Find out from Ethical Consumer themselves why The Big Exchange ISA was awarded their Ethical Best Buy.
Earlier in the year, The Big Exchange was awarded a Best Buy by Ethical Consumer Magazine. To give our customers and subscribers more information about what this means we asked Ethical Consumer to provide a little more information about who Ethical Consumer are and why The Big Exchange ISA got rated.
In this article, Simon Birch talks to Clare Carlile from Ethical Consumer about why they have made The Big Exchange's Stocks & Shares ISA an ethical and environmental Best Buy.
Sure. Launched more than 30 years ago, Ethical Consumer is an independent co-op which publishes a successful magazine and website. Our goal is to help consumers shop ethically and make businesses more sustainable and ethical through consumer pressure.
In each issue we examine the ethical and environmental track record of the companies behind everyday products and services from bread to banks. Based on these findings we then recommend a number of Best Buys.
ISAs are 'individual savings accounts'. Every year the UK government allows each of us to put up to £20,000 into an ISA without paying income tax on the interest or dividends that you may get from it.
A Stocks & Shares ISA is one such type of account, alongside Cash ISAs and Innovative Finance ISAs for which we have separate shopping guides on our website.
These Stocks & Shares ISAs allow you to invest in companies and act as 'tax-free wrapper' around your investment.
The key ethical factor that sets The Big Exchange apart from other providers of Stocks & Shares ISAs is their transparency which is among the best in the sector. This transparency is crucial as it means that you can see exactly where your money is invested.
Often when you put your money into an ISA it's virtually near impossible to find out exactly what companies you're investing in. So, for example you could be investing in a company such as Shell which is literally fuelling the climate crisis.
Being fully transparent is really important because it allows you to avoid those sectors that you consider to be unethical, such as arms or animal testing industries. It can also give you confidence that when an investment is labelled sustainable it really is, for example, if it’s labelled as contributing to renewable energy, it isn’t a company also invested in fossil fuels.
Basically, the more that a company lets you know, the more you can check and be confident of its ethical credentials. This is why The Big Exchange scores so highly because it publishes detailed criteria about its ethical options and lists all of the companies that the funds invest in.
We really like the fact that their Stocks & Shares ISA is accessible to everyone, especially as we’re all having to deal with the cost-of-living crisis.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford it, you can start investing in the ISA with just £25 a month. Similarly, you can begin investing with a one-off payment of just £100 so you don’t need a huge amount of capital to get started.
The other key factor which makes The Big Exchange a Best Buy is that some investment companies offer just one ethical Stocks & Shares ISA whilst being part of a massive financial business which channels much of their money into areas such as arms and fossil fuels.
The Big Exchange on the other hand is wholly focused on ethical investment and has no links to any “ethically-dodgy” business as its biggest shareholder and co-founder is the Big Issue Group.
This means that the more successful The Big Exchange is, the better the financial benefit may be for The Big Issue Group in the future. While the future cannot be predicted, a successful Big Exchange could result in The Big Issue getting more back from its shareholding to continue the work they do for future generations, society, and homelessness.
A discounted subscription offer for Ethical Consumer is available for Big Exchange customers: 14 months for the price of 12 at £26.95 per year, when paying by Direct Debit.
Use the code bigexchange1 in the notes field on the subscription pages.
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Please remember that when investing, making money is not guaranteed and your capital is at risk. The value of your fund can go down as well as up. Tax treatment depends on an individual’s circumstances and may be subject to change.
This piece has been written in collaboration with The Big Exchange. The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Big Exchange Limited. The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 574048).