Green mortgage provider thriving in Scotland

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A BUILDING society providing environmentally friendly mortgages has forecast that its Scottish business will forge ahead “disproportionately” because of the country’s outperformance on green energy.

Ecology Building Society claims that Holyrood’s ambitious carbon emissions-cutting policies and backing for so-called “sustainable mortgages” has already given strong momentum to the niche housing sector.

The Yorkshire-based society has doubled the proportion of its mortgage book based in Scotland, from £833,720 in 2008 (6 per cent of its overall lending) to £1.8m last year (12 per cent of group lending).

Chief executive Paul Ellis said: “I believe our share [of business] in Scotland will grow disproportionately over the next few years.

“Without being party political, the existence of a government in Edinburgh helps us. It gives focus, and with short lines of communication you can get quick decisions on housing projects that respect the environment.

“Ecology Building Society also expects to continue to benefit from the integrated green framework in Scotland, with strong academic disciplines in the area, including the Scottish Ecological Design Association and Strathclyde University’s work on the impact of buildings on the environment.”

Ellis said these positive background factors were a “self-reinforcing mechanism” that would continue to drive up the proportion of the society’s lending north of the Border.