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Christianity is DEAD

Thursday, 12 Nov 2009 by lee | 0 Comments

Christianity in the UK is dead

– long live Shari-ah

In a quite staggering announcement from the head of the Government’s new Pensions body (Personal Accounts Delivery Authority), it appears that there is no demand from the UK population for investments that are based on Christian values – one assumes that this must be in some way an official UK Government view. For this reason, there will be no investment funds available under the Personal Accounts regime from 2012 that will give Christian investors the opportunity to invest in line with their principles – no demand and therefore no point in having a fund.
On the other hand, when Personal Accounts are launched in 2012 it will be possible for those who would like to invest with Shari-ah principles to choose a special Shari-ah fund for their investments. This is a wonderful step for the broad Muslim community and we applaud PADA for making the investment opportunity available. It is, however, somewhat disappointing to hear that Christianity is officially a spent force, not generating enough interest and support to warrant a pension fund based on Christian values.
At Ethical Investors, we firmly support the principle of inclusion, rather than exclusion, which is why we take issue with the apparent lack of imagination of PADA and the complete lack of choice for responsible investors. When compulsory pension payments for employees starts in 2012, large numbers of individuals from all faiths, and none, will be forced to compromise their principles by being denied access to ethical pension funds (other than the Shari-ah option).
With less than 3 years to go before Personal Accounts go live, we do hope the Government will be able to exert some pressure on PADA to offer a broad range of ethically screened funds, but it might be a rather forlorn hope on our part. If the PADA view is correct, then maybe it is we at Ethical Investors that need to accept that people don’t want to invest ethically – a bit of a shame as that’s all we’ve advised on for the last 20 years. As we move into our 21st year, however, all the evidence we have is that more and more people are choosing to invest ethically and responsibly. In this case, maybe PADA have got it wrong – very wrong.

What now?

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