Triodos Bank’s Executive Board provides a perspective on the wider world it operates in, its impact and activity in 2016 and its prospects for the future.
Influencing the banking industry
- We influence the wider banking industry, not just who we finance
- We promote diversity, transparency and sustainability
- We act domestically, in Europe and internationally
As well as financing progressive entrepreneurs, we also want to influence the banking sector itself, to help deliver our mission. Because the more sustainable, diverse and transparent the banking industry, the more we believe people’s quality of life will improve.
Triodos Bank’s six steps to change the banking sector
Embed our values and systemic sustainability thinking into our operations
Only finance social, environmental and cultural projects that create a positive impact
Apply rigorous lending and investment criteria and develop specialist sector knowledge
Be transparent about who we lend to and
Prove that a values-based banking model can be commercially robust and resilient
Collaborate at a practical and strategic level with other values-based financial institutions around the world to help grow a movement, and influence the wider banking sector on the strength of our impact.
Our impact on the Banking and Business Sector
We put time and effort into influencing the sector itself: domestically in all the countries where Triodos Bank works by engaging with policy-makers and others on the future direction of the banking industry; for example during the year we continued to be in dialogue with European bodies, such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Commission, UNEP FI, GABV and national banking associations to address and encourage the role of values based banking and impact investing. In particular, we worked via the Sustainable Finance Lab in The Netherlands in 2016 to influence senior central bank officials and regulators from across Europe to explore systemic changes to the financial system.
A new kind of banking
We believe that the banking sector can benefit from the integration of three key concepts: diversity, transparency and sustainability.
- Diversity in Banking
Firstly we believe that a diverse banking system will serve the diversity of our economies better. We need more, smaller banks, not a small number of large ones.
Ultimately this is a challenge for governments and regulators, as well as banks. And we want to play our part in supporting other financial institutions through networks such as the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
- Transparent Banking
Trust is a crucial part of banking. It will only be fully restored when the banking industry is transparent about its business models and its lending activity, so stakeholders know how their money is used by their bank, and how their bank makes, or loses, its money.
Whilst this is something that needs to be led by consumer demand, Triodos Bank wants to serve as a reference point for the degree of transparency that is possible in banking. For that reason Triodos Bank publishes details of all its loans.
- Sustainable Banking
We strongly believe that the principles of sustainability are fundamental to the responsibilities of a bank.
It is only by assessing systemic forces – including environmental, and social consequences – and the long-term picture that economic activity and bank lending can be healthy.