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Triodos Bank expands product range with launch of SRI funds

The new Triodos SRI funds are also available through a stocks and shares ISA

29-04-2013 |

  • Triodos Bank expands product range with launch of SRI funds
  • Two SRI (socially responsible investment) funds now offered to UK retail investors
  • Funds combine strong ethical as well as financial performance
  • Also available through a Triodos Ethical Stocks and Shares ISA
  • Triodos is offering a 1% discount on the initial fee until 6 January 2014*
 

The UK Branch of Triodos Bank is expanding its range of investment options with the launch of two Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds**.

The two SRI funds, the Sustainable Pioneer Fund and the Sustainable Equity Fund, will also be available within a Triodos Ethical Stocks and Shares ISA. The Bank also offers a Microfinance fund for high net worth and sophisticated investors only, as well as shares (depository receipts) in the Bank itself. These are in addition to the Bank’s range of cash ISAs and other cash savings accounts.

The SRI funds, managed by Triodos Bank N.V. subsidiary Triodos Investment Management, come with a long track record, having been available in Europe for more than 15 years. Sterling share classes are now being made available for UK investors.

The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer fund is a global equities fund investing in small and medium-sized listed companies - for example, bicycle manufacturer Shimano or medical equipment manufacturer Smith and Nephew - that focus on the sustainable themes of climate protection, healthy living, clean planet or are pioneers in corporate social responsibility.

The Triodos Sustainable Equity fund is a global equities fund investing in best-in class listed companies, such as British Land Company and Whole Foods Market, delivering superior social and environmental performance.

Until 6 January 2014 Triodos Bank is offering a 1% discount on the funds’ initial fee. During the discounted period the fee will be 3%, after which it will revert to 4%. The annual management charge is estimated as 1.25% for the Sustainable Pioneer Fund and estimated as 1% for the Sustainable Equity Fund. The minimum investment is £1,000 per fund.

Huw Davies, head of personal banking at Triodos Bank commented: “These funds combine strong financial performance with expertise in integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the investment selection process.”

The screening process takes a zero tolerance approach on five activities, completely excluding all investments in nuclear power, unconventional oil and gas, hazardous materials and weapons. Triodos Investment Management then selects from each sector the 50% best performing companies regarding their environmental, social and governing policies and activities. On top of this selection process Triodos Bank applies its minimum standards to create an investment universe of around 348 companies available for investment. Only 22% of all Large Caps pass Triodos’ rigorous screening process. 
As a sustainable fund manager, transparency is key. Triodos strives to be fully transparent about the projects and companies it invests in, publishing details of all investments on its website. This commitment to transparency is valued by customers and recognised globally in the sustainable investment market, receiving the high rankings of UNPRI. 

The funds are well received by ethical IFAs. Lisa Hardman of Investing Ethically commented: “It is great to see a progressive and trusted bank like Triodos bringing a range of investment funds into the mainstream ethical investment space. With the growth and interest in ethically screened investments in the UK, new funds give the retail investor more choice and opportunity. This is to be welcomed and encouraged. Our clients really support the active engagement on SRI issues which some fund managers undertake, so they will like the engagement approach adopted by the Triodos SRI funds. We look forward to recommending the funds to clients.”

Triodos Investment Management engages with companies before, during and after the selection process believing that even a small change in the policy or practices of a major company can make a significant global impact. In the case of arms manufacturers and traders, Triodos has been able to begin to effect change in the sector through engagement with the banks and asset managers that finance it. As a result of ongoing dialogue with several banks a number of them have reviewed their policies and are developing or refining blacklists. A few banks immediately sold disputed investments as a result of Triodos’ research team’s engagement. Such engagement results in some arms producers’ ability to attract new investors, which in turn can limit the arms industries’ activities.

Davies added: ‘We challenge UK investors to consider the impact of where they choose to invest, in the same way as thousands of savers have moved their money to more sustainable and ethical alternatives. The more money entrusted to our SRI funds, the more pressure we can apply on businesses to improve their sustainability performance.

The Triodos Sustainable Equity Fund delivered a return of 14.3% (R-cap share class) over the past year and has out-performed its benchmark (Morningstar large-Cap Blend Equity) over one and three years. This fund has a three-star Morningstar rating. The Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund (benchmarked against Morningstar Global Small/Mid Cap Equity) delivered returns of 9.3% (R-cap share class) over the last year. The Sustainable Pioneer Fund has a two-star Morningstar rating. These past performance figures relate to a Euro share class that will not be available to UK investors.

Investors wanting more information should call Triodos on 0800 328 2181, or can find information online at www.triodos.co.uk or speak to their IFA.

ENDS

For further information, comment or case studies, please contact:
Lisa Stanley lisa.stanley@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9721
Faye Holst faye.holst@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9584
Will Ferguson william.ferguson@triodos.co.uk 0117 980 9770

*Fee discount offer was extended on 16-09-2013 from 28 June to 6 January

**About Triodos SRI funds

The funds are offered in the UK via SICAV I sub-funds. The UK share classes are offered in sterling. When comparing returns for these share classes to those generated for the Euro share classes offered to European investors, returns will be affected by currency fluctuations between Sterling and the Euro.

The funds, managed by Delta Lloyd Asset Management, are both also available through the Triodos Ethical Stocks and Shares ISA. Investors can choose from accumulating or income sterling share classes. The estimated annual management charges, are 1.25% for the Sustainable Pioneer Fund and 1% for the Sustainable Equity Fund. The minimum investment is £1,000 per fund. Triodos Bank is offering a discounted initial fee of 3% until 28 June 2013. From that date on the initial fee is 4% though this may change during offer periods or sales. There is a minimum lump sum top-up of £500.

About the Triodos Bank Ethical Stocks and Shares ISAs

Triodos Bank’s Stocks and Shares ISA offer the opportunity to invest tax-free in our two Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Funds. Customers are able to choose to invest in either one or both of our SRI Funds enabling customers to choose how their tax-free investments are being used. The maximum tax free ISA allowance for 2013-2014 is £11,520, if you haven't used your ISA allowance for this year. The favourable tax treatment for ISAs could change.

About Triodos Microfinance Fund

The Microfinance Fund invests in microfinance institutions and banks across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Investing in the Triodos Microfinance Fund is only suitable for "sophisticated" or "high net worth" investors with £10,000 or more to invest. The fund enables low-income households access to basic financial services. Because, like everyone else, people living in poverty need an inclusive range of financial services to run their businesses, build assets, and manage risks. Triodos Bank invests in microfinance to help develop a sustainable financial sector in developing countries.

The Microfinance Fund is a sub-fund of Triodos SICAV II. The value of Triodos Microfinance Fund partly depends on developments in the financial markets or other markets. More about the risks and costs involved in this fund can be found in the Prospectus. Any investment decision should only be made on the basis of the Prospectus and not on any information in this media release. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future.

About Triodos Bank

Triodos Bank only finances enterprises which create social, environmental or cultural added value. Key sectors include organic food and farming, renewable energy, social housing, and fair trade. Transparency is a core value and Triodos publishes details of every business it lends to.  A range of personal savings accounts is offered, and full banking services are available for businesses and charities. Triodos Bank is an independent bank founded in the Netherlands in 1980. Its principles and independence are protected through a special shareholding trust. The UK office opened in 1995 and is based in Bristol.

Triodos Bank offers a range of personal savings accounts as well as other investment opportunities.

Triodos Ethical Stocks & Shares ISA

Invest in our Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) funds, tax-free.

Triodos Socially Responsible Investment Funds

Be part of a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) success story.

Triodos Sustainable Pioneer Fund

Investment fund focusing on innovative sustainable companies

Triodos Sustainable Equity Fund

Global fund investing in sustainable equities

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