for by the financial services industry – banks, advisors, pension fund providers. In short, it’s not as straight forward to do good with your money as it could be.

Run by UKSIF – the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association – Good Money Week looks at the barriers and ways to overcome these.

Social is a member of UKSIF and director Luke Cross is taking part in a Good Money Week webinar on Wednesday. We were also at the Good Money Week launch conference in Westminster on Monday, and here are some of our key takeaways from a very informative day packed with excellent speakers:

  1. Separate research at the start from our hosts UKSIF and Scottish Widows both showed the need to bridge the language and information gap between the financial services industry and consumers – and the massive need for more and better comms around the opportunities for people to use their pensions and their investments to do good. One example from Scottish Widows Green Pensions Report showed 83% of workers say climate change is important to them bu just 10% have switched to green products. And while 78% of people earning over £100k say they’ve had some comms on their green pensions options, 71% earning £10-20k say they’ve had no comms at all.
  2. Greenwashing was unsurprisingly the biggest topic on the slido Q&A app – and there was an excellent session that put transparency and accountability front and centre: ditch the jargon; funds claiming to be a sustainability leader need to show how they’re doing it; and if you’re not seeing all the investments in a fund then that’s a red flag. (Read Nishall Garala’s excellent blog on greenwashing here).
  3. On that note – the Financial Conduct Authorityis getting serious about tackling greenwashing. They shared concerns about misleading and exaggerated claims by firms – ‘we can’t allow this greenwashing to continue’. And while the FCA needs to give the market the room to innovate, its priorities include:
    – Setting guardrails
    – Taking action
    – Raising the bar
  4. There is huge potential to unlock the power of people’s pensions and their financial products for good – but the financial services industry needs to make it all way easier and quicker for people to see how the system works and where their money goes. (Also watch this space for Make My Money Matter to put some focus on the banks and to start ranking pension funds on climate change claims vs progress…)
  5. The next generation of impact investors are here…and they’re telling it how it is! Particularly enjoyed Tom McGillycuddy’s line that ESG and impact shouldn’t be sat next to one another or used in the same sentence – and Fizel Nejabat talking about the power of community and human interaction alongside the tech.

Overall, key themes that shone through for me were around trust, good governance and transparency. And so much of today was about effective and credible communications – education is important but ‘consumer-accessible language’ and ‘consumer-facing disclosures’ are crucial…in other words – ditch the jargon when talking to the public!

If you’d like to talk about some of the topics from Good Money Week – and if you’re a financial institution looking for fresh ways to connect with consumers and clients – please contact one of the Social Invest team via invest@social.co.uk or:

Luke Cross: Director – Luke.cross@social.co.uk 

Dominic Brady: Account Manager – Dominic.brady@social.co.uk

Nishall Garala: Account Manager – Nishall.garala@social.co.uk