Finance: Ecclesiastical Insurance policy holders back oil

Helen Warrell

Ecclesiastical Insurance policy holders have voted overwhelmingly in favour of including oil stocks in the company's ethical investment fund, after being polled on the issue three months ago (Third Sector, 2 August).

Of 640 respondents, 70.6 per cent said they were in favour of investing in oil stock "under strict ethical criteria", while 18.9 per cent were in favour of doing so regardless of the ethical impact. Only 9.7 per cent said they would prefer not to invest in oil stocks under any circumstances.

"I didn't think there would be such a strong indication that people are willing to invest in oil stocks," said Ketan Patel, socially responsible investment analyst at Allchurches, the parent firm of Ecclesiastical Insurance. "It shows that there is generally a very pragmatic attitude towards oil."

However, Patel warned that buying oil stocks would be a gradual process.

"First of all, we want a robust set of SRI criteria that we can work on and engage with," he said.

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