The growth in demand for specialist ESG Chartered Financial Planners is rapidly gaining pace, but the sector is still difficult to define and beset with problems as we have previously reported.
The issues are not just confined to issues with over blown ESG credentials, they can also be the other way around. Emerging Markets have been struggling to achieve high ESG ratings for some time now because the major ratings agencies are not servicing these markets as well as they should be. This is a real issue because as ESG Chartered Financial Planners recognise, emerging markets are some of the most ESG friendly ibn the world. The majority of emerging market countries are in the warm South American and Asian countries offering great opportunities to harness the environment into their production processes. Many of these countries have access to vast marine and solar resources which are ripe for climate friendly initiatives.
Things may be starting to change, however. Green Bonds from emerging countries are now starting to take off. In 2020 £20 billion were issued but this is expected to grow to over £200 billion this next year. These may well be a great way for investors to access ESG funds via bonds.
The ESG market for investments continues to grow globally. Last year ESG accounted for 10% of the market at just over £650 billion invested.
Some companies have now taken steps to promote themselves as ESG specialists by changing their company structures to become so called” B Corp” companies. Part of this process means gaining certification from B Lab to be designated as a B Corp. This includes embedding ESG cultures into company structures including diversity, energy efficiency ,fair pay etc. Although B Lab is not a recognised body like the Chartered Insurance Institute or the Financial Conduct Authority but a privately owned and run organisation which has seized the ESG initiative.
Not related to ESG Chartered Financial Planners, but In case you didn’t know, it was Mental Health Awareness week a few weeks ago (9/5/22).
One of the issues highlighted over the course of the week is the growing issue of financial abuse, particularly involving the elderly. Age UK estimate that over 500,000 older people experience financial abuse, which is shocking number.
Some of the signs of financial abuse include:
- Money or property being stolen or misused, for example unexplained withdrawals of money
- Being put under pressure to distribute money or property, for example last minute changes to Wills or property Title Deeds.
- Being a victim of fraud
- Trustees being evasive and not explaining financial transactions
Sadly, more people have become vulnerable due to the increase in the number of Lasting Powers of Attorney being registered. Over 680.000 last year.