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Home Finance Over half of Brits wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in companies owned or based in Russia

Over half of Brits wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in companies owned or based in Russia

by Jessica Weisman-Pitts
iStock 1373675940

Over a fifth of the population wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in anything

Only 2 in 5 who feel bad about certain investments would actually sell them

Gen Z are the least guilty generation about any investments, including Russian ones

3, May, 2022 LONDON – 

Over half of Brits (54%) said they wouldn’t feel guilty if they found out any of their investments were supporting Russian companies and/or companies operating in Russia according to a new report by finder.com, a personal finance comparison website.

This includes 59% of the population who wouldn’t feel bad about investing in a Russian-owned company.

More broadly, over a fifth of Brits (22%) said they wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in any sector at all.

This includes 88% who wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in oil companies, 86% for meat farming, while around 3 in 4 Brits (74%) wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in tobacco companies and 68% wouldn’t feel guilty about investing in weapons manufacturers.

Even though the UK has relatively high awareness and support for the COVID vaccine programme, 7% of respondents still said they would feel guilty about investing in a vaccine company – the equivalent of 3.6 million people.

Talking the talk…

Despite the majority of Brits (78%) saying they would feel guilty about owning investments in certain areas, when pressed on whether this would actually lead them to selling these investments, only 2 in 5 (40%) said they would do so.

This also includes around 3 in 10 (31%) of those who say they would sell guilty investments but don’t currently know how to do this.

An additional 18% said they wouldn’t sell guilty investments due to not knowing how to do this, while 3 in 10 (30%) said they are ‘unsure’ if they would sell anything.

A generational divide

There appears to be an age divide in terms of attitudes to investing in Russian based or owned companies. Gen Z are the least guilty about investing in Russia, with around 3 in 4 (74%) saying they wouldn’t feel in the wrong if they did so. This is significantly more than baby boomers, with 47% of their cohort saying they wouldn’t feel guilt, while half (50%) of the silent generation wouldn’t feel bad.

Gen Z and millennials are also the generations least likely to feel guilt at investing in certain industries. Only around 1 in 6 (16%) Gen Zs would feel bad about doing so and almost 1 in 5 (19%) millennials would.

In contrast, 3 in 10 (30%) of the silent generation say they would feel guilty as would a similar amount of baby boomers (28%).

To see the report in full, visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/pensions#inv-report

Commenting on the findings, Zoe Stabler DipFA, investment specialist at finder.com, said:

“There is a clear disconnect between the public’s sentiment and their actions. Many seem to have guilt about the idea of owning certain investments but aren’t prepared to actually sell, or they don’t know how to sell and some don’t have plans to learn, either. This inertia isn’t helped by many funds and pensions, in particular, not providing a clear breakdown of exactly what stocks, sectors or countries are included in their plans.

“Despite this, there are some investors who are voting with their feet – our report last year found that 28% of investors and potential investors would choose ethical investments even if they didn’t perform as well as other investments.


Finder commissioned Censuswide to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+, between 21/04/22 and 25/04/22. A total of 2,002 people were questioned throughout the UK, with representative quotas for gender, age and region