Position paper Triodos Bank: banks need to serve society

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The Dutch Parliament held a round table discussion on the current state of the Dutch financial sector on December 12. Peter Blom, Chief Executive Officer of Triodos Bank, participated in this discussion. We also published a position paper on the future of the banking sector, in which we stress the importance of banks aligning their business models with society’s needs and goals.

“The financial sector is an essential part of society. It should serve the real economy and society as a whole: companies, social institutions, all of us as citizens and consumers. Therefore, a bank, an insurance company or a pension fund is not an 'ordinary' company. That means a recognisable anchoring in society is required, as is also evident from every discussion there has been about the role of banks since the financial crisis. This is also the position Triodos Bank has taken since its foundation in 1980. Serving all stakeholders contributes to safeguarding this social role. A business model with a dominant focus on shareholder value or 'finance for finance' does not achieve this", it reads in the position paper.

"A social focus and engagement with the social challenges of our time should be the basis for the agenda for the future of the financial sector. This new course can only be successfully charted if financial institutions themselves take up this role and if they can rely on the support of adequate regulations and supervision. This interaction can help to restore public trust in the financial sector. Consciously choosing a new social role will lead to a new culture and set of behaviours in the financial sector. Triodos Bank sees opportunities for the financial sector to better anchor this role.”

 

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