The number of investors concerned about greenwashing has grown by 15 per cent in two years, new research by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has found.

The trade body’s annual ESG Attitudes Tracker found that 63 per cent of investors were concerned about greenwashing, up from 48 per cent in 2021.

Overall, the percentage of respondents’ considering ESG (environmental, social and governance) when investing, fell in the same timeframe – down to 53 per cent this year from 65 per cent in 2021.

Of the 47 per cent of investors who do not consider ESG factors when investing, the top reason was to prioritise performance over ESG issues, at 56 per cent.

However just over half (51 per cent) of those asked said they were simply not convinced of the ESG claims made by asset managers.

Richard Stone, AIC chief executive, said: “Our ESG Attitudes Tracker suggests that 2021 may have been a high point for enthusiasm about ESG investing. There is plenty of residual support for the concept, but concerns about greenwashing are increasingly dominating private investors’ mindsets.

“These findings underline the importance of the regulator getting disclosure rules right, in particular the new labelling regime.

“A new regime with high standards that investors can rely on is essential for helping investors who care about ESG find products that align with their values and beliefs.”

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