Healthy environment for Triodos' loan book

TRIODOS, the social and environmental bank, has reported a 54 per cent surge in its Scottish loan book as businesses warm to its ethical credentials.

The bank, which was founded in Holland in the early 1980s, said lending in Scotland had grown to 37 million during 2009. Organic food and farming and art and culture were the two main areas of expansion.

Across the UK, the loan book grew by a fifth to nearly 250m, Triodos added.

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In early November, Triodos' regional manager for Scotland, David Cousland, told The Scotsman that lending north of the Border had hit 33m during the first ten months of 2009, with the total expected to push through 40m during 2010.

Commenting on yesterday's year-end numbers, Bevis Watts, head of business banking, said: "Several factors have fuelled the growth, including Triodos' strong position and ability to lend, and increasing demand for sustainable banking."

The bank, which opened its first office outside of its Bristol UK headquarters in Edinburgh about four years ago, said its total UK lending and commitments grew by 73 per cent last year. There was a 15 per cent expansion in the overall number of business and charity banking customers.

Watts added: "Our diversification into new markets such as food waste processing signals new areas of growth where we expect to increase our lending in 2010."

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