Triodos Bank's lending to Scots firms soars by 40%

Triodos Bank has seen its Scottish business lending book surge 40 per cent as the demand for ethical banking gathers pace.

Triodos loans to healthcare operators have increased sevenfold.

The jump in lending to Scots firms in 2017 was driven by sustainable loans to healthcare operators and affordable housing associations.

New figures show that the bank’s lending to the healthcare sector increased sevenfold last year, while loans to housing associations leapt by 55 per cent.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Total Scottish lending across all sectors increased to £148 million from £105.5m in 2016.

Operating in Scotland since 1995, Triodos says it uses money in a way that serves individuals and local communities by providing bank loans to “create positive social, environmental and cultural change”.

The Dutch lender, whose Scottish operations are based in Edinburgh, said it lends twice as much in Scotland than Scots deposit with the bank, creating a “net positive effect” of money into the economy.

It is now focusing on growing deposits with Scottish customers to further grow lending to local businesses.

One landmark loan last year was to Advanced Specialist Care, part of the Balhousie Care Group. The Perth-based organisation looks after about 900 residents across 25 care homes.

Bevis Watts, managing director of Triodos Bank UK, said: “We are a net lender in Scotland and we hope to grow the savings side of our business. We’ve recently launched a new current account in the UK, the most sustainable personal current account ever brought to the UK market. As we grow our savings in Scotland, we can support more Scottish businesses and charities.”

During 2017, there was a 15 per cent increase in lending to renewable energy projects.