Unity Trust Bank reports record profit for 2018

The bank lends to two housing co-ops while approximately 140 co-ops hold accounts

Unity Trust Bank saw a 68% increase in profit in 2018, to £6m after tax.

Set up in 1984 by trade unions, Unity provides loans to small and medium-sized enterprises and organisations that have a positive social, economic and community impact.

Every loan approved must meet the bank’s risk criteria as well as show how it can deliver community, economic, social or environmental benefit. Last year it approved over £200m of lending.

The bank lends to two housing co-ops, and has accounts held by approximately 140 co-ops. 

Based in Birmingham, it has recently opened an office in Manchester.

Chief executive Margaret Willis said: “Unity’s results confirm that profits and community value go hand in hand. It’s best for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and society.

“Unity’s growth shows businesses want an ethical alternative, a bank that shares their values.”

The bank became independent in 2015 after buying back the Co-operative Bank’s 26% stake in the business. It ended the year with a Core Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 19.3%, ahead of the minimum 15.0% required by regulation.

“Sustainable earnings and sustainable communities are one and the same in the long run,” said Alan Hughes, Unity’s chair.

“This strong performance reflects the role banking can and should play in building a more sustainable world.

“Everyone at Unity is determined to deliver more and more of this.”