Triodos Bank

Last updated
Triodos Bank N.V.
Public, not listed
Industry Financial services
Founded1980
Headquarters Zeist, Netherlands
Key people
Peter Blom, CEO
Products Sustainable banking
Revenue 266.2 million (2018) [1]
€38.6 million (2018) [1]
AUM €15.543 billion (2018) [1]
Number of employees
1,427 (2018) [1]
Website www.triodos.com
Triodos bank in Zeist, Netherlands Triodos Zeist B.jpg
Triodos bank in Zeist, Netherlands

Triodos Bank N.V. is a bank based in the Netherlands with branches in Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain. It claims to be a pioneer in ethical banking. Triodos Bank finances companies which it thinks add cultural value and benefit both people and the environment. That includes companies in the fields of solar energy, organic farming or culture. The name Triodos is derived from the Greek "τρὶ ὁδος - tri hodos," meaning "three roads" (people, planet, profit). Triodos Bank's balance sheet was worth EUR 5.3 billion by the end of 2012. [2] The bank was founded as an anthroposophical initiative and continues to honor the work of Rudolf Steiner as the inspiration for its approach to banking. [3] [4]

Bank financial institution

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. In the northern parts of the country, Low German is also spoken.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Contents

Savers can open conventional savings accounts, as well as ethical funds and venture capital. Triodos also has an active international department, supporting microfinance initiatives across the developing world. Triodos is the only commercial bank in the UK to provide an annual list of all the loans the bank has made. [5]

Savings account type of account maintained by retail financial institutions

A savings account is a deposit account held at a retail bank that pays interest but cannot be used directly as money in the narrow sense of a medium of exchange. These accounts let customers set aside a portion of their liquid assets while earning a monetary return.

Microfinance is a category of financial services targeted at individuals and small businesses who lack access to conventional banking and related services. Microfinance includes microcredit, the provision of small loans to poor clients; savings and checking accounts; microinsurance; and payment systems. Microfinance services are designed to reach excluded customers, usually poorer population segments, possibly socially marginalized, or geographically more isolated, and to help them become self-sufficient.

In 1980 Triodos launched the first "green fund", a fund for environmentally friendly projects, on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. [6] Friends of the Earth in the Netherlands claims that transferring 10,000 euros in savings from a "climate laggard" such as ABN Amro to Triodos will effectively result in a carbon dioxide emissions saving equivalent to what would be achieved by not driving a car for six months. [7] The bank compensates 100% of its own CO2 emissions. [8]

Friends of the Earth International network of environmental movements

Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) is an international network of environmental organizations in 74 countries.

Triodos took over the British ethical bank Mercury Provident in 1994. [9]

Mercury Provident was the first British ethical bank, noted for its "Target Accounts" which allowed depositors to select a rate of interest and a field to invest in. It was founded in 1974 and merged with Triodos Bank in 1994.

As of 2019, Triodos Bank has 715.000 customers worldwide. [10]

The bank operations and customer relations are mainly based on the web, but adapt to local customs. In Spain, for example, physical offices are preferred by the clients and therefore several commercial offices have been opened in the major towns.

Policy

Triodos Bank maintains the following policy concerning the financial activities and investments:

Criteria for lending [11]

Triodos is unusual in that it only lends to businesses and charities judged to be of social or ecological benefit. [12] [13] [14] This "positive screening" extends its policies beyond those of ethical banks which solely avoid investing in companies judged to be doing harm ("negative screening"). [15] [16] The bank uses money deposited by close to 100,000 savers and lends it to hundreds of organisations, such as fair trade initiatives, organic farms, cultural and arts initiatives, renewable energy projects, and social enterprises.

Fair trade form of trade

Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. Members of the fair trade movement advocate the payment of higher prices to exporters, as well as improved social and environmental standards. The movement focuses in particular on commodities, or products which are typically exported from developing countries to developed countries, but also consumed in domestic markets most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, wine, sugar, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold. The movement seeks to promote greater equity in international trading partnerships through dialogue, transparency, and respect. It promotes sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers in developing countries. Fair trade is grounded in three core beliefs; first, producers have the power to express unity with consumers. Secondly, the world trade practices that currently exist promote the unequal distribution of wealth between nations. Lastly, buying products from producers in developing countries at a fair price is a more efficient way of promoting sustainable development than traditional charity and aid.

Organic farming Method of agriculture meant to be environmentally friendly

Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. Certified organic agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total in Australia. Organic farming continues to be developed by various organizations today. It is defined by the use of fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. Organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. For instance, naturally occurring pesticides such as pyrethrin and rotenone are permitted, while synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are generally prohibited. Synthetic substances that are allowed include, for example, copper sulfate, elemental sulfur and Ivermectin. Genetically modified organisms, nanomaterials, human sewage sludge, plant growth regulators, hormones, and antibiotic use in livestock husbandry are prohibited. Reasons for advocation of organic farming include advantages in sustainability, openness, self-sufficiency, autonomy/independence, health, food security, and food safety.

Renewable energy energy that is collected from renewable resources

Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy often provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.

"[Triodos] does not lend to organisations, businesses and projects that are directly involved for more than 5% of its activities in non-sustainable products and services or non-sustainable working processes. Triodos Bank will however, to the best of its knowledge, exclude all organisations, businesses and activities that produce or distribute nuclear energy, weapons, fur, pornography and environmentally hazardous substances" [17] [13]

Transparency

Triodos "publish details of every organisation [they] lend to, and invest in". [18] The bank displays its annual report online for loans and funds entrusted, which highlights key Triodos Bank facts and figures. [19]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2018". Triodos Bank. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  2. "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012" . Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  3. Triodos Bank, Articles of Association 2017
  4. https://www.triodos.com/downloads/about-triodos-bank/corporate-governance/articles-of-association-triodos-bank.pdf
  5. "Guide to savings accounts". February 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-16.
  6. Visscher, Marco (Jan–Feb 2006). "Banking on Change". Odemagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15.
  7. "Green campaigner sees red over those eco-unfriendly big banks". The Guardian . London. 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  8. "Triodos Bank Annual Report 2012: Key Figures" . Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  9. Paul Gosling, "Ethical banks to merge", The Independent, 30 January 1994
  10. "Jaarresultaten 2018" (in Dutch). Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  11. "Lending Strategy of Triodos".
  12. "Fair Finance Guide on Triodos (Belgium)".
  13. 1 2 "Fair Finance Guide Netherlands on Triodos".
  14. "Fair Finance Guide Germany on Triodos".
  15. Haurant, Sandra (2004-03-04). "Put your money where your mouth is". The Guardian . London. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
  16. "Triodos Bank named 'Sustainable Bank of the Year' by Financial Times (2009)".
  17. https://www.triodos.co.uk/downloads/our-approach-to-lending.pdf
  18. "Why we're different: 100% transparent". www.triodos.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  19. "Key Figures". www.triodos.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-23.

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