Triodos Bank is one of the only independent, sustainable banks in the world to offer a wide range of integrated lending and investment opportunities for sustainable enterprise in a number of European countries. Its governance structure reflects its innovative approach and the Supervisory Board is an integral part of it.
The Supervisory Board’s primary responsibility is the supervision and review of the development of Triodos Bank’s operations and the realisation of its mission.
Economic and financial events in 2011 surpassed the far-reaching upheaval of 2010.
The Supervisory Board is pleased that Triodos Bank was able to continue to grow and develop positively, contrary to the general trend in the banking sector.
Triodos Bank proved that there is an increasingly urgent appetite for a fundamentally different approach to banking.
2011 may come to be remembered as the year of new domestic and international laws and regulations governing the banking industry; such as increased capital requirements, banking taxation and bonus restrictions, and remuneration in general. While more effective regulation has a role to play, alone it cannot address the deep-seated structural and cultural problems which plague much of the banking industry. Triodos Bank can act as a reference point for stakeholders looking for credible new ways of banking.
The Supervisory Board and the Executive Board discussed the wider context for its work at most of its meetings in 2011, to help deepen the thinking around the bank’s work and to help make its activity more explicit. In such uncertain times the strategic approach of the bank is of crucial importance. In the discussion on the strategic three-year plan the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board emphasized the importance of clarity of direction. Key issues included the development of the business in a prudent and solid way, emphasizing profitability over growth. In addition to coping with increasing regulatory pressure, and recruiting and retaining talent, key challenges emerging from these discussions included developing Triodos Bank further as a reference point for sustainable banking, on the strength of its mission and how the bank applies this in practice.
Triodos Bank continues to take a prudent and measured approach to risk taking. The Supervisory Board was pleased to see a comprehensive risk appraisal, management and reporting system developed, debated, and implemented during the year.
The careful way in which Triodos Bank always conducts its business is more relevant than ever in dealing with future uncertainties. The Supervisory Board supports the Executive Board further in continuing to follow this path.