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France and The Netherlands lead the way in SRI

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has gained most foothold in France and The Netherlands, as differences across Europe remain enormous.

While France has by far the most assets under management in SRI-labelled retail funds, sustainable investing is most common in The Netherlands, according to a report published by research agency Vigeo.

The report covers socially responsible investing in 13 European countries. It found roughly half of the 957 the funds in these countries which use ethical, social and/or environmental screening in their security selection are domiciled in France and Belgium. France has, next to the largest range of SRI-funds, also most assets under management (€45.6bn) and the highest annual asset growth (+€7.6bn from June 2013 to June 2014). Asset growth in the country was more than twice as high as in the UK, which recorded the second highest absolute growth rate with €3bn. Luxembourg was the only country where SRI-related fund flows showed a decline.

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                                                                                                   Source: Vigeo

Germans remain unengaged

On a relative basis, SRI is most widespread in The Netherlands, where 17.6% of total retail-AuM is invested in mutual funds which are confined to sustainable investments. Germany lags behind in this respect. Sustainable investments only have a market share of 0.6% in the country, and its relative share of the European market has even declined from 8% in 2013 to 7% this year.

Since 2011, the relative share of equities within socially responsible investments has been steadily rising to 56% in 2014, though this varies greatly between countries. While 86% of SRI-investments in Sweden are in equities, this is only 35% in Germany and a mere 3% in Spain. 

Click here to read the whole report.

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