Ripple effect: financial services is biggest for B Corps

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 19th July 2016

It might surprise you given its reputation for greedy bankers and unscrupulous traders, but the financial services industry is the biggest sector in the UK’s growing B Corp movement.

Good With Money can reveal that asset managers, investment platforms and venture capital firms represent just over a third (34 per cent) of companies – by revenue – that have been certified as B Corps.

B Corp certification means that a company has met rigorous environmental and social standards. There are now 93 companies certified as “B Corps” in the UK, meaning they have passed the tests set by the non-profit B-Lab organisation.

Among the City firms to have made the cut are WHEB Asset Management and Generation Investment Management, run by Al Gore and David Blood. Private equity firms to have acquired the status include Bridges Ventures and Big Issue Invest. Meanwhile, EQ Investors and Maseco are the wealth managers blazing a trail for financial B Corps.

Kate Sandle, community manager of B Corps, said: “The interest from financial services firms in becoming B Corps is really encouraging. We hope that others follow the lead of these early adopters, so that financial services companies can make a more positive, meaningful contribution to the environment and society in every part of their businesses.”

WHEB is the most recent investment fund manager to become a B Corp.

Bulb, the 100% renewable energy provider, recently became the first energy supplier to become a B Corp.

B Corps range in size from small start-ups to medium-sized businesses. As yet, no PLC has been certified as a B Corp, although there are several, including Unilever, which support the movement.