A new view of banks' social role: as financiers of change

The financial crisis that broke out in 2007 and 2008 was a grandiose display of incompetence on the part of many - in fact very many - bankers. For years, they pursued the high returns that could be earned on financial markets whilst turning a blind eye to these markets’ risks. The crisis meant many banks got into difficulties. One of the few banks that have not been directly affected by the financial storm is Triodos Bank. On the contrary, this bank is achieving over twenty percent growth each year.

In The new way of banking, Peter Blom, CEO of Triodos Bank, shares with us his views about the causes of the financial crisis. Blom looks to the future too, and discusses ways in which we can get out of the financial and economic problems we find ourselves in. Blom’s solutions go further than those proposed by many politicians of simply improving supervision and regulation. Instead, he advocates switching to an economy where everybody makes it their core task to achieve maximum sustainability, instead of primarily striving for maximum financial profits. In Blom’s world, everybody has a part to play, not just bankers.

The new way of banking was written by journalist Tobias Reijngoud. The book is based on a number of interviews with Peter Blom held during the summer and autumn of 2009.

Born in 1956, Peter Blom joined Triodos Bank in 1980, the year the bank was founded. He has been managing director under the Articles of Association since 1989 and Chairman of the Executive Board since 1997.

Born in 1970, Tobias Reijngoud is a freelance journalist who writes for such publications as Dutch daily business paper NRC Handelsblad and their young people’s newspaper nrc.next . He publishes articles about economics, development cooperation and climate issues. His previous works include the book Ontwikkelingshulp in 2 uur en 53 minuten (‘Development aid in 2 hours and 53 minutes’).