Responsible finance site Good With Money has launched a kitemark to make it easier for people to find financial providers that offer a good deal for their pockets as well as for people and planet.
The Good Egg kitemark - awarded to financial services firms that can demonstrate a positive impact - has been introduced to help people make more informed choices about how their money is being used when they buy a financial product.
Good With Money has worked with the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) to develop the Good Egg kitemark, following research conducted for Good Money Week in October 2016 which revealed 63 per cent of UK consumers wanted a label to identify ethical or sustainable financial products, and 43% said it would make them more likely to buy a financial product, rising to 53% of 18-24 yr olds. Additionally, 60 per cent of UK consumers believe the financial sector can make high returns while investing responsibly.
In further research conducted by Opinium for Good With Money++, 36 per cent of people said that they would be likely to choose a financial provider holding the Good Egg kitemark. 25% of those surveyed thought the kitemark demonstrated that the provider holding would be ‘a responsible company’, 24 per cent thought it would be ‘a company I can trust,’ and 22% thought it would be ‘a fair company.’
Two launch partners have gained the first ever two Good Egg kitemarks, renewable energy peer-to-peer platform, Abundance Investment, and wealth manager of the Positive Impact Portfolios, EQ Investors.
Among other reasons for being awarded the Good Egg kitemark, Abundance is approved on the strength of its environmental credentials. The report states: “All projects funded through the platform are renewable energy projects, reducing demand for fossil fuels and associated pollution and climate change impacts.”
One of the reasons EQ Investors has been awarded Good Egg kitemark status is on the strength of its industry / fair business credentials. The report states: “EQ Investors provides customers with low-cost options to invest in a socially and environmentally responsible way. The business is transparent about products, fees and charging structures. The company is owned by staff and management and they have confirmed that this is a long-term vision for EQ.”
The kitemark is based on a rigorous matrix of multiple criteria developed in conjunction with Ethical Screening, an ethical research consultancy. Ethical Screening conducts the analysis on each provider applying for the kitemark and produce a report detailing its decision.
The purpose is to determine how well a provider measures up against a range of different environmental, social and industry impact factors, taking into account the size and history of the firm and its performance.
A further level of rigour is provided through the Good Egg advisory panel, including Anna Laycock, executive director of the Finance Innovation Lab, Fionn Travers Smith, former project manager for Move Your Money, John Fleetwood, managing director of 3D Investing, and Michael Fotis, founder of Smart Money People.
Rebecca O’Connor, co-founder and editor of Good With Money, said: “A Good Egg is a kitemark that can only be used by financial services companies that are able to prove they make a positive impact, not just by improving the lives of customers, but by benefitting society and the environment, too.
“Look for a Good Egg if you want to have a savings account, insurance policy, investment fund or mortgage from companies that do the right thing.”
Simon Howard, chief executive of UKSIF said: “We welcome Good With Money’s Good Egg kitemark because it takes a practical look at the places people put their money and how it is used. It responds to public demand – as demonstrated in UKSIF polling – for a simple label to allow people to easily distinguish between ethical and sustainable, and unethical financial products. We know from the growth of Good Money Week that interest in how banks, pension providers and investment managers invest consumers’ money continues to grow and we want to see financial firms of all kinds respond to it.”
Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint managing director of Abundance, commented:"Abundance are pleased and proud to be one of the first companies to be awarded a 'Good Egg'. We set out with the aim of creating investments that are in tune with our customers values as well as making a financial return and after £40m raised for 25 projects including £10m in tax free ISA's from 3500 ethical investors we are finally seeing ethical investment become a mainstream consideration. The Good Egg process put us to the test to deliver on our promise of transparency and control for investors and it is great to get independent recognition of those efforts. Hopefully this will mean more people will be able to join our crowd of investors already making a positive difference with their money."
John Spiers, CEO at EQ Investors added:“We are extremely honoured to be one of the founding Good Egg kitemark holders. More and more people are looking for their money to do good while doing well.
“At EQ we have a strong sense of being a member of a wider community. We hope that our participation will inspire other companies to get on board.”
About Good With Money
Founded in October 2015 by Rebecca O’Connor, former financial journalist at The Times, and Lisa Stanley, a financial services PR and former head of comms at ethical bank, Triodos, Good With Money aims to grow the market for responsible financial products through engaging information and blog content, and the Good Egg kitemark. It covers all areas of personal finance, from saving and investing, borrowing and mortgages, insurance, energy, and spending / budgeting.
Good With Money issues a weekly ‘Top 10 personal finance-rated’ newsletter. Rebecca O’Connor for Good With Money was runner up in the Money Blogger category for the Santander Media Awards 2016, and Good With Money was shortlisted for the UK Money Bloggers awards 2016.
About Ethical Screening
Ethical Screening provides services to enable responsible and sustainable investment. Employing a highly qualified and experienced research team the company delivers detailed information on the ethical, environmental and social aspects of companies globally. Research and analysis is delivered in a range of formats to investors and investment managers, to efficiently implement ethical and responsible investment strategies.