Triodos Bank, having its legal address in Nieuweroordweg 1 in Zeist, The Netherlands, is a public limited liability company (N.V.) under Dutch law (Chamber of Commerce 30062415). Triodos Bank finances companies, institutions and projects that add cultural value and benefit people and the environment, with the support of depositors and investors who want to encourage socially responsible business and a sustainable society.

Basis of preparation

The Annual Accounts were prepared in accordance with the legal requirements for the Annual Accounts of banks contained in Title 9 Book 2 of The Netherlands Civil Code and the Dutch Accounting Standards, as published by the Dutch Accounting Standards Board. The Annual Accounts relate to the thirty-eighth financial year of Triodos Bank N.V.

These financial statements have been prepared on the basis of the going concern assumption.

Accounting principles

General

Unless stated otherwise, assets are stated at cost, whereby in the case of receivables a provision for doubtful debt is recognised.

An asset is recognised in the balance sheet when it is probable that the expected future economic benefits that are attributable to the asset will flow to Triodos Bank and the cost of the asset can be measured reliably. A liability is recognised in the balance sheet when it is expected to result in an outflow from Triodos Bank of resources embodying economic benefits and the amount of the obligation can be measured with sufficient reliability.

Income is recognised in the profit and loss account when an increase in future economic potential related to an increase in an asset or a decrease of a liability has arisen, the size of which can be measured reliably. Expenses are recognised when a decrease in the economic potential related to a decrease in an asset or an increase of a liability has arisen, the size of which can be measured with sufficient reliability.

If a transaction results in a transfer of future economic benefits and or when all risks relating to assets or liabilities transfer to a third party, the asset or liability is no longer included in the balance sheet. Assets and liabilities are not included in the balance sheet if economic benefits are not probable and/or cannot be measured with sufficient reliability.

Income and expenses are attributed to the period to which they relate or to the period in which the service was provided. Revenues are recognised when Triodos Bank has transferred the significant risks and rewards of ownership of the goods to the buyer.

Interest income and commissions from lending are not accounted for in the profit and loss account if the collection of the interest and commission is doubtful.

The financial statements are presented in Euros, Triodos Bank’s functional currency. All financial information in Euros has been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Comparison with previous years

The valuation principles and method of determining the result are the same as those used in the previous year, with the exception of the changes in accounting policies as set out in the relevant sections.

The use of estimates and assumptions in the preparation of the financial statements

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires Triodos Bank to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the contingent assets and liabilities at the balance sheet date, and the reported income and expenses for the financial year. It mainly concerns the methods for determining the fair value of assets and liabilities and determining impairments and other value adjustments. This involves assessing the situations on the basis of available financial data and information. For certain categories of assets and liabilities the inherent estimation risk may be higher as a result of lack of liquidity in the relevant markets. Although these estimates with respect to current events and actions are made to the best of management’s knowledge, actual results may differ from the estimates.

Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on a regular basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised or in the period of revision and future periods if the revision impacts both the reporting period and future periods.

Consolidation principles

The consolidated financial statements include the financial data of Triodos Bank, its group companies and other companies over which Triodos Bank has control. Control exists when Triodos Bank has the power, directly or indirectly, to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Group companies are participating interests in which Triodos Bank has a direct or indirect controlling interest. In assessing whether controlling interest exists, potential voting rights that are currently exercisable are taken into account. Companies exclusively acquired with the view to resale are exempted from consolidation.

The financial statements of subsidiaries are included in the consolidated financial statements from the date that control commences until the date that control ceases.

In preparing the consolidated financial statements, intra-group debts, receivables and transactions are eliminated. The group companies are consolidated in full. The financial data for joint ventures are being consolidated pro rata to the participating interest held, if consolidation is necessary in order to provide a transparent overview of the assets and result of Triodos Bank N.V. The accounting policies of group companies and other consolidated entities have been changed where necessary, in order to align them to the prevailing group accounting policies.

List of equity participations of Triodos Bank N.V. in accordance with Sections 2:379 and 2:414 of The Netherlands Civil Code:

  • Kantoor Buitenzorg B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Kantoor Nieuweroord B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Stichting Triodos Beleggersgiro in Zeist, group entity, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Custody B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Finance B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos IMMA BVBA in Brussels, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Investment Management B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Investment Advisory Services B.V. in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Nieuwbouw BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated.
  • Triodos MeesPierson Sustainable Investment Management BV in Zeist, participating interest 50%, joint venture with joint control, consolidated pro rata to the participating interest held. This entity was liquidated in 2018.

Transactions in foreign currencies

Assets and liabilities related to transactions denominated in foreign currencies are converted at the spot rate on the balance sheet date. Transactions and the resulting income and charges in foreign currencies are converted at the rate applicable on the transaction date. The resulting exchange rate differences are accounted for in the profit and loss account under ‘Result on financial transactions’.

Monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currencies are converted to the closing rate of the functional currency on the balance sheet date. The translation differences resulting from settlement and conversion are credited or charged to the income statement, unless hedge-accounting is applied.

Non-monetary assets valued at historical cost in a foreign currency are converted at the exchange rate on the transaction date.

Non-monetary assets valued at fair value in a foreign currency are converted at the exchange rate on the date on which the fair value was determined.

Business operations abroad

Assets and liabilities relating to activities in business units abroad located outside the Eurozone are converted at the spot rate as at the balance sheet date. Income and expenses for activities in foreign business units outside the Eurozone will be converted at the exchange rate as at the transaction date. Any exchange rate differences arising from this will be charged or credited directly to the equity as a statutory reserve.

Hedging of the net investment in business operations abroad

Exchange rate differences arising on retranslation of a foreign currency liability accounted for as a hedge of a net investment in foreign business units located outside the Eurozone are taken directly to shareholders’ equity, in the statutory reserve for conversion differences, insofar as the hedge is effective. The non-effective part is taken to the profit and loss account as expenditure.

Financial leasing

Triodos Bank leases land to build a new building for its own use, whereby it retains substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of this land. The land is recognised on the balance sheet upon commencement of the lease contract at the lower of the fair value of the land or the discounted value of the minimum lease payments. The lease installments to be paid are presented as interest expense.

The liabilities under the lease, excluding the interest payments, are included under other liabilities.

Operational leasing

Triodos Bank has lease contracts whereby a large part of the risks and rewards associated with ownership are not for the benefit of nor incurred by Triodos Bank. The lease contracts are recognised as operational leasing. Lease payments are recorded on a straight-line basis, taking into account reimbursements received from the lessor, in the income statement for the duration of the contract.

Financial instruments

Financial instruments, including derivatives separated from their host contracts, are initially recognised at fair value. If instruments are not measured at fair value through profit and loss, then any directly attributable transaction costs are included in the initial measurement. After initial recognition, financial instruments are valued in the manner described below.

Cash

Cash represent cash in hand and cash balances at central banks. Cash is carried at nominal value.

Government paper

All government papers are held in the investment portfolio. They are stated at redemption value less any impairment losses. Differences between the acquisition price and the redemption value are amortised over the remaining life of the securities and are recognised as prepayments and accrued income or accruals and deferred income in the balance sheet. Realised changes in the value are recognised in the profit and loss account.

Banks

Receivables on banks are valued at amortised cost less any impairment losses. The impairment loss is determined per item, with the value of the collateral provided being taken into account.

Loans

Loans are valued at amortised cost less any impairment losses. The impairment loss is determined per item, with the value of the collateral provided being taken into account.

All business loans in the portfolio are periodically reviewed on an individual basis. Their frequency depends on the debtor’s creditworthiness, the degree of market exposure and the market in which the debtor operates. Private loans are reviewed at portfolio level, and on an individual basis if appropriate. The credit committee of a branch discusses and, if necessary, takes action with respect to overdue payments from debtors. If there is any doubt regarding the continuity of the debtor’s core operations and/or a debtor fails to settle agreed interest and repayment installments for a prolonged period, this debtor falls under the category of doubtful debtors and will be managed intensively.

Provisions for loan losses are taken for doubtful debtors at an individual level based on the difference between the total amount of the debtor’s outstanding liability to Triodos Bank and the future expected cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate of the contract. These individual provisions include provisions for concessions or refinancing given to debtors who face financial difficulties. They are only granted to the debtor in question in order to overcome their difficulties in these exceptional circumstances. These are described as forbearance measures.

A provision has been taken for Incurred But Not Reported bad debts (the IBNR) to cover the time lag between the event that prompts the debt to qualify as doubtful and the moment that fact is known to Triodos Bank. This is a collective credit provision and is based on statistics. The IBNR is calculated by multiplying the exposure at default with the probability of default, the loss given default and the loss incubation period.

Interest-bearing securities

All interest-bearing securities are held in the investment portfolio. They are stated at redemption value less any impairment losses. Differences between the acquisition price and the redemption value are amortised over the remaining life of the securities and are recognised as prepayments and accrued income or accruals and deferred income in the balance sheet. Realised changes in the value are recognised in the profit and loss account.

Shares

Shares are not held in the trading portfolio and are valued at cost.

Participating interests

Participating interests where significant influence can be exercised will be valued at net asset value.

The net asset value is calculated in accordance with the accounting principles that apply for these financial statements; with regard to participations in which insufficient data is available for adopting these principles, the valuation principles of the respective participation are applied.

If the valuation of a participation based on the net asset value is negative, it will be stated at nil. If Triodos Bank N.V. can be held fully or partially liable for the debts of the participation or has the intention of enabling the participation to settle its debts, a provision is recognised for this.

Participating interests where no significant influence can be exercised will be carried at fair value. In the case of a participating interest that is listed on an active stock exchange, the fair value will be deemed to be equal to the most recently published stock exchange price. In the case of a participating interest not listed on an active stock exchange or where there is no regular price quotation, the fair value will be determined to the best of one’s ability using all available data, including an annual report audited by an external auditor, interim financial information from the institution and any other relevant data provided to Triodos Bank. Unrealised changes in the value of participating interests where no significant influence can be exercised are recognised in equity via the revaluation reserve, with the exception of changes in value below the acquisition price, which will be recognised directly in the profit and loss account.

Realised changes in the value will be recognised in the profit and loss account.

Exchange rate differences resulting from the conversion of foreign currencies will be charged or credited directly to the equity.

Intangible fixed assets

Intangible fixed assets are stated at acquisition price or cost of manufacture minus amortisation. These costs mainly comprise the cost of direct labour; upon termination of the development phase. The amortisation will be determined according to the straight-line method in line with the estimated useful life. Impairments are taken into consideration; this is relevant in the event that the carrying amount of the asset (or of the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs) is higher than its realisable value.

Expenditure on development projects is capitalised as part of the production cost if it is likely from both a commercial and technical perspective that the project will be successful (i.e.: if it is likely that economic benefits will be realised) and the cost can be determined reliably. A legal reserve has been recognised within equity with regard to the recognised development costs for the capitalised amount. The amortisation of capitalised development costs commences at the time when the commercial production starts and takes place over the expected future useful life of the asset.

Research costs are recognised in the income statement.

The development costs for the banking system will be amortised over the estimated useful life from the moment the system is used, to a maximum of 10 years.

Management contracts paid by Triodos Bank when acquiring the participating interest in Triodos Investment Management B.V. will be written off over a period of 20 years untill October 2026. The remaining depreciation period is eight years.

Computer software that has been purchased will be written off over its useful life. This period will not exceed five years.

Property and equipment

Property under development is valued at the lower of the expenditure and the expected realised value upon completion. The expenditure consists of payments made to third parties.

Property for own use is stated at cost. The buildings for own use are depreciated according to the straight-line method on the basis of an estimated useful economic life of 40 years. Land for own use is not depreciated.

Equipment is stated at acquisition price less straight-line depreciation on the basis of estimated useful economic life. The depreciation periods vary from three to ten years.

The difference between the proceeds on disposal of equipment and net carrying value is recognised in the profit and loss account under Other income.

Impairments expected on the balance sheet date are taken into account. With regard to the determination as to whether a tangible fixed asset is subject to an impairment, please go to note 9.

Impairment of fixed assets

On each balance sheet date, Triodos Bank assesses whether there are any indications that a fixed asset may be subject to impairment. If there are such indications, the realisable value of the asset is determined. If it is not possible to determine the realisable value of the individual asset, the realisable value of the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs is determined.

An impairment occurs when the carrying amount of an asset is higher than the realisable value; the realisable value is the higher of the fair value less cost to sell and the value in use. An impairment loss is directly recognised in the income statement while the carrying amount of the asset concerned is concurrently reduced.

The realisable value is initially based on a binding sale agreement; if there is no such agreement, the realisable value is determined based on the active market, whereby usually the prevailing bid price is taken as market price. The costs deducted in determining net realisable value are based on the estimated costs that are directly attributable to the sale and are necessary to realise the sale. For the determination of the value in use, an estimate is made of the future net cash flows in the event of continued use of the asset / cash-generating unit; these cash flows are discounted, based on a discount rate. The discount rate does not reflect risks already taken into account in future cash flows.

If it is established that an impairment that was recognised in the past no longer exists or has reduced, the increased carrying amount of the asset concerned is set no higher than the carrying amount that would have been determined if no impairment value adjustment for the asset concerned had been reported. An impairment of goodwill cannot be reversed.

Triodos Bank assesses at each balance sheet date whether there is objective evidence that a financial asset or a group of financial assets is impaired. If any such evidence exists, the impairment loss is determined and recognised in the income statement.

Other assets

Other assets are recognised initially at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost. If payment of the receivable is postponed under an extended payment deadline, fair value is measured on the basis of the discounted value of the expected revenues. Interest gains are recognised using the effective interest method. When a trade receivable is uncollectible, it is written off against the allowance account for other assets.

Provisions

Provisions are recognised for legally enforceable or constructive obligations that exist at the balance sheet date, and for which it is probable that an outflow of resources will be required and a reliable estimate can be made.

Provisions are valued at the nominal value of the expenses expected to be incurred in settling the liabilities and losses. The provisions mainly consist of a provision for major building maintenance which is based on a long-term maintenance programme. Other provisions may contain costs of unsettled claims, legal proceedings or other estimated costs for expected cash outflows that qualify as provisions under Dutch accounting principles.

Funds entrusted

On initial recognition funds entrusted are recognised at fair value. After initial recognition funds entrusted are recognised at the amortised cost price, being the amount received, taking into account premiums or discounts, less transaction costs. This usually is the nominal value.

Other liabilities

On initial recognition other liabilities are recognised at fair value. After initial recognition other liabilities are recognised at the amortised cost price, being the amount received, taking into account premiums or discounts, less transaction costs. This usually is the nominal value.

Purchases of depository receipts for own shares

The purchasing and reissuing of depository receipts for own shares is charged or credited respectively to the ‘Other reserves’. Any balance remaining after the re-issuing of all own depository receipts purchased shall be placed at the disposal of the Annual General Meeting.

Own depository receipts for shares may be acquired to a maximum amount of EUR 28.2 million.

A decision to purchase own depository receipts may be made if the supply of existing depository receipts exceeds the demand for new depository receipts. For this, authority has been given to the Executive Board by the Annual General Meeting.

Revaluation reserve

If revaluations have been recognised in the revaluation reserve after the deduction of relevant (deferred) tax liabilities, the gross result of the realised revaluations is recognised in the income statement. The corresponding release of the (deferred) tax liabilities is charged to the operating result as tax on the result.

Derivatives and hedge accounting

Derivative financial instruments consisting of foreign currency forward contracts and interest swaps are initially recognised at fair value, with subsequent measurement at each balance sheet date except if the cost model for hedge accounting is applied. Fair values are obtained from quoted market prices in active markets, except for interest rate swaps, whose fair values are determined by discounted cash flow analysis against prevailing market interest rates. Changes in the fair value are included in the profit and loss account, as result on financial transactions.

Derivatives embedded in contracts shall be separated from the host contract and accounted for separately at fair value if:

  • the economic characteristics and risks of the host contract and the embedded derivative are not closely related;
  • a separate instrument with the same terms and conditions as the embedded derivative would meet the definition of a derivative; and
  • the combined instrument is not measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognised through profit and loss.

Triodos Bank uses derivatives (principally interest rate swaps) for economic hedging purposes in the management of its asset and liability portfolios. The objective of economic hedging is to enter into positions with an opposite risk profile to an identified exposure to reduce that risk exposure. Triodos Bank applies micro hedge accounting. Micro hedging relates to individual transactions which are included in an economic hedge relationship covering interest rate and foreign exchange risks. It involves a one-on-one relationship between the hedged instrument and the hedged item.

If forward exchange contracts are concluded to hedge monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currencies, cost hedge accounting is applied. Hedge accounting is applied to ensure that the gains or losses arising from the translation of the monetary items recognised in the profit and loss account are offset by the changes in the value of forward exchange contracts arising from the difference between the spot rate at inception and spot rates as at reporting date. The difference between the spot rate agreed at the inception of the forward exchange contract and the forward rate is amortised over the term of the contract.

If cost hedge accounting is applied to hedge interest rate risk, derivatives are measured at fair value upon initial recognition. As long as a derivative hedges an interest risk in connection with an expected future transaction, it is not remeasured. As soon as an expected transaction leads to the recognition in the profit and loss account of a financial asset or financial liability, the gains or losses associated with the derivative are recognised in the profit or loss account in the same period in which the asset or liability affects profit or loss.

Triodos Bank has documented its hedging strategy and how it relates to the objective of risk management. Triodos Bank has documented its assessment of whether the derivatives that are used in hedging transactions are effective in offsetting:

  • currency results of the hedged items using generic documentation;
  • interest rate results of the hedged items using documentation per hedged item.

Any overhedge is recognised directly in the profit and loss account at fair value.

Hedging relationships are terminated upon the expiry or sale of the respective derivatives. The cumulative gain or loss that has not yet been included in the profit and loss account is recognised as a deferred item in the balance sheet until the hedged transactions have taken place. If the transactions are no longer expected to take place, the cumulative gain or loss is accounted for in the profit and loss account.

Net interest income recognition

Interest income and expenses are recognised in accordance with the effective interest method. The application of this method includes the amortisation of any discount or premium or other differences (including transaction costs and applicable commissions) between the initial carrying amount of an interest-bearing instrument and the amount at maturity, based on the effective interest method.

Commission income

Commission income is recognised as the services are provided. The following types of commission income are identified:

  • Service fees like payment transactions are recognised on a straight-line basis over the service contract period; asset management and management fees are recognised based on the applicable service contracts;
  • Fees arising from negotiating or participating in the negotiation of a transaction for a third party are recognised upon completion of the underlying transaction.

Commission income dependent on the outcome of a particular event or contingent upon performance are recognised when the following criteria have been met:

  • The fees are earned and realised;
  • The earnings process is completed by performing according the terms of the arrangements;
  • If services are rendered or rights to use assets extend continuously over time and when reliable measures based on contractual prices established in advance are commonly available, revenues may be recognised as time passes.

Dividends

Dividends to be received from participations and securities not carried at net asset value are recognised as soon as Triodos Bank has acquired the right to them.

Short-term employee costs

Salaries, wages and social security contributions are charged to the income statement based on the terms of employment, where they are due to employees and the tax authorities respectively.

Pension schemes

Triodos Bank has a number of pension schemes. Premiums are paid based on contractual and voluntary basis to insurance companies. Premiums are recognised as employee cost when they are due. Prepaid contributions are recognised as deferred assets if these lead to a refund or reduction of future payments. Contributions that are due but have not yet been paid are presented as liabilities. For more information please go to note 27.

Taxation on operating result

Taxes are calculated on the pre-tax result on the basis of the applicable profit tax rates taking account of the losses available for set-off from previous financial years (to the extent that they have not already been included in the deferred tax assets) . Exempted profit items, deductible items, additions and differences between the balance sheet value and the fiscal value of particular assets and liabilities are taken into account.

Deferred tax items arising from differences between the balance sheet value and the fiscal value are valued at nominal value insofar these may be recovered through future profits (temporary differences).

Deferred tax assets arising from operating losses are reviewed at each reporting date. To the extent that future taxable profits do not exceed the tax losses recognised, an impairment loss is recognised.

Earnings per share

Earnings per share is calculated on the basis of the weighted average number of shares outstanding. In calculating the weighted average number of shares outstanding:

  • Own shares held by Triodos Bank are deducted from the total number of shares in issue;
  • The computation is based on monthly averages.

Cash flow statement

The cash flow statement sets out the movement in Triodos Bank’s funds, broken down into operating activities, investment activities and financing activities. The funds consist of cash and the on-demand deposits with banks. The cash flow statement is produced using the indirect method and gives details of the source of cash and cash equivalents over the course of the year. The cash flows are analysed into cash flows from operations, including banking activities, investment activities and financing activities. Movements in loans and receivables and interbank deposits are included in the cash flow from operating activities. Investment activities are comprised of acquisitions, sales and redemptions in respect of financial investments, as well as property and equipment. The issuing of shares and the borrowing and repayment of long-term funds are treated as financing activities. Cash flows arising from foreign currency transactions are translated into euros using the exchange rates at the date of the cash flows.

Segment reporting

The segments (branches and business units) are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the Executive Board, which is responsible for allocating resources and assessing performance. All transactions between segments are eliminated as intercompany revenues and expenses in Group Functions. Segment assets, liabilities, income and results are measured based on our accounting policies. Segment assets, liabilities, income and results include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis. Transactions between segments are conducted at arm’s length. The geographical analyses are based on the location of the office from which the transactions are originated.

Related parties

All legal entities that can be controlled, jointly controlled or significantly influenced are considered to be a related party. Also, entities which can control Triodos Bank are considered to be a related party. In addition, statutory directors, other key management of Medium-sized/Large Company B.V. or the ultimate parent company and close relatives are regarded as related parties. Transactions with related parties are disclosed in the notes insofar as they are not transacted under normal market conditions. The nature, extent and other information is disclosed if this is necessary in order to provide the required insight.

Segregation of capital

Triodos Bank N.V. holds by its related party Stichting Triodos Beleggersgiro on behalf of its customers segregated from the assets and liabilities of the bank the following securities:

in thousands of EUR

2018

2017

Triodos Cultuurfonds N.V.

67,982

Triodos Fair Share Fund

357,149

347,837

Triodos Groenfonds N.V.

440,013

417,642

Triodos Sicav I

503,387

474,667

Triodos Sicav II

44,281

40,296

Triodos Vastgoedfonds N.V.

7,351

12,580

Triodos Impact Strategies N.V.

20,729

19,846

Total as at 31 December

1,372,910

1,380,850

Triodos Impact Strategies N.V. holds on behalf of its sub-fund Triodos Multi Impact Fund as at 31 December 2018 EUR nil (2017: EUR 4,531 thousand) of securities Triodos Cultuurfonds N.V., EUR 6,765 thousand (2017: 6,698 thousand) of securities Triodos Fair Share Fund and EUR 4,711 thousand (2017: 5,638 thousand) of securities Triodos Groenfonds N.V. These securities are included in the above-mentioned values of securities in Triodos Cultuurfonds N.V., Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Groenfonds N.V.

For further details about these accounting principles, please refer to the corresponding notes to the financial statements.