Launch of pioneering investment platform enables anyone to join impact-investing movement

A pioneering investment website, The Big Exchange, has launched with a mission to make everyone’s money count for more. Co-founded by The Big Issue and a coalition of industry partners, The Big Exchange is a simple, online marketplace offering everyone easy access to 36 funds that create positive social and environmental impact run by 11 top fund managers.

According to a 2020 YouGov poll, 54% of people hoped they will make some changes in their own lives and for the country due to the Covid-19 crisis. The Big Exchange provides people with an opportunity to make a positive social and environmental difference with their money, without sacrificing financial returns.

The unique business model brings together a powerful mix of fund managers, global impactinvesting and finance experts, corporates, and social enterprises who recognise the need to drive change.

The website gives customers the opportunity to choose investments that match their values and put them into tax efficient accounts: an ISA for adults and a JISA for children, from as little as £25 a month. There is also a General Investment Account available. Charges are fair and transparent, including 25p a year for every £100 on The Big Exchange with no time-period lock-in.

Customers will be able to choose from individual investments in funds or ready-made selections based on risk. All independently rated options aim to deliver a financial return whilst making a positive social and environmental impact, without one being sacrificed for the other.

The Big Exchange is the first investment service that shows consumers a simple summary of how much positive impact on people’s lives and the environment an investment fund is making through a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating. The Big Exchange analyses how the individual holdings within each fund are contributing to the internationally agreed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’). The 17 global goals have a 2030 action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Only funds that meet The Big Exchange’s criteria for sufficient positive contribution to the SDGs will be allowed on the website.

Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of The Big Exchange and of The Big Issue Group, commented: “We created The Big Exchange to transform the financial system and give the opportunity for everybody with savings to invest in funds that give them a financial return as well as making a positive impact on the world around them. Through the tragic COVID-19 crisis we are seeing more and more people wanting to make their money count for more both for today and for future generations.”

Jill Jackson, Managing Director of The Big Exchange, added: “We’re launching The Big Exchange so people can do better with their savings. Encouraging everyone to do better for themselves, at the same time as doing better for society and the planet. For the first time, regular UK investors will have access to active investments, managed by leading fund managers, and see them independently awarded medals for the extent of positive impact they are creating on people and the planet.”

Campbell Fleming, Director of The Big Exchange said: “The asset management community involved in The Big Exchange have a collective ambition to make sure people in the UK can access positively impactful investments, while aiming to improve their financial future. I was proud to be integral in Aberdeen Standard Investments joining forces with our co-founders, partners, and supporters and be part of a movement creating meaningful social impact – starting with the UK’s first actively managed social, environmental and impact investing platform.” The Big Exchange would welcome new corporate partners and supporters. If you are interested, please do get in touch.

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