London-based Barclays Global Investors  has requested permission to launch an exchange-traded fund that tracks the primary socially responsible index: the Domini 400.

The application, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August, says the find will be called the iShares KLD 400, according to SocialFunds.com.

At the same time, the Green Century Equity Fund filed a proxy statement seeking permission to stop investing in the Domini Social Equity Fund, so that it can track the Domini Social Index. With the coming of an ETF, known for their lower fees, Green Century also dropped its expense ratio by 0.55% to 0.95%. 

Socially responsible investing has been criticized for its more-expensive-than-average investment products. Earlier this year, for example, the Domini Social Equity Fund converted from passive to active management, increasing its costs and scaring off investors.

Barclays did not include its expected expense ratio in its filing. The Barclay's managed iShares KLD Select Social Index Fund, which was launched last year and tracks the KLD Research & Analytics index, charges 0.50%.

"The maturity of the SRI market to include investment organizations such as Barclays will only continue to put downward  competitive pressure on fees, which we see as good news and overdue," said Jeff Peterson,  managing director Petersen Hastings Investment Management, in Kennewick, Wa.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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