Monthly Archive October 2019

ByQuantum Communications

Only 13% of Scots chose their pension investment portfolio

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ETHICAL FINANCE HUB

Only 13 per cent of Scots who have a pension actively chose their own investment portfolio, a new poll has revealed to mark the start of a global summit on ethical finance.

The YouGov poll of over 1,000 adults in Scotland also found that nearly a third don’t have a pension at all.

But two-thirds of Scots said it is important that banks and other financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making investments.

As individuals increasingly look towards modifying their buying and disposal behaviour to mitigate against climate change, the evidence suggests that many consumers are unaware of the positive impact they could have through closer management of their pensions.  

The research was commissioned by the Ethical Finance Hub as part of the Ethical Finance 2019 global summit which gets underway in Edinburgh today, bringing together over 300 senior figures from more than 200 companies and organisations, representing global assets worth $10trillion.

It aims to promote a fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

There will be a keynote address from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and video addresses from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

The YouGov poll reveals:

•            86% of adults in Scotland do not consider they are an investor in finance.

•            But a majority of Scots are investors in finance because they have a pension, while 29% said they do not have a pension.

•            Only 13% of those with a pension actively chose their own pension/investment portfolio; while 44% said their provider invested their pension in a ‘default’ fund.

•            67% said it is important that financial institutions take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making financial investments.

•            63% said it is important that financial institutions should have a critical role in addressing the current climate situation.

Ethical finance is a fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

The Edinburgh-based Ethical Finance Hub is focused on raising awareness, educating and facilitating practical activities such as research, events and projects that support the growth of the ethical finance sector.

This week’s event, organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and held at the RBS headquarters in Edinburgh, will focus on promoting the Scottish capital as the global home of ethical finance, with an opportunity to create thousands of sustainable job opportunities.

The summit will also explore how to make finance investments work for the planet in the face of the climate emergency.

The two-day event is supported by the Scottish Government, and bodies represented include the United Nations, Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority, RBS, Baillie Gifford and HSBC.

Chris Tait, project manager of the Ethical Finance Hub, said:

“The global summit in Edinburgh will bring together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

“Ethical finance matters for people because, over the years, trust in banks has diminished and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about, such as the environment.

“That’s why this poll shows that two-thirds of Scots believe it is important for financial institutions to take into account ethical, environmental and social issues when making their investments.

“But any individual with a pension is an investor, even though they may not necessarily consider that they are.

“Very few people choose their own pension investment portfolio, so a greater shift towards personal demand for ethical finance will encourage banks and asset managers to do the same.

“With nearly a third of adults in Scotland not having a pension at all, it’s also time to raise awareness of the importance of making ethical investments in the future, both for individuals and the planet.”

ENDS

NOTES

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,008 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 7th October 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

The full tables can be downloaded here

More information on Ethical Finance 2019, including a list of speakers, is available here

More details on the Ethical Finance Hub are available here

ByQuantum Communications

New crackdown on ticket tout scams

Scotland’s consumer advice service and Trading Standards have teamed up to tackle ticket tout scams.

Music, theatre and sports fans are being encouraged to contact the consumeradvice.scot service if they don’t receive the information they are entitled to when purchasing a secondary ticket in person or via a resale website.

Consumers can receive free and impartial advice on their rights as part of the awareness campaign, and the body can also pass information to Trading Standards for investigation.

consumeradvice.scot is the country’s new dedicated consumer advice service, which is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. It provides advice, assistance and information to people on a range of consumer issues and concerns.

The awareness campaign highlights that consumer protection law means sellers must tell buyers:

•            Where they will be sitting or standing, and if this has a restricted view;

•            Information about any access restrictions such as an age restriction, a requirement for particular ID or a credit card to access the venue, or if the ticket is for a disabled access area;

•            The original face value of the ticket(s);

•            Whether they have any relationship with the secondary ticketing platform, the organiser, or their agents.

Recently, East Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards service issued a financial penalty to a prolific ticket reseller located in the west of Scotland. 

This was the first such fine to be issued in Scotland and, on being paid without appeal, has also become the first successful case of its kind in the UK. 

The financial penalty related to tickets being resold for Still Game’s run of shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Information regarding the seating location was not disclosed, contrary to s.90 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. 

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of consumeradvice.scot, said:

“When it comes to secondary ticketing, Scots consumers have rights they may not be aware of. Buyers must be told where they are sitting or standing, any restrictions, and the face value of the ticket.

“Our advisers can offer free and impartial advice on consumer rights, and by teaming up with Trading Standards Scotland we can report instances for investigation where sellers have not complied with the requirements.”

Fiona Richardson, chief officer of Trading Standards Scotland, said:

“The law clearly sets out the information consumers must be told, and need to know, in order to make informed choices in this market.  We would urge anyone with information about misleading ticket sales, to report this to Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland.  We are committed to working with local authorities and other partners, to take action where the law is being broken.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

consumeradvice.scot is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: freephone 0808 164 6000; online and web chat at www.consumeradvice.scot; and email via advice@consumeradvice.scot

Consumer advisors can provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve consumer problems, inform people of consumer laws which may apply to their situation, provide template letters which consumers can use to contact the trader or service provider they are having issues with, and pass relevant information onto Trading Standards for further investigation. They cannot make a complaint on an individual’s behalf or carry out any legal action on an individual’s behalf.

Trading Standards Scotland is the national team for trading standards in Scotland. The team is funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and managed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA); the representative body of local government in Scotland.  Operationally, TSS undertakes cross boundary and national enforcement work on consumer protection matters in Scotland.  It also has a duty to co-ordinate and assist local authority trading standards teams in taking local action on issues of national significance.

ByQuantum Communications

New tartan showcases UN’s goals

The world’s first tartan celebrating sustainable development goals (SDGs) has been created and presented to the United Nations in New York.

Read some of the media coverage in The National here

The innovative project is designed to help promote the goals worldwide and demonstrate Scotland’s support for the aims, using all 17 colours of the UN’s SDGs.

SDGs are a collection of global goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all which were set by United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

The prototype tartan was the brainchild of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and designed in conjunction with renowned Edinburgh-based kiltmakers Slanj, and has received the support of the Scottish Government.

Along with a letter from the government, the design was this week unveiled to Achim Steiner, the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The prototype tartan will now be reviewed and submitted for entry on The Scottish Register of Tartans, and will later be used for kilts and other products.

In Scotland, the SDGs are implemented as part of the government’s national performance framework.

GEFI brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet. It wants a fairer system of financial management that delivers more than just profit.

It will host a global summit on ethical finance in Edinburgh on October 8 and 9, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivering the keynote speech and a video address by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Chris Tait, Executive Manager of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, said:
“The connection between the UN’s sustainable development goals and Scotland inspired us to create the world’s first SDG tartan.
“This project aims to further promote the goals both in Scotland and worldwide through an easily recognised visual symbol for all the SDGs, which also clearly links to Scottish culture and history by using a tartan.
“It’s the perfect metaphor for the importance of looking at the SDGs as an interconnected unit to build a fairer world, rather than looking at each SDG individually.
“Achim Steiner was delighted with the tartan and said he would be hanging it on his wall.”

In a letter to Mr Steiner, Ben Macpherson MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, wrote:
“Tartan has an iconic status globally and domestically in Scotland, and is instantly recognisable as Scottish. The new SDGs tartan links Scotland’s rich cultural past and our outward facing future together with our core values, historical and contemporary, of fairness and equality.
“It is fitting, therefore, that GEFI have developed this new Tartan as a symbol of Scotland’s dedication to achieving and promoting the SDGs both at home and overseas.”

Brian Halley, managing director of Slanj, said:
“It has been an honour for Slanj to work on the SDG tartan and products with the GEFI team.
“We hope that this wonderfully vibrant tartan design can help highlight and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

NOTES

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be found here: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

More information on the Global Ethical Finance Initiative is available here: https://www.globalethicalfinance.org/

The tartan is using all 17 colours of the SDGs. The colours for the tartan were carefully chosen: the thicker horizontal stripes are the for the SDGs representing the biosphere – SDG6, SDG13, SDG14, SDG15. They are horizontal as they are the fundamental basis for all the other SDGs that cut across them. The thicker vertical stripes represent SDG8 – SDG most important for financial services, SDG10 and SDG17 – representing the importance of partnerships globally and for achieving the aims of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative.

What is the Global Ethical Finance Initiative?
The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.
It brings together the world’s business, political, and social leaders to build a fairer finance system for people and the planet.

What is ethical finance?
A fairer system of financial management that combines profit with better outcomes for people and the planet.

Why does ethical finance matter?
Although ethical finance is not a new concept the financial crisis has led to a growing interest in sustainability, climate change and social justice. This has seen a collective desire to create a fairer, more inclusive and responsible global financial system.
Trust in banks is diminishing and today’s generation of consumers believes that investment decisions should reflect the issues they care about. Ethical finance in the UK is valued at around £40billion, creating thousands of sustainable job opportunities.
Today, with the world facing a climate emergency there is a pressing need to develop environmentally sustainable financial solutions.