HR policy

HR policy and the Banking Code

All co-workers receive an award of 300 EUR in 2011, for their shared contribution to Triodos Bank’s success. (impact statistic)


The Banking Code was drawn up by the Netherlands Bankers’ Association (NVB) in response to ‘Restoring Trust’, a report published by the Advisory Committee on the Future of Banks in April 2009. Please note that all banks in The Netherlands are required to adhere to the Banking Code.

At Triodos Bank business principles guide the organisation in carrying out its mission. So, in the light of this code, Triodos Bank carefully looked at the business principles and adapted them. All co-workers adhere to these principles. They are part of their contract of employment, which was updated in 2010.

Fair remuneration and the regulation on sound remuneration

Triodos Bank believes good and appropriate remuneration for all its co-workers is very important. Differences in remuneration between co-workers, locally and internationally, are carefully monitored.

In 2011 the “Regulation of De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. of 16 december 2010 on Sound Remuneration Policies pursuant to the Financial Supervision Act (Regeling beheerst beloningsbeleid Wft 2011) was implemented.

The aim of this regulation is to ensure that the remuneration policy of co-workers in senior management, control or risk-taking positions, promotes sound and effective risk management and shall not encourage risk-taking in excess of the financial institution’s risk tolerance level. Triodos Bank fully endorses this, but in order to be fully compliant Triodos Bank needs to design and implement formal, sometimes even bureaucratic processes, controls and procedures. This can mean that more controls and procedures create the risk of checking boxes instead of taking responsibility for materially reflecting the intent of the regulations.

Triodos Bank believes that a moderate remuneration policy without bonuses creates a healthy and simple system where there’s limited need for control. With this in mind it has established an international remuneration policy.

Key elements of this policy are:

  • not to offer bonus or share option schemes to either its Board members or co-workers. Financial incentives are not considered an appropriate way to motivate and reward co-workers. Sustainability is, by its very nature, the result of a combined effort by team members aimed at both the short and long term. This is supported by the conclusions and recommendations of the Sustainable Finance Lab, a think tank of senior scientists and academics from various disciplines in The Netherlands. The Sustainable Finance Lab phrases it as follows:

    No bonuses in the financial sector

    “Within banks oriented to the real economy there should be no reward structure that is related to purely financial criteria.

    In a sector such as banking, which is characterised by non-transparency and information asymmetry, these are a poor proxy for clients’ (i.e. investors’, lenders’ and depositors’) interests, which are what is truly at stake. The same applies to intermediaries who sell mortgages and insurance, supervisors such as accountants, and advisors such as lawyers.

    The result- and volume-related reward systems are currently a source of distrust between the sector and the general public. For this reason, bonuses in the financial sector should be abolished (across the board, including those for the Board of Directors). The fixed salary levels in the sector are more than competitive with those in other sectors. Thus, it is unnecessary to compensate for the abolition of bonuses by increasing fixed salaries.

    In this respect, the ball is well and truly in the sector’s court. Such a gesture could restore trust if made voluntarily.”
  • Triodos Bank may provide additional individual awards to co-workers to a maximum of two months’ salary. These contributions are for extraordinary achievements and are at the discretion of management after consultation with Human Resources. Contributions are not based on pre-set targets, and are always offered in retrospect.
  • An annual, collective financial award can be paid for the overall achievements and contribution of all co-workers. This very modest amount is the same for all co-workers and ranges from around EUR 300 to EUR 500 for each co-worker. Co-workers can choose between having this paid in cash or in certificates of Triodos Bank shares. Triodos Bank, as it did last year, granted a collective award to each co-worker of EUR 300, or three depository receipts for shares, for their contribution to the group’s collective achievement in 2011.
  • Fixed salaries should be broadly aligned with market rates to attract and retain the right quality of co-workers. As Triodos Bank operates in the financial market its remuneration needs to be mindful of pay in the wider sector to allow for a healthy in and outflow of co-workers. As a relatively small and fast-growing player in its market Triodos Bank has to be able to recruit excellent co-workers at all levels. Although Triodos Bank strives to stay close to the market, it maintains a relatively flat remuneration structure. This can be challenging when recruiting for more senior positions, where salaries in the market are higher and bonuses more common.
  • The factor by which the maximum salary in the lowest scale and the maximum salary for senior management differ in each country, will be monitored carefully to ensure the discrepancy between the highest and lowest remunerated co-workers is not excessive. In The Netherlands in 2011 the ratio was 9.8 (2010: 8.5). This ratio was lower in other countries due to the smaller size of the offices and because the Triodos Bank Executive Board is based at the head office in The Netherlands. The increase compared to last year is due to a new, lower scale position undertaken by a young co-worker.
  • Severance payments should be modest. If in a country legislation or generally accepted norms are available, these should be followed. Severance payments should, at all times, avoid rewarding underperformance.
Amounts in EUR

# co-workers 2011

Avg of salary 2011

Max of salary 2011

Min of salary 2011

Avg of salary increase

Max of salary increase

Co-workers with Individual token of appreciation

Average of individual token of appreciation (2011)

Max of individual token of appreciation (2011)











Executive director










Senior management










Responsible for control functions










Remuneration bracket of Board and Senior management










Other risk takers




















All co-workers received a collective token of appreciation of EUR 300.
In total EUR 223,106 was paid as severance payments for 8 co-workers. The maximum payment was EUR 85,000.

Works councils

Co-worker councils exist in The Netherlands, but are not a legal requirement in the Belgium, German, Spanish and UK offices currently.

In Spain the works council’s term of office ended in December 2010, and no candidates have run for election since. The branch leadership is evaluating the creation of a non official organism to represent co-worker interests.

In The Netherlands, the council has five members plus an appointed secretary. The works council was involved in the co-worker survey, the introduction of the new salary table, some organisational changes in the Emerging Markets team and policies concerning conditions of employment.

In Belgium works councils are strongly regulated and linked to the unions. The election process to establish one started in the Belgian branch at the end of 2011, and a works council will be established in 2012, if there are any candidates from the unions.

During 2011 United Kingdom branch set up a Co-worker Forum, as the first formal consultative representative body in the UK.

The German branch does not have a formal works council. It has appointed a team as a sparring partner for management and the co-workers and some work groups with subjects like: work-life balance, processes in business banking and innovation to connect co-workers more closely with Triodos Bank.

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