Regulator pledges update to responsible investment guidance

The Charity Commission has indicated that it intends to simplify its responsible investment guidance for charities.

The regulator said today it would consult on updated guidance following a listening exercise it completed last year.

Responsible investment refers to financial investments that align with a charity’s mission and purpose.

The regulator said it received 40 written submissions as part of its listening exercise, some of which indicated that they reflected the experience of hundreds of charities.

It also took part in six roundtables and engaged directly with sector bodies, trustees, chief executives, investment managers, and officials in several government departments and regulators.

Charities cited outdated case law and poor regulator communication as barriers to responsible investment, as well as concern among trustees that they lacked the correct knowledge or expertise.

The commission said it would publish draft updated guidance in the spring for consultation, supported by a refreshed interpretation of the law in this area.

The final updated responsible investments guidance is expected in the summer.

Paul Latham, director of communications and policy at the Charity Commission, said: “It is not for the commission to instruct charities on how to invest their assets.

“But it is part of our role to ensure our guidance keeps pace with wider changes in society, so that charities feel confident to invest and use their resources effectively in line with their purpose, and be accountable to the public and donors.”

The regulator’s current guidance on responsible investments is part of its wider guidance on charities and investment matters, called CC14.

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