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January 22, 2010    

Ethical bank Triodos reports “phenomenal” growth

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by David Masters

Ethical bank Triodos reported a record year for its UK operations in 2009, with lending and commitments growing by 73%.

During 2009 the bank loaned nearly £250 million to organisations in the UK delivering social, environmental or cultural benefits.

Bevis Watts, the bank’s head of business banking, said the surge in lending for 2009 was “phenomenal”.

Environmental enterprise was a strong growth area for the bank, with lending to environmental businesses growing 30% to £73 million, and lending and other commitments growing by over 200%.

Onshore wind energy projects and waste processing facilities were the two main growth areas, Triodos said.

Lending to the farming and food sector also increased, growing 14% to over £52 million.

Organic farming was the largest growth area in this sector, with lending growing 30% to £32 million.

Regionally, lending in Scotland increased 54% to £37 million, while lending in Wales grew 44% to over £20 million.

“Several factors have fuelled the growth, including Triodos’ strong position and ability to lend, and increasing demand for sustainable banking,” Watts said.

“We’ve also seen continued growth in several of our core markets, and have diversified into key new environmental and social markets.”

He added that the bank expects to increase its lending “significantly” in the year ahead.

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