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UK fund trade body wants 'sustainable investment' clarity

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s fund industry trade body on Friday proposed a voluntary product label for sustainable investment funds to help retail investors and their advisers make more informed choices in what is a growth area of the market.

It also wants the industry to agree to the meaning of commonly used terms such as ‘environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration’ and ‘impact investing’, and assess how members currently describe what they do to clients.

The move comes as the European Union discusses rules to tighten up how asset managers behave amid concerns the lack of a framework was misleading investors.

The Investment Association said it would consult with its more than 250 members, who collectively manage 7.7 trillion pounds in assets, and close the consultation on March 1.

“Social and environmental change is happening faster than ever before. The asset management industry is at a critical juncture in embracing sustainability as a defining feature of the investment landscape,” IA Chief Executive Chris Cummings said in a statement.

“With sustainability and responsible investment becoming an increasing priority for today’s investors, this consultation is an important step forward in gathering the views of the industry with the ultimate aim of bringing greater clarity to savers.”

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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