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By a Newsnet reporter
Rob Gibson MSP has welcomed the opening of the first Scottish branch office of the ethical investment bank, Triodos.
The SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross was speaking last night at a launch event in Edinburgh, attended by around 50 business and personal customers as well as key partners from various social and environmental organisations.

“We are here to celebrate the expansion of an ethical bank into Scotland and I join in welcoming Triodos to its new home in Edinburgh.” he said and added:

“Since my personal involvement in the Economy Committee’s Future of Banking in Scotland report in 2009, I have developed the view that sustainable banking is essential for the sector to recover and for the real economy to receive funds for development.

“The Scottish Government, with the overwhelming backing of the Scottish Parliament, would welcome speedier changes to the regulatory framework for banking across the UK and set in the EU financial services market.”

Mr Gibson described the banking bonus culture as having “fallen into deeper ill-repute” and claimed that a wider range of banks willing to lend to small and medium sized businesses was now needed.

He added:

“I recognise the challenges in influencing change to a more stable banking regime.  They require worldwide rules but they need to promote local banking to flourish free to promote sustainable products and ethical firms.

“What I find attractive about Triodos is that its core function is to achieve these goals.  I cannot overemphasise the importance of supporting the development of a sustainable economy in Scotland, and this new branch opening in Edinburgh brings a track record of sustainable banking values, at the service of the community.”

Triodos Bank is one of the world's leading sustainable banks.  Its mission statement describes it as seeking to “make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

“We connect savers and investors who want to change the world for the better with entrepreneurs and sustainable companies doing just that. We are the only specialist bank to offer integrated lending and investment opportunities for sustainable sectors in a number of European countries.” it says.


# Barontorc 2012-02-22 08:05
Now all we need is a bank for ordinary people giving ordinary services, easily accessed, with no casino mentality, no profiteering, no grand ideas of taking over the world and established by Scotland, in Scotland, for Scotland.

Any takers for "Scotland's Bank" - there's over 5 million potential customers just waiting?
# Woodside 2012-02-22 09:04
Quoting Barontorc:
Now all we need is a bank for ordinary people giving ordinary services, easily accessed, with no casino mentality, no profiteering, no grand ideas of taking over the world and established by Scotland, in Scotland, for Scotland.

Any takers for "Scotland's Bank" - there's over 5 million potential customers just waiting?

Airdire Savings Bank is the answer I think you are looking for.
# IXL 2012-02-22 09:34
...and I'm sorry to say, Airdrie Savings Bank seems to be stuck in a pre-online-era time-warp. I would love to deal with a Scots bank other than RBS / BOS but Airdrie make it impossible with their outmoded model of branch-based operations - no online facility for people who don't live anywhere near a branch etc etc.

Unless they change their business model, they ain't going anywhere fast ! :-(
# ubinworryinmasheep 2012-02-22 10:39
Thats a shame as I was toying with ditching the Clydesdale and going to Airdrie. Online banking is crucial nowadays.
# dillond666 2012-02-22 11:45
[Link Removed]

Timewarp over!
# rog_rocks 2012-02-22 17:55
I use ASB and I don't live in Airdrie, they have online banking too I use it all the time with few problems, one only needs to go to a branch to open an account in the 1st place.
I dunno what you mean by "no online facility for people who don't live anywhere near a branch", although I have noticed that it does have issues with the latest version of firefox.

Then click the "Internet Banking Login" along the top.
# David Lyon 2012-02-22 09:23
Airdrie Savings Bank apply the same inflated charges that the rest of the banks do.
# Wee-Scamp 2012-02-22 09:34
There's no doubt we do need a new bank in Scotland but what we need even more urgently are more sources of venture capital to fund start-ups and early stage companies.

Scotland's company birth rate is still far too low and isn't producing enough companies that are involved in high value adding manufacturing/exporting.

It's also a sad fact that even in Englandshire they are allowing good high tech companies to slip through their grasp. Only the other day a company involved in Scotland's renewables sector was snaffled by the Germans.

Any thoughts on how to set up a VC company? Could we create a not for profit Scottish national lottery that funds start-ups or something similar?
# Barontorc 2012-02-22 10:19
If there was a wish-list possibility then all investment into an independent Scotland would be forced through a single national bank.

First purpose for this would be to become the source of income for funding the operation of "community banks". These would double as sub-post offices bringing public services into all areas.

Service provision and job creation aims met.

Second purpose of this national bank would be to apply a service charge/development tax to all incoming investment funds.

Such a tax on inward funding would go to meet the need for seed venture capital schemes for start-ups and early stage companies.

Third purpose would be to excise the present stranglehold over all GDP growth by international banking conglomerates.

In Scotland, for Scotland, by Scotland!

Pipe dreams?
# Holebender 2012-02-22 12:13
If I haven't misread you you seem to want to put obstacles in the way of inward investment. Why is that? Do you have a problem with non-native investment in Scotland?
# Barontorc 2012-02-22 16:34
Holebender - it surely takes a peculiar mind to misread what I'm tossing against a wall to see if it sticks!

There are operating charges levied against all currency and investment transactions, as you well must know, by all banks.

What I'm proposing is that it be done by a "national" bank without feeding the avarice of shareholders and speculating shysters.

Try some blue-sky thinking now and again - it sometimes surprises you just what is possible.
# Seagetagrip 2012-02-22 09:37
Perhaps a Scottish takeover of The Clydesdale might be a possibility. I like their bank notes!
# bigskelf 2012-02-22 09:39
I opened a triodos business account when I first started up a wee part time business. Sadly I had to transfer to one of the biggies as it was impossible to use in Scotland and had no Internet banking. The next ethical choice seemed to be the COOP but their support of the Labour party scuppered that. Looked at Airdrie but no suitable accounts. Still looking for a practical solution - hopefully post indy we'll get one
# peterbrady 2012-02-22 09:39
Check out the Credit Unions. The larger ones like Glasgow Credit Union even offer credit cards, current accounts, mortgages, loans, etc. No nasty letters, no fines, just old-school banking.
# balbeggie 2012-02-22 09:57
There is also the Scottish Building Society who have a few branches but 72 agencies all over Scotland. Not online banking at present.

[Link Removed]
# the wallace 2012-02-22 10:19
Airdrie savings bank would be a good one to build on.
# Hearthammer 2012-02-22 11:15
No credit unions?
# africraig 2012-02-22 14:57
Hi there; I am really keen on the whole ethical banking thing, so it is great to hear that Triodos bank is coming to Scotland. I think since the big economic disasters recently, we in Scotland need to consider how to be more sustainable and ethical in our approach to business including the banking sector. I bank with Co-op because there isn't really much of a choice out there if you want to be somewhat 'ethical', but Triodos could be one I consider in the future...
If anyone is interested, this website gives a comparison of banks and their ethical/environmental awareness:
# macgilleleabhar 2012-02-22 19:12
I think a Scottish version of Funding Circle should be set up. This is Social Lending similar to ZOPA but to sound small established businesses cutting the banking system out of the loop.
Both systems involve many people lending small amounts of money to each borrower lowering the risk of bad debts.
In a way this is a win ,win situation where the borrower pays a lower interest rate but the lender receives a higher interest rate than would be the case dealing with the normal banks.
Social Lending is worth looking into for Scotland.
As "Barontorc said earlier "Try some blue-sky thinking now and again"
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-22 19:14
As "Barontorc said earlier "Try some blue-sky thinking now and again"

Not a concept that is understood by Wastemonster.

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