Highlights from the last seven days, and a look at what’s coming up in the world of good money
ShareAction, the campaign group, found that two thirds of major UK pension providers have no policy to avoid investing in chemical weapons, according to its latest annual rankings of responsibility. Pension providers, charged with investing the life savings of millions of UK workers, were ranked on their approach to climate risk and other ethical considerations. NEST Pensions, the People’s Pension and Legal & General came out on top. Aegon, Smart Pension and NOW:Pensions were at the bottom of the table.
The rankings came shortly after figures from the Department for Work & Pensions showed that participation in auto-enrolment is at a record high of 84 per cent of eligible employees. However people are saving less than ever into them – at an average £5,110 last year, with more workers than ever choosing to invest the minimum of 5 per cent.
According to Aviva, continuing at this low rate of savings could leave people £100 a week worse off when they retire.
Another report from the Global Impact Investing Network found that asset managers plan to increase their impact investing by 8 per cent this year, signalling impressive growth prospects for environmentally and socially beneficial investing.
Meanwhile, Repowering London launched a community bond on the Ethex investment platform. Investors in London’s Energy Garden projects, which are installations along the overground network delivering environmental and community benefits, can expect a target return of 4 per cent.
Starling Bank became the first mobile-only bank to offer a business current account – it is hoping to improve choice for 3.4 million sole traders in the UK. Anne Boden, Chief Executive Officer, Starling Bank, said: “We live in the age of the entrepreneur and start-up, but banks haven’t been providing a good enough service to them. We want to change that.”
And consumer spending was up in May, thanks to the Royal Wedding and a warm bank holiday. It rose 5.1 per cent, while spending on non-essentials was up 4.6 per cent – both saw their fastest rise in a year, according to the Barclaycard Spending Report.
It’s “My Money Week”, focusing on personal finance education for children. Do your children know the value of money? How do you teach them about money? Is it ever too early to explain pensions to your kids? There are lots of ideas and inspiration on the My Money Week website. And check out Good With Money’s posts throughout the week for some inspiration.