Government must make it easier for people to use social impact investment, says report

The government-commissioned report puts forward suggestions including an awareness-raising campaign

The government must make it easier for people to put money into social impact investment if the idea is to fulfil its potential in the UK, a new report warns.

The government-commissioned report Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK, published today, suggests that the government should work with social impact investment organisations to develop an awareness-raising campaign that would show people the power they could have in applying their own values to investment choices.

The report has been produced by an advisory committee set up to examine how to grow the culture of social impact investment and savings in the UK.

The committee, chaired by Elizabeth Corley, vice chair of the investment management firm Allianz Global Investors, says in its report that the definition of social impact "remains a matter of some debate", but it used the following description: "Investment in the shares or loan capital of companies and enterprises that not only measure and report their wider impact on society, but also hold themselves accountable for delivering and increasing positive impact."

The report suggests that government, the financial services industry and others should publish educational guidance on social impact investment that is easily accessible for all stakeholders, including individual investors.

It says the financial services industry should develop consistent standards and more products with the individual investor in mind.

The other main recommendations are for government to strengthen competence and confidence within the financial services industry, develop better reporting of non-financial outcomes and "maintain momentum and build cohesion across initiatives".

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