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European Branch Network
(retail and business banking)

Developing a European branch network is fundamental to Triodos Bank. It allows it to build and share expertise, and use it to benefit a fast-growing Triodos Bank community. It brings a credible set of services to thousands of business and personal customers, and grows sustainable banking’s scale and impact.

While Triodos Bank’s values bind customers and co-workers, there are important differences between countries. Regulations, tax incentives and government approaches to sustainability are sometimes markedly different in diverse markets. Local culture, within and between countries, also impacts on how Triodos Bank approaches its work.

Against a backdrop of the debt crisis, retail activities showed tremendous growth again in 2012. This is in part due to increasing demands for change from society, and people opting for a different relationship with their bank. Triodos Bank allows people to consciously choose to bank with a different, and sustainable, institution.

Funds entrusted

Statement of funds entrusted per branch

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Amounts in millions of EUR













The Netherlands










United Kingdom



































Statement of funds entrusted per category

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Amounts in millions of EUR













Saving accounts





Deposits and time accounts





Other funds entrusted

























Funds entrusted, or savings, enable Triodos Bank to finance companies and organisations that benefit people, the environment and culture. An increase of the funds entrusted is an important indicator of Triodos Bank’s ability to attract sufficient funds to finance sustainable organisations.

Despite strong competition in all savings markets, growth overall was up by 23% across the European branches. (impact statistic)

For the reasons highlighted earlier in the report the branches offer a variety of products and services to meet growing demand, and increasingly offer a full set of services to their customers. This lead to marked growth in funds entrusted which increased by EUR 863 million, or 23%, against expected growth of between 15 to 20%. This resulted in continuing growth in all the countries where Triodos Bank operates. This was due in part to a growing profile, more efficient and customer-friendly account opening processes, and an increasingly receptive market keen to use their money more consciously.

The speed of growth was again most marked in Spain with customer numbers increasing to 105,000, and the opening of two new commercial offices during the year. While in The Netherlands Triodos Bank now services 219,000 customers, again reflecting strong growth during the year.

In 2012, 404 organisations received total donations of EUR 0.5 million. (impact statistic)

By offering our savers, in some countries, the opportunity to donate part of the interest they receive to a charity, many social organisations receive support every year. In 2012, 404 organisations (2011: 440) received total donations of EUR 0.5 million (2011: EUR 0.5 million) in this way.


The growth of the loan portfolio is an important indicator of the contribution Triodos Bank makes towards a more sustainable economy. All the sectors it works in qualify as sustainable and the companies and projects it finances contribute to delivering Triodos Bank’s mission.

To make sure that Triodos Bank only finances sustainable enterprise, potential borrowers are first assessed on the added value they create in these areas. The commercial feasibility of a prospective loan is then assessed and a decision made about whether it is a responsible banking option. The criteria Triodos Bank uses to assess companies can be viewed on Triodos Bank’s websites.

Triodos Bank’s main focus remains on the existing sectors in which it has already developed considerable expertise.

Outstanding loans per sector in 2012

Outstanding loans per sector in 2012 (pie chart)

Environment (49%, 2011: 49%)

This sector consists of renewable energy projects such as wind and solar power, biomass, hydro-electric, and energy saving projects. It also includes organic agriculture, and projects across the entire agricultural chain, from farms, processors and wholesale companies to natural food shops. Environmental technology, such as recycling companies and nature conservation projects, is also represented.

Social (28%, 2011: 28%)

This sector includes loans to traditional businesses or non-profit organisations and innovative enterprises and service providers with clear social objectives, such as social housing, loans to fair trade businesses, integration for people with disabilities or at risk of social exclusion, and health care institutions.

Culture (12%, 2011: 12%)

This sector covers loans to organisations working in education, retreat centres, religious groups, cultural centres and organisations, and artists.

The remaining proportion of the loan book includes short-term loans to municipalities and private sustainable mortgages.

The lending sectors above describe the main sectors Triodos Bank is involved in. Parts of these sectors are also financed by both Triodos Bank itself and its investment funds (see Triodos Investment Management).

The loan portfolio as a percentage of the total amount of funds entrusted decreased to 72% in 2012 (2011: 76%). Triodos Bank’s goal is to lend between 70% and 80% of its funds entrusted.

The quality of the loan book remained satisfactory overall, notwithstanding the economic recession. However, significant provisions continued to be required for energy production based on biomass. Volatile demand, and high price volatility that stems from it, as well as immature technologies have prompted some of the problems in the sector. Having paid careful attention to this area over the last two years, to a large degree Triodos Bank’s exposure to this sector is now covered. This contributed to the loan loss provision of 0.67% of the average loan book (2011: 0.63%).

Our long-term internal benchmark for provisions is 0.25%. These provisions are taken to protect banks against losses resulting from defaults by borrowers.

Growth of the loan portfolio amounted to EUR 448 million, or 16%. (impact statistic)

Growth of the loan portfolio amounted to EUR 448 million, or 16%. Expected growth was between 15 and 20%. Competition between banks in the lending market has diminished because of the financial crisis and higher capital requirements. At the same time many banks regard sustainability as an emerging market and want to be involved in it.

Lending to a diverse range of sustainable enterprises was up in all branches, with particular growth in the UK, up by 17%, Belgium by 18%, and Spain by 22%. Germany, in its third full year of operation made loans of EUR 189 million, exceeding its target.

Prospects for the European Branch Network

Triodos Bank’s balance sheet total is expected to continue to grow by between 15 and 20%.

All branches will broaden their customer base. The number of customers is expected to grow by between 15 and 20% across the Group.

The loan portfolio and the funds entrusted are expected to increase by between 15 and 20%. Triodos Bank has a healthy growth ambition but does not want to realise it at all costs. The loans made in 2013 will reflect our efforts to finance front-runners in their fields; the entrepreneurs developing the sustainable industries of the future. We expect the levels of provisions for loans in the coming years to decrease to a lower level.