Ecology Building Society has announced record profits – passing the £1m mark for the first time – and a 36% increase in mortgage lending for the year ending 31 December 2018.
The lender offers a range of “simple, transparent, ethical savings accounts” that fund mortgages for environmentally sustainable properties and projects.
Highlights of the 2018 results include:
- Record profit after tax of £1.022m (2017: £0.915m).
- Gross lending of £38.4m (2017: £28.2m)
- Stable total assets of £177.9m (2017: £178.7m)
- Savings balances at £166.0m (2017: £167.8m)
Ecology said it lent over £38.4m for sustainable properties and projects last year, with 82% of mortgages advanced on residential properties (including new builds, renovations and shared ownership) and 18% on community-led housing (including charities, community land trusts and housing co-operatives) and non-residential properties such as sustainable businesses.
It added: “The results build on more than 35 years of uninterrupted profitability demonstrating that values-based and purpose-driven finance is successful in the long-term.
“The profit adds to Ecology’s capital base, increasing its financial strength and enhancing its ability to further grow its lending, which delivers a positive impact on the environment and communities, as well as enabling further investment in the digital capability that will enable the society to better serve its growing membership.
“Throughout 2018 Ecology maintained its commitment to ethical business practices. They are the first building society to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark for responsible tax behaviour and continue to reduce their own environmental impact as well as supporting environmental lending.”
Chief executive Paul Ellis said: “Our continued growth and record results show that finance that benefits people and planet can be profitable.
“The recent Extinction Rebellion protests and Greta Thunberg’s visit to London have put the spotlight on the need for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.
“Our members have long recognised the need for finance to combat climate change and they can be confident that their money is helping to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We’ve been providing sustainable mortgages for more than 30 years, offering innovative discounts that base our mortgage rates on a property’s climate impact, and incentivising the most energy efficient homes and projects. Initiatives such as the European Energy Efficiency Mortgage scheme (EEM), of which Ecology is a participant, and the government’s interest in green mortgages are positive signs of growing interest in our model.”
“We have a strong pipeline of lending opportunities which will enable us to continue to grow our mortgage book throughout 2019 while maintaining our commitment to our core principles of sustainability.”