The Association of Christian Financial Advisers (ACFA) is supporting legal moves to stimulate increased social investment in the UK.
The House of Lords has proposed amendments to the Financial Services Bill that ACFA hopes could encourage a new wave of social-minded investors.
The amendments, which reached the third day of their report stage yesterday, would allow small-scale investors to support projects that have a clear social benefit.
Aidan Vaughan, spokesman for ACFA, welcomed the move as "unquestionably positive".
The proposed amendments would signal government backing for small-scale investors to pursue social goals, while recognising the potential greater risk to their capital. The proposals follow a year of lobbying by the Social Investment Forum.
"We look forward to product providers developing innovative 'mainstream' products that will generate both investment and social returns whilst still protecting the consumer's interests of security and flexibility," said Aidan Vaughan.
At ACFA's annual conference last week Gavin Francis from specialist social investment consultancy Worthstone said the bill "is an opportunity for financial planning to take an even more pivotal role - placing capital where it will produce both a positive financial impact and a positive financial return".
The proposed bill would:
• ensure appropriate regulation of social investment by the new Financial Conduct Authority
• establish a named contact at the regulator responsible for social investment, and
• reduce the regulatory barriers that prevent financial advisers from distributing social investment products
Three funds to watch