Retirement savers prioritize returns over ‘woke’ investments, report says

“The public is clear – making a return on their hard-earned savings is the number one priority. This should not be taken for granted.”

The report’s findings come as financial services firms increasingly try to brandish their ethical credentials by selling products they claim to be environmentally friendly and ethical.

The ethical investment boom has been fueled by rapidly changing attitudes and huge green stimulus measures from governments.

The former head of sustainable investing at the world’s largest fund manager has previously warned that ethical investing has “little or no impact” on the environmental and social causes companies claim to support.

Tariq Fancy, who was BlackRock’s chief investment officer for sustainable finance until 2019, said the private sector had found ways to convince the public it could help solve the climate crisis despite the negligible impact of its environmental products.

The impact of Vladimir Putin on savers

The report’s authors point out that when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, savers began to “frequently” contact their suppliers to check whether they had Russian investments.

“It has been argued that this indicates how much people now care about the morality or social purpose of their investments,” the report said.

“But it misses a fundamental point – investing in Russia is not only immoral, it’s a bad bet as its economy is collapsing in the face of devastating Western sanctions.”

The RPC report, which was shared with The Telegraph ahead of publication next week, also revealed that government plans to use pension pots to fund infrastructure projects and level projects could jeopardize people’s savings.

Ministers have pushed for generally conservative pension funds to invest in assets such as green energy infrastructure.