Social Responsible Investments in Trinidad and Tobago’s Financial Sector: An examination of the barriers and feasibility of introducing SRI into Banks

Rouff, Malika Adanna (2015) Social Responsible Investments in Trinidad and Tobago’s Financial Sector: An examination of the barriers and feasibility of introducing SRI into Banks. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Economic Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman during the first wave of the Global economic crisis in 2008 makes the statement - “The people who assured us that markets work; that the private pursuit of profit always leads to a good result have been massively wrong.”(Hurdle, 2008). The global economic crisis would have drastic impacts. It would cause large financial institutions to collapse while governments in the wealthiest nations in the world bail out financial systems. As such it is within this context that SRI takes front stage as a risk mitigating strategy and as a pathway to sustainability. SRI places ESG factors at the forefront of investment decisions thereby creating an avenue for the financial sector to positively impact on economic and social development.

In the aftermath of the economic crisis, the emphasis has now been on transforming SRI from being a niche market to mainstream. This poses challenges as markets continue to focus on short-term profits. Mainstreaming SRI is especially important when considering the role it plays in reinforcing responsible business practices, which enables a healthier and better functioning society. However proper infrastructures or support mechanisms must be established for SRI to gain centre stage on financial markets. While countries which practice SRI recognize this and have begun creating the necessary platforms to promote SRI, other countries have not yet taken the leap.

This is the case of Trinidad and Tobago. A preliminary research shows that SRI is not a practice within the financial sector. Thus, this dissertation focuses on the introduction of SRI into the country’s banking sector by presenting an analysis of the feasibility and barriers to SRI. The topic is of even greater relevance when considering the risks on the macro and micro level, which can potentially affect the sector. Research conducted through secondary and primary sources confirms that there are barriers to SRI. These barriers are caused for example by a lack of proper operational platforms or uncertainty around the profitability of SRI. There are however some avenues for SRI to enter the market for example, through the influence of foreign owned banks where parent companies practice SRI or through the credit unions. Based on the analysis, the paper highlights some recommendations for future research. For instance, a more in-depth analysis of the financial sector is necessary to determine the attitudes and perspectives from other groups or key actors in the sector towards the practice of SRI.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: ROUFF, MALIKA
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 15:52
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2021 06:56

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