Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:22 pm on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Paul Howell Paul Howell Conservative, Sedgefield 12:22 pm, 11th September 2020

I endorse the fact that investments can go up and can go down. My concern here is more about the degree of innovation as opposed to the impact itself: the more we are at the innovative end or at the cutting edge of any procedure, the more risk there is, and particularly for credit unions I am not sure that such risk is the right thing.

The point is that it would be beyond disappointing should a Bill promoting environmentally sustainable investment resulted in the creation of a hidden inappropriate risk profile for the small saver in a credit union. Such savers could be misled into believing, just because their investment was environmentally sustainable—however positive that is—that it was not more risky than normal, and they might therefore prefer it. I am concerned that that could happen.

Credit unions are an incredibly important facility supporting members of our society, and it is critical that nothing is done that would undermine their credibility. I hope this could be fully explored should the Bill make further progress, and I commend the hon. Member for Cardiff North for bringing it forward.