Ecology Building Society announces record profit of more than £1m

'Our members can be assured that their money is delivering a real contribution to the increasing efforts to tackle the climate crisis'

Ecology Building Society has today announced its annual results, with a second successive year of record profits of more than £1m.

Its profit after tax is £1.073m (2018: £1.022m) making it one of the most profitable building societies in the UK (based on percentage of mean assets)

The ethical finance pioneer also reported a 14.6% increase in mortgage lending for the year ending 31 December 2019.

In 2019, Ecology lent more than £43.5m (2018: £38.4m) for sustainable properties and projects, with 90% of mortgages for residential properties (including new energy efficient homes, renovations and shared ownership) and 10% for community-led housing (including charities, community land trusts and housing co-operatives) and non-residential properties such as sustainable businesses.

Total assets are £198.0m (2018: £177.9m) and savings balances stand at £185.3m (2018: £166.0m).

Ecology says the results build on nearly 40 years of uninterrupted profitability, “demonstrating that values-based and purpose-driven finance also makes real economic sense”. 

The profit adds to Ecology’s capital base, which it says enhances its resilience to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak and extend the benefits of its sustainable lending.

Ecology said that throughout the year it continued its commitment to ethical business practices, reduce its own environmental impact and support campaigns such as the Global Strike for Climate.

It also became the first building society to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark; to become a founding signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking; and become a Living Wage employer and have maximum pay ratio limit where the highest salary paid is no more than eight times the lowest.

During the year Ecology was recognised twice in the prestigious Finance for the Future awards – winning the Building Sustainable Financial products award and being recognised for its climate leadership. 

It also won the self-build lender of the year category in the Mortgage Finance Gazette awards and has been shortlisted for a highly respected Ashden Award. 

Ecology is also sharing its knowledge and experience for the development of new mechanisms to fund retrofits, alongside a wide range of partners and initiatives including the European Energy Efficiency Mortgage scheme, the UK’s Green Finance Institute and the UK Green Building Council.

CEO Paul Ellis said: “These results mark another strong year of sustainable growth for Ecology demonstrating that the time is now for finance that benefits people and our planet. 

“Our members can be assured that their money is delivering a real contribution to the increasing efforts to tackle the climate crisis.  

“Looking ahead, while we won’t be immune to the challenging economic impacts of Covid-19, our financial strength gives us the resilience required to maintain our focus on lending that improves our environment throughout 2020 and beyond.

“We are delighted to see the elevated level of interest in collaborative action to support a sustainable green recovery. The recognition of the urgent need to accelerate the retrofit of existing homes is welcome and the Society’s strong pipeline of lending for low impact homes will add to the benefits of this focus in 2020 and beyond.

“Given this we have joined calls for the Government to quickly deliver the economic stimulus required to create green jobs and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.”

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