His advisers might be hoping for a similar understanding of their fallibility. Following an interview published Thursday in which the Archbishop said he wanted to “compete” pay day loan company Wonga out of business by creating credit unions “that are much more professional”, it has emerged that the Church has actually invested in Wonga. The stake is indirectly held by one of its pension funds via a U.S. venture capital fund company called Accel Partners.
The Archbishop said on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program this morning that he was “embarrassed” and “irritated” to have discovered the holding.
One might forgive the Archbishop for missing the memo on this.
The Church’s pension funds are not only “committed to managing its assets in a way that reflects the Church’s teaching and values” but are also signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. Its Ethical Investment Advisory Group carries out investment research on behalf of the three national investment bodies of the Church of England, the Church Commissioners for England, the CBF Church of England Funds, and the Church of England Pensions Board.
But keeping track of a fund’s investments might prove trickier than it seems.
Read it all from 2013.