OP: Demand for responsible investing on the rise during the corona crisis

Demand for OP’s sustainability themed funds has increased at an accelerating pace. There were nearly three times as many new unitholders in the spring than in the same period last year. Sustainability themed funds are now among OP’s most popular funds.

An increasing number of Finnish investors now emphasise responsibility in their portfolios. The growing interest is a sign of the prevailing debate in society and Finnish investors’ values. OP already offers four sustainability themed funds: OP-Sustainable World, OP-Climate, OP-Clean Water and OP-Low-carbon World. The number of unitholders in sustainability themed funds has increased by more than 150 per cent over the past three years.

‘For many customers, sustainability themed funds are the easiest way to start responsible investing. Curbing climate change, producing low-emission energy and ensuring the sufficiency of clean water also constitute profitable business for many companies, says Tuomas Virtala, Head of Asset Management for Corporate and Institutional Customers, OP Corporate Bank plc.

The coronavirus pandemic has not eroded investors’ confidence in responsibility; on the contrary, many people have invested in sustainable businesses amidst the crisis. For example, the number of new unitholders in OP’s sustainability themed funds nearly tripled in the spring from the same period last year. Net outflows from sustainability themed funds were also smaller than from other funds during the market turbulence triggered by the corona crisis, and net inflows were positive with the exception of March. ‘It seems that investments in sustainability themed funds are made for the long haul, and people have confidence in their positive performance. Despite the challenging market environment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the returns of, say, OP-Climate OP-Clean Water were positive over the past 12 months,’ Virtala says.Finns believe that responsible investment is also profitable

At the end of 2019, OP conducted a survey on Finns’ interest in responsible investing. The survey showed that three out of four Finnish private investors were interested in responsible investing, and one-third of the respondents believed that responsible investing is profitable as well.

Altogether 63 per cent of the respondents were unwilling to invest in issuers whose operations are not ethically sound. In addition, 60 per cent of the respondents said they want to invest in companies that are active in areas such as combating climate change.

The information above is based on a survey commissioned by OP on responsible investment. The information was gathered towards the end of 2019 from a total of 1,528 respondents whose investment assets exceed 1,000 euros.

Further information and requests for interviews:

OP Corporate Communications, tel. +358 50 523 9904, viestinta@op.fi