Supervisory Board report

Triodos Bank is the only independent, sustainable bank offering a wide range of integrated lending and investment opportunities for sustainable sectors in a number of European countries. In this sense it is unique. Its governance structure reflects this uniqueness, and the Supervisory Board is an integral part of it.

The Supervisory Board’s primary responsibility is the supervision and review of the development of Triodos Bank’s operations while fulfilling its mission.

Highlights 2010

2010 continued to be a difficult economic year for many European countries, and for many developing countries. Austerity measures in much of Europe started to impact on people’s livelihoods, and led to changes to Government policy and in many cases diminishing financial support for the sustainability sector. In this challenging environment, the Board is pleased that Triodos Bank has been able to continue to grow and develop.

The Supervisory Board and the Executive Board discussed the development of the organisation’s activities in the context of a continuing economic downturn at several meetings during the year. This includes the balance between growth in savings and loans, which includes its impact on profitability. In this context, but not limited to this particular issue, Triodos Bank’s return on equity will require further attention in the near future. In the view of the Board Triodos Bank’s profitability is key for its further growth.

Several discussions also took place to explore Triodos Bank’s role as an opinion leader, and as a catalyst to stimulate public debate on sustainable banking and the sustainability agenda in general. The organisation’s wider influence continues to grow in all the countries where it’s active and it has become part of broader debates beyond these borders. The Board recognises the importance of this work and expects it to continue to develop and grow.

The Banking Code came into force in The Netherlands on 1 January 2010. Triodos Bank complied with most of the requirements of the Code prior to 2010. When it did not comply it explained why not, as the code requires. Triodos Bank values the Code very highly and puts effort in to implementing it. As a result, members of the Executive Board and all managing directors have signed a Banker’s Oath, required by the Code. Triodos Bank has made the oath an integral part of its business principles, and the Supervisory Board has monitored this process.

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