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Responsible investing

Achieving your financial goals is important – but so is our environment, community and your personal values.

See our commitments

What is responsible investing?

Everyone's definition of responsible investing is different. Some people want to avoid doing harm. Others want to avoid industries that don’t align with their values. And some want to use their funds to actively make the world a better place. At the same time, everyone wants a strong return on their investment.

Our responsible investment approach

At ASB, we believe being responsible means two things. First, we invest your money to achieve the best possible financial outcome for you. That could be achieving a strong return, preserving your capital, or a balance of the two. Second, we need to choose investments that are legal and that align to the ethical and environmental values of our community.

To achieve these two priorities, we will use these principles:

Transparency — no surprises in your investments

It's your money, so you need to be able to see where it's invested. Whenever possible, you should also be able to see the funds environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. If you have fund's in the ASB KiwiSaver Scheme, ASB Investment Funds  or ASB Superannuation Master Trust, our online tool can show you where we’ve invested your money. 

Check your investments

Integration – being responsible in everything we do

We've built responsible investing into our investment beliefs. Our investment beliefs are the principles that guide all our decisions when it comes to investing your money.

This means we incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance considerations into our investment analysis and decision making process.

The following are ESG characteristics we take into account when making investment decisions:

Environmental – how well do they treat the earth?

Measures a company’s energy use, waste, pollution, natural resource conservation and treatment of animals. It also evaluates any environmental risks that could affect the company’s long-term income, and how the company manages those risks.

Social – how well do they treat their stakeholders and communities?

Measures how well a company works with its suppliers, its workers, the community and its other stakeholders. Businesses need to use their financial influence to create positive outcomes for all of these areas.

Governance – how well do they run their business?

Does the business operate in a transparent, above-board way? Do they use accurate and transparent accounting methods, and give all shareholders the right to vote on important issues? Do they avoid conflicts of interest in board members and employment practices? Do they operate legally and without corruption? 

Exclusion – doing no harm

Responsible investing means bringing together both financial and values based considerations when making investment decisions.

In saying that, we exclude some investments, regardless of their financial performance, based on our exclusion framework. Some of the considerations we take into account when deciding to exclude an investment are:

  • If international conventions oppose or New Zealand laws prohibit investment in an industry, such as manufacturers of cluster bombs, land mines or nuclear weapons
  • If its activities are opposed to our own purpose and values
  • If our peers in New Zealand have excluded an investment or its industry
  • If the majority of our customers that we survey have a strong desire not to invest in it or its industry

Exclusion list

Engagement – actively doing good

When you invest with ASB, our underlying investment managers use your funds to buy shares in different companies.

Those investment managers, such as Blackrock, actively engage with those companies as shareholders.

They vote at shareholder meetings on our behalf, and use those votes to move companies toward more responsible and sustainable practices.

See Blackrock's engagement report

Alternate products – the future of responsible investing at ASB

Responsible investing is a fast-moving field. We know we need to work hard to keep up with the demands of you and our other customers.

It won't always be enough to simply exclude bad companies or vote to improve others. Many people also want us to focus our investments in companies that are actively improving our world, even if it means accepting different financial outcomes.

We're looking at options in this space now, to take our responsible investing to the next level.

Register for updates

A long-term commitment to responsible investing

ASB is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment. That commits us as an organisation to enhancing our responsible investing practices, and contributing to developing a more sustainable global financial system.

More guides on investing with ASB

Choosing where to invest

Whether you're a seasoned investor or just starting out, ASB offers a wide range of investments and resources that you’d expect from a bank that’s committed to helping you find the best solution.

Investment options

If you're an experienced investor, or just starting out, ASB offers a wide range of investment options to suit your individual needs.

What a Wealth Manager can do for you

Recently inherited money, sold a business or have significant savings you'd like to grow further? With such big decisions to make and a lot at stake, you might want to get professional investment advice from an ASB Wealth Manager. Here’s what to expect.

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