December 10, 2013
Comic Relief has been forced to defend its investment policy after it emerged that millions of pounds donated to the charity went towards buying shares in tobacco, alcohol and arms firms.
The investigation, carried out by the BBC Panorama programme, claims that the charity has invested in ethically questionable industries when researchers said they had identified “several” funds which had fared better financially by avoiding such businesses.
Researchers claimed that they had found a number of ethically screened funds which outperformed Comic Relief’s portfolio for the past three years. Many well-known charities avoid investing in companies which may be in conflict with their stated humanitarian aims.
The investigation found that the charity invested £630,000 in shares in leading weapons manufacturer BAE Systems, despite repeatedly committing itself to helping ‘people affected by conflict’.
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