2011 was marked by widespread demands for change, often prompting deep-seated social unrest. Against a backdrop of the Arab Spring, 15 May Movement in Spain, and the viral effect of the Occupy movement, prompted widespread debate and, on noteworthy occasions, meaningful action.
German anti-nuclear protests following the Fukushima disaster resulted in the permanent phasing out of nuclear energy, while in the UK, the Independent Banking Commission published a report designed to curb the banking sector’s greatest excesses, to mixed reviews.
Questions about the role of banks, and Triodos Bank’s success in promoting a credible alternative, led to increasing awareness about its banking model.
This led to the creation of communities of Triodos Bank followers, via social media, from media coverage and public events in many of the countries where we operate. We averaged 640,000 monthly visits to our website, for example, with the Spanish branch alone attracting more than 12,000 people to 150 public conferences.
While coverage of the conventional banking industry’s bonus culture, and Triodos Bank’s very different approach, in the Dutch media led to a six-fold increase in new customer numbers in March and April 2011.
How we did
To continue to grow and expand its positive impact on people, the environment and culture, Triodos Bank requires new capital. In 2011 we exceeded targets, attracting over EUR 75 million, primarily through successful campaigns in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium.
All Triodos Bank’s branches continued to grow. The speed of growth was most marked in Spain, where five new offices were opened and customer and depository receipt holder numbers doubled during the year, to 60,000 and 3,400 respectively.
Lending to a diverse range of sustainable enterprises, from the renewable energy sector in Germany to care for the elderly in Belgium, was ahead of ambitious targets up by 40%, 32% and 23% in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain, respectively. Germany, in its second full year of operation made loans of EUR 167 million, exceeding its target.
Compared to its mainstream contemporaries, defaults on loans in all the countries where we work have remained low.
At the end of its second year Triodos Bank’s most recent office in Germany is well-established in its market.
Despite strong competition on the savings market in all our markets, customer growth overall was up by 24% across the branches, with the Netherlands branch now servicing 197,000 customers.
Triodos combines a clear, compelling values-driven approach with excellent customer service.
While its goal is not to win awards for their own sake it was encouraging that the Dutch branch was top of a high-profile customer satisfaction survey on mainstream television.