Boom in loans from social lender Triodos

Triodos Bank reports sharp increase in loans to third sector organisations

Social lender Triodos Bank increased its lending to charities and social enterprises by more than 25 per cent in 2008.

The bank, which announced last week that its lending to third sector organisations had risen to £93m from £73m in 2007, also increased its total lending for the year to more than £200m for the first time.

Triodos said lending requests from the third sector had continued to be exceptionally high in early 2009.

Sue Cooper, leader of the Triodos social banking team, said part of the reason was that high-street lenders were reluctant to lend to the third sector. "This is not an easy time for the third sector," she said. "Corporate and individual donations are dropping and many banks are simply taking a blanket view that the sector is too fragile financially to lend to.

"Triodos doesn't hold that view. We believe there are strong opportunities for growth still out there."

She said the rise in lending requests showed that social businesses were still optimistic about growth.

There were particular opportunities for growth in the health sector and for organisations interested in buying property, she added.

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