SCOTS are being asked to consider the moral implications of their financial decisions as part of a national drive to encourage ethical saving and investing.

Religious leaders, entrepreneurs and financial advisers are supporting Good Money Week, which kicks off tomorrow, in the hope it will bolster their efforts to create a more virtuous financial system in Scotland.

The Church of Scotland is galvanising its ministers to preach about the initiative, having held a high-powered conference in Glasgow earlier this month to raise awareness.

Scott Murray, director of Edinburgh-based Virtuo Wealth, said: "The public debate about ethical finance is finally filtering down towards the retail market. Consumers routinely ask whether they should buy fair trade chocolate, so why not do the same with their Isa?"

Julian Parrott, partner at advisory firm Ethical Futures in Edinburgh, said the campaign's change of name from Ethical Investment Week heralds a greater awareness of banking, insurance and saving options for conscientious consumers.

He added: "There is also a nascent market in social impact investment as well as community and peer-to-peer investments, particularly with a focus on environmental projects."

Indeed, investors can now support worthy businesses directly through Crowdcube, a crowd-funding site which has just set up its first office in Scotland.

Craig McKenna, director for north of the border, said: "Crowdfunding allows individuals to decide exactly where they want to invest.

"We do not accept any firms that could be classed as unethical as they would not be well received by our investors."

Campaigners also stress that ethical investing is not just a case of weeding out sinful stocks from investment choices. Mr Murray said: "What we are trying to encourage is a form of positive and proactive investment, where clients support companies concerned with safety, good human rights and global infrastructure."

Research by Triodos Bank, a big player in the ethical finance market, found that the majority of Scots - 79 per cent - would like to see their money invested in socially responsible or environmental enterprises.

The National Association of Pension Funds has also found the majority of scheme members it surveyed - 68 per cent - would rather see their pension invested in companies that have an "ethical stance".

But this may be easier said than done. Jason Hollands, managing director at financial planning firm Tilney Bestinvest, said: "The reality is that most businesses do not neatly fit into a black or white definition of good or bad.

"This means the largest holdings of most ethical funds are littered with well recognised big companies, including banks, insurers, utilities and healthcare companies.

"That can leave those expecting to see their cash funnelled into social impact projects and renewable energy firms a little deflated."

Mr Hollands said some ethical funds have the flexibility to change their approach if they come under enough pressure from concerned investors and independent committees appointed to review their strategies.

He explained: "Ethical or responsible investing is all about navigating through the shades of grey and identifying companies that are 'best of breed' for corporate responsibility and then 'engaging' with investee companies on social, environmental and corporate governance issues."

Mr Hollands added that investors should monitor all their funds for changes in ethical policies, and to consider their moral position on issues which are treated differently by specialist ethical funds.

For instance, the Kames Ethical Equity and Ethical Corporate Bond funds avoid companies involved with animal testing, yet other funds invest in large pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline which allow animal testing as an aid to vital medical research.

Mr Parrott believes there should be better banking services for the ethically-minded, though he still recommends the Co-operative Bank for everyday current accounts.

The scandal-hit mutual has revamped its ethical policy and launched an eye-catching TV advertising campaign. Mr Parrott said: "Look at your existing bank to see how it stacks up in terms of the service but also the degree to which it has a cohesive ethical policy.

"You may find that you are happy to take a pragmatic approach and bank with an institution which focuses on personal lending or mortgage lending, like TSB or Nationwide Building Society."

He added that workers can request to be enrolled in an ethical pension fund and those in final salary schemes should ask trustees if they have ethical considerations in their statements of investment principles.