Triodos Bank, Europe's leading sustainable bank with Scottish operations based in Edinburgh, has increased lending to Scottish businesses by 40 per cent in 2017, indicating strong growth for ethical banking in Scotland. Lending to the healthcare sector has increased sevenfold and loans to housing associations increased by 55 per cent. Total Scottish lending across all sectors has now risen to £148m from £105.5m in 2016.
Operating in Scotland since 1995, Triodos uses money in a way that serves individuals and local communities by using bank loans to create positive social, environmental and cultural change. Triodos lends twice as much in Scotland than Scots deposit with the bank, creating a net positive effect of money into the Scottish economy.
Last year, Triodos launched the UK's most sustainable current account, offering customers the opportunity to use their everyday banking as a means of creating positive change in their community. The bank is now focussing on growing deposits with Scottish customers to further grow lending to Scottish businesses.
Bevis Watts, managing director of Triodos Bank UK, said: "Scotland has always been a seedbed of social, cultural and environmental innovation, nurturing a strong arts and culture sector, a dynamic social movement, and is now a hub for renewable energy throughout the UK. We want more people and organisations in Scotland to support these sectors through using their money for positive good".
"We are a net lender in Scotland and we hope to grow the savings side of our business. We've recently launched a new current account in the UK, the most sustainable personal current account ever brought to the UK market. Through an interactive mobile app and website people can literally see where we lend their money and how their money can have a positive difference. As we grow our savings in Scotland, we can support more Scottish businesses and charities."
Triodos lends to a number of sectors core to the creation of a more sustainable society. Further 2017 lending highlights include:
- A sevenfold increase in lending to sustainable healthcare, totalling £16.1 million,
- A 55 per cent increase in lending to housing associations, to £18.8 million, and;
- A 15 per cent increase in lending to renewable energy, to £79 million.
Other sectors include organic food, arts & culture, and community projects.
One landmark loan for 2017 was to Advanced Specialist Care (ASC), part of the Balhousie Care Group. The Perth-based organisation looks after about 900 residents in its 25 care homes. To address challenges like rising operating costs, Balhousie created ASC to operate all specialist care activities across the group, focussing primarily on care for people with learning disabilities and autism. This restructuring will ensure a positive and fulfilling life, based on choice and opportunities for ASC residents.
Tony Banks, founder and chairman of Balhousie Care Group said: "Since we set up our first care home 25 years ago, there has never been a limit to our ambitions. Throughout the restructure, Triodos Bank took the time to understand our business, our people and our strategy in specialist care. As a result, we now have the opportunity to invest much more in key areas of improvement including environments and people."
This year, Triodos Bank also became the first bank in the UK to launch its own crowdfunding platform (www.triodoscrowdfunding.co.uk), offering a range of crowdfunding opportunities enabling people to invest directly in organisations delivering positive social and environmental impacts. Having raised more than £130 million to fund over 50 impact projects in the last 15 years, Triodos works with Scottish projects like Coigach Community Development Company. The project is currently raising investment capital to fund a wind turbine that will create economic benefit for their remote community in the Scottish Highlands.
Iain Muir, director of Coigach Community CIC, said: "Community energy is a great way of generating funds for the benefit of the local community. Triodos Bank is a natural partner for us as they combine financial and renewable energy expertise with a commitment to business as a means of benefiting the community."
UK wide, Triodos lends over £800m to organisations and projects ranging from charities, community schemes and social housing providers, to organic farmers, homelessness programmes and renewable energy projects; and publishes details of every loan it makes via knowwhereyourmoneygoes.co.uk for complete transparency.
For further information please contact:
About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €14.5 billion (2017) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way. With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.
Triodos Bank NV (incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands with limited liability, registered in England and Wales BR3012). Authorised by the Dutch Central Bank and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. Firm reference number 183366.
Investments offered on the crowdfunding platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell and you may not get back the full amount invested. Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Repayment of capital and interest or payment of dividends will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn't a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether or not to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment. You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.