Ecology Building Society has appointed Gareth Griffiths as its new chief executive, replacing Paul Ellis who is standing down after 27 years in the role.
Mr Griffiths will take up the role in June 2022, subject to regulatory approval. He joins Ecology at a time of growth: the society’s 2021 results reported a 14% increase in total assets to more than £250m, with a record 77% increase in new mortgage lending.
Ecology says it has remained committed to its ecological mission since it was established in 1981 and has continued to be a leader in green mortgages. It is currently experiencing an uplift in demand for its sustainable lending and savings products which are designed to tackle the climate crisis.
Mr Griffith is currently head of retail banking at Triodos Bank, which like Ecology is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Prior to that he held leadership roles at RAC and HSBC after beginning his banking career with former mutual, Bradford and Bingley.
Louise Pryor, chair-designate at Ecology, led the selection process. She said: “The board is delighted that Gareth has agreed to join Ecology as chief executive. Following a robust and rigorous selection process, he emerged as the outstanding candidate to lead the society, demonstrating a deep commitment to ethical finance, ensuring money has a positive impact on people and planet, combined with significant banking experience.
“Gareth joins a society that is in excellent health, a testament to the outstanding contribution that Paul and the team have made over many years. As we implement our 2030 Strategy, co-developed with members, we are showing how a purpose-led organisation can make a difference.”
She added: “In my new role as chair of Ecology I look forward to working with Gareth to build on the society’s excellent performance to accelerate our mission to build a greener society while enhancing the services we provide to our members.”
Mr Griffiths said: “It is an honour to be joining Ecology Building Society, which was founded to make better use of natural resources and reverse environmental degradation. Forty years on, Ecology’s mission has never been more relevant, with the need to address the climate crisis, deepening financial inequalities and transforming the UK’s housing stock at the heart of the sustainability challenge.
“The fight to mitigate these challenges will define the quality of life that we can all hope for in the years to come, and my aim is that Ecology plays an even greater part in creating a better future over this critical decade.
“I will be agitating for change in a broken financial system, which has invested over £150bn into fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. At the same time my focus will be dedicated to supporting Ecology’s excellent team to continue delivering award-wining service to our growing membership.”