Triodos Bank’s impact in 2019 in brief:
- 504 projects financed in the sustainable energy sector, with total generating capacity of 3,900 MW producing the equivalent of the electricity needs of 4.6 million households worldwide
- Financed the equivalent of 31 million meals produced in organic farming and food
- 25.8 million visitors were able to enjoy cultural events during 2019, including cinemas, theatres and museums due to Triodos Bank’s financing
- 100% of Triodos Bank’s assets assessed using Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) methodology
- Founding signatory of UN Principles for Responsible Banking
- Founding signatory of financial sector commitment to Climate Action in the Netherlands and Spain
Key financial performance milestones:
- 14% growth of assets under management to EUR 17.7 billion
- 11% growth in sustainable lending; mortgage portfolio grew by 31%
- Triodos Bank balance sheet: EUR 12.1 billion (11% growth)
- Funds under management: EUR 5.7 billion (21% growth)
- Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio: 17.9% (2018: 17.5%)*
- Leverage ratio: 8.5% (2018: 8.6%)
- Net profit : EUR 38.8 million (2018: EUR 34.7 million)*
- Return on Equity: 3.4% (2018: 3.3%)*
- Number of customers increased by 1% to 721,000
- Number of co-workers: 1,493 (2018: 1,427)
* Prior year amounts were subject to accounting principle changes.
Low interest rates continue to have a downward impact on the bank’s interest margin, mainly because the growth of funds entrusted outpaces the growth of the loan portfolio. As a result, excess liquidity has grown and was placed with the ECB at a negative interest rate.
Peter Blom, Chair of the Executive Board of Triodos Bank commented:
“For 40 years, Triodos has only financed initiatives that make a positive contribution to society. In 2019 we were able to generate stable growth and support the development of positive impact – like clean energy, better care for the elderly and sustainable agriculture. Positive change is gaining momentum. At the same time, the current COVID-19 Pandemic is extremely challenging for all of us. In such a crisis, everyone has a part to play to move forward together. We are reminded of our interdependence as humans. A global crisis like this one affects everybody. I am confident that together we will master the challenges ahead. We will continue to fulfil our role as a bank, serving our customers and strengthening communities.”
Overall growth of the loan portfolio amounted to EUR 939 million (+13%). This includes the growth of the residential mortgage portfolio by EUR 472 million (+31%). The increase in business loans was 6% (2018: 13%). The low interest rate environment encourages customers to refinance at lower rates and to pay back their credit facilities earlier than planned. Both these trends continued in 2019 and have a downward effect on interest margins and the growth of the loan portfolio. Impairment for the loan portfolio and other receivables increased slightly to EUR 3.9 million (2018: EUR 3.5 million). This represents 0.05% of the average loan book (2018: 0.05%). This relatively low historical impairment ratio is influenced by both cautious management and the relatively positive economic circumstances during 2019.
The total loan portfolio, as a percentage of the total amount of funds entrusted was 77% in 2019 (2018: 76%).
Operational expenses increased by 11% to EUR 235 million (2018: EUR 212 million) during the year. This is mainly due to an increase in the number of co-workers working on Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues and related ICT investments. The remediation plan, developed in response to the formal DNB-instruction of 6 March 2019, is on track.
Co-worker costs, partly related to these efforts, increased by 11% to EUR 134 million (2018: EUR 121 million). The ratio of operating expenses against income was 80% (2018: 81%). Improving our efficiency continues to be a key focus area for the bank.
The net profit is EUR 38.8 million, up by 12% (2018: EUR 34.7 million*) primarily because of loan growth and growth of the funds under management and includes the contribution of some one-off items. Triodos Bank delivered a Return on Equity of 3.4% in 2019 (2018: 3.3%*), in line with expectations.
Triodos Bank’s equity increased in 2019 by 8%, to EUR 1,200 million. This increase includes net new capital and retained net profit. At the end of 2019, the net asset value for each depository receipt was EUR 83 (2018: EUR 82*). The number of depository receipt holders increased to 44,401 (2018: 42,416).
At the end of 2019 the Total Capital Ratio and the Common Equity Tier 1 ratio were 17.9% (2018: 17.5%*). Triodos Bank aims for a Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of at least 16% in the current regulatory context.
The leverage ratio of Triodos Bank at the end of 2019 was 8.5% (2018: 8.6%*).
Triodos Investment Funds
Triodos Investment Management, a 100% subsidiary of Triodos Bank, in 2019 realised an overall growth of assets under management of 18% (2018: 21%) to EUR 5.0 billion.
A significant growth despite a decrease of the assets under management by EUR 102 million, as a result of ending the activities of Triodos Vastgoedfonds. The net inflow of funds was 11%. The investment funds overall gained 8% of their value following stock exchange movements in 2019. The sale of a participation in Centenary Bank in Uganda, generated additional fee income and had a significant one-off positive effect of EUR 5.4 million on the net profit.
The investment funds publish separate annual reports, and most have their own Annual General Meeting. Details can be found at: www.triodos-im.com.
Triodos Bank in France
Triodos Bank announced its decision not to establish a banking branch in France in December 2019. A persistent low interest rate environment and growing regulatory demands are expected to continue for a longer period of time in France and the wider European region. Therefore, Triodos Bank decided not to make the large investment required to establish a banking branch in France. Following consultation with relevant representative bodies, the decision was taken in January 2020 to close the intermediary office in Paris.
Triodos Bank in 2020
Triodos Bank considers the COVID-19 Pandemic as a significant event after closing the Annual Accounts 2019. The impact of the pandemic on people, companies and the economy at large cannot be assessed in full depth at this stage. However, the impact may have a downward effect on profitability. Measures to mitigate the immediate operational risks are in place. Additional measures are dependent on our own assessments and the response of the authorities.
Triodos Bank expects to grow its bank balance sheet more modestly, maintaining a stable loan to deposit ratio and has the ambition to grow its fee income over time by making an extra effort in growing the Triodos Investment activities.
The bank will focus on impact, profitability and diversification of its loan portfolio. In that context we will put extra effort into identifying loans to frontrunners in their fields; the entrepreneurs developing the sustainable industries of the future. We will continue to face a serious challenge with low interest rates and increasing regulatory costs. And yet, the opportunities for Triodos Bank as a frontrunner in responsible finance are significant. With a controlled growth strategy, we aim to generate maximum impact and a stable profit.
Our policy is to have a pay-out ratio of between 50% and 70%. In the current unprecedented circumstances Triodos Bank proposes a dividend of EUR 1.35 per share (2018: EUR 1.95). This means that the pay-out ratio (the percentage of total profit distributed as dividends) will be 50%, which is at the lower end of the bandwidth as defined in our policy.
Important dates for shareholders and depository receipt holders:
Publication of Annual Report 2019 19 March 2020
Annual General Meeting 15 May 2020
Ex-dividend date 19 May 2020
Dividend payment date 22 May 2020