Business, Finance & Economics

Dutch 'social bank' doing well

(What kind of loans does Triodos make?) We make loans to people who are making a positive difference in the social or environmental arenas. (Give me some examples.) We've been working with an importer that brings in organic and free trade coffee and tea from developing countries. (What about a tightening of the belts that might affect organic and free trade products?) It's na�ve to say that they won't be affected at all, but they're very close to their customers and don't rely on the supermarkets too heavily. (Is the risk higher or lower, and does that mean the returns are also lower with these companies?) We take credit lines very seriously so we don't lend to people who don't have good business lines. Because of the passionate way these people run their businesses, they're more resilient to the current crisis than other businesses and thus the risk is even lower at times. (You often refer to the �real economy� that Triodos operates in. what do you mean by that?) It's a case of us connecting with real people and real projects. We don't create complicated loans or systems. We're also very transparent and publish details of our loans. (Is it fair to compare Triodos to the world's largest bank?) Yes, that's a fair point and we're not trying to take over the banking system. But we demonstrate that sound principals and banking with transparency and morals does work.

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