At the heart of our work Triodos Bank lends money to sustainable enterprises, building lasting solutions to our biggest social, environmental and cultural challenges. A focus in this area in 2010 led to significant increases, and widespread positive impact. From a business perspective this is also important as Triodos Bank manages the balance between growing deposits, and actively using the money entrusted to it.
Importantly, we met our target to lend 70% of funds entrusted. Overall lending grew by EUR 467 million in 2010, up 28%, against a target of between 35% and 40%.
In the UK, Triodos Bank made net new loans of GBP 62.8 million, up over 25%. The UK branch now lends more than GBP 300 million. The same figure increased markedly in the other branches too with particular growth in organic farming, renewable energy and social sectors in Spain. In Germany approximately EUR 24 million of new loans were made with a significant pipeline for the future, notably in organic farming. And the organisations reached some notable milestones. In Belgium Triodos Bank financed its 150th wind turbine. Increased lending was most marked in renewable energy and care for the elderly sectors, and sustainable private mortgages. While lending was slightly below target in the Netherlands, the branch attracted 4,000 new business customers – as both borrowers and current account customers.
Provisions, or the money Triodos Bank puts aside to cover potential losses when there is a serious doubt about a borrower’s capacity to repay a loan, increased in 2010 by EUR 10 million. This is relatively high compared to the historical average and reflects the impact of the downturn on the whole economy. However, Triodos Bank’s provisions remain relatively low compared to other banks.