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General

Triodos Bank, having its legal address in Nieuweroordweg 1 in Zeist, The Netherlands, is a public limited liability company (N.V.) under Dutch law (Chamber of Commerce 30062415). Triodos Bank finances companies, institutions and projects that add cultural value and benefit people and the environment, with the support of depositors and investors who want to encourage socially responsible business and a sustainable society.

Basis of preparation

The Annual Accounts were prepared in accordance with the legal requirements for the Annual Accounts of banks contained in Title 9 Book 2 of The Netherlands Civil Code and the Dutch Accounting Standards, as published by the Dutch Accounting Standards Board. The Annual Accounts relate to the thirty-sixth financial year of Triodos Bank NV.

These financial statements have been prepared on the basis of the going concern assumption.

Accounting principles

General

Unless stated otherwise, assets are stated at historical cost, whereby in the case of receivables a provision for doubtful debt is recognised.

An asset is disclosed in the balance sheet when it is probable that the expected future economic benefits that are attributable to the asset will flow to Triodos Bank and the cost of the asset can be measured reliably. A liability is recognised in the balance sheet when it is expected to result in an outflow from Triodos Bank of resources embodying economic benefits and the amount of the obligation can be measured with sufficient reliability.

Income is recognised in the profit and loss account when an increase in future economic potential related to an increase in an asset or a decrease of a liability has arisen, the size of which can be measured reliably. Expenses are recognised when a decrease in the economic potential related to a decrease in an asset or an increase of a liability has arisen, the size of which can be measured with sufficient reliability.

If a transaction results in a transfer of future economic benefits and or when all risks relating to assets or liabilities transfer to a third party, the asset or liability is no longer included in the balance sheet. Assets and liabilities are not included in the balance sheet if economic benefits are not probable and/or cannot be measured with sufficient reliability.

Income and expenses are attributed to the period to which they relate or to the period in which the service was provided. Revenues are recognised when Triodos Bank has transferred the significant risks and rewards of ownership of the goods to the buyer.

Interest income and commissions from lending are not accounted for in the profit and loss account if the collection of the interest and commission is doubtful.

The financial statements are presented in euros, Triodos Bank’s functional currency. All financial information in euros has been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Comparison with previous year

Before 2016, property for own use was stated at the current cost, which was derived from the replacement cost. Due to the changes in the Dutch laws and regulations ('Besluit actuele waarde') the accounting standards have been changed as per January 1, 2016 where replacement cost is replaced by actual cost. We assessed the effect of this change in cooperation with an appraiser and determined that it does not have an effect on the valuation of the property for own use. Consequently, this change in accounting policy has no effect on the profit and loss statement as well as equity.

The use of estimates and assumptions in the preparation of the financial statements

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires Triodos Bank to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the contingent assets and liabilities at the balance sheet date, and the reported income and expenses for the financial year. It mainly concerns the methods for determining the fair value of assets and liabilities and determining impairments and other value adjustments. This involves assessing the situations on the basis of available financial data and information. For certain categories of assets and liabilities the inherent estimation risk may be higher as a result of lack of liquidity in the relevant markets. Although these estimates with respect to current events and actions are made to the best of management's knowledge, actual results may differ from the estimates.

Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on a regular basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised or in the period of revision and future periods if the revision impacts both the reporting period and future periods.

Consolidation Principles

The consolidated financial statements include the financial data of Triodos Bank, its group companies and other companies over which Triodos Bank has control. Control exists when Triodos Bank has the power, directly or indirectly, to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. Group companies are participating interests in which Triodos Bank has a direct or indirect controlling interest. In assessing whether controlling interest exists, potential voting rights that are currently exercisable are taken into account. Companies exclusively acquired with the view to resale are exempted from consolidation.

The financial statements of subsidiaries are included in the consolidated financial statements from the date that control commences until the date that control ceases.

In preparing the consolidated financial statements, intra-group debts, receivables and transactions are eliminated. The group companies are consolidated in full. The financial data for joint ventures are being consolidated pro rata to the participating interest held, if consolidation is necessary in order to provide a transparent overview of the assets and result of Triodos Bank N.V.

List of equity participations of Triodos Bank N.V. in accordance with Sections 2:379 and 2:414 of The Netherlands Civil Code:

  • Kantoor Buitenzorg BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Kantoor Nieuweroord BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Stichting Triodos Beleggersgiro in Zeist, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Custody BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Finance BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos IMMA BVBA in Brussel, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Investment Management BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos Investment Advisory Services BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated;
  • Triodos MeesPierson Sustainable Investment Management BV in Zeist, participating interest 50%, joint venture with joint control, consolidated pro rata to the participating interest held;
  • Triodos Nieuwbouw BV in Zeist, participating interest 100%, group company, fully consolidated.

Transactions in foreign currencies

Assets and liabilities related to transactions denominated in foreign currencies are converted at the spot rate on the balance sheet date. Transactions and the resulting income and charges in foreign currencies are converted at the rate applicable on the transaction date. The resulting exchange rate differences are accounted for in the profit and loss account under ‘Result on financial transactions’.

Monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currencies are converted to the closing rate of the functional currency on the balance sheet date. The translation differences resulting from settlement and conversion are credited or charged to the income statement, unless hedge-accounting is applied.

Non-monetary assets valued at historical cost in a foreign currency are converted at the exchange rate on the transaction date.

Non-monetary assets valued at fair value in a foreign currency are converted at the exchange rate on the date on which the fair value was determined.

Business operations abroad

Assets and liabilities relating to activities in Business units abroad located outside the Eurozone are converted at the spot rate as at the balance sheet date. Income and expenses for activities in foreign business units outside the Eurozone will be converted at the exchange rate as at the transaction date. Any exchange rate differences arising from this will be charged or credited directly to the equity as a statutory reserve.

Hedging of the net investment in business operations abroad

Exchange rate differences arising on retranslation of a foreign currency liability accounted for as a hedge of a net investment in foreign business units located outside the Eurozone are taken directly to shareholders’ equity, in the statutory reserve for conversion differences, insofar as the hedge is effective. The non-effective part is taken to the profit and loss account as expenditure.

Financial instruments

Financial instruments, including derivatives separated from their host contracts, are initially recognised at fair value. If instruments are not measured at fair value through profit and loss, then any directly attributable transaction costs are included in the initial measurement. After initial recognition, financial instruments are valued in the manner described below.

Cash

Cash represent cash in hand and cash balances at central banks. Cash is carried at nominal value.

Government paper

All government paper are held in the investment portfolio. They are stated at redemption value less any impairment losses. Differences between the acquisition price and the redemption value are amortised over the remaining life of the securities and are recognised as prepayments and accrued income or accruals and deferred income in the balance sheet. Realised changes in the value are recognised in the profit and loss account.

Banks

Receivables on banks are valued at amortised cost less any impairment losses. The impairment loss is determined per item, with the value of the collateral provided being taken into account.

Loans

Loans are valued at amortised cost less any impairment losses. The impairment loss is determined per item, with the value of the collateral provided being taken into account.

All business loans in the portfolio are periodically reviewed on an individual basis. Their frequency depends on the debtor’s creditworthiness, the degree of market exposure and the market in which the debtor operates. Private loans are reviewed at portfolio level, and on individual basis if appropriate. The credit committee of a branch discusses and, if necessary, takes action with respect to overdue payments from debtors. If there is any doubt regarding the continuity of the debtor’s core operations and/or a debtor fails to settle agreed interest and repayment instalments for a prolonged period, this debtor falls under the category of doubtful debtors and will be managed intensively.

Provisions for loan losses are taken for doubtful debtors at an individual level based on the difference between the total amount of the debtor’s outstanding liability to Triodos Bank and the future expected cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate of the contract. These individual provisions include provisions for concessions or refinancing given to debtors who face financial difficulties. They are only granted to the debtor in question in order to overcome their difficulties in these exceptional circumstances. These are described as forbearance measures.

A provision has been taken for Incurred But Not Reported bad debts (the IBNR) to cover the time lag between the event that prompts the debt to qualify as doubtful and the moment that fact is known to Triodos Bank. This is a collective credit provision and is based on statistics. The IBNR is calculated by multiplying the exposure at default with the probability of default, the loss given default and the loss incubation period.

Interest-bearing securities

All interest-bearing securities are held in the investment portfolio. They are stated at redemption value less any impairment losses. Differences between the acquisition price and the redemption value are amortised over the remaining life of the securities and are recognised as prepayments and accrued income or accruals and deferred income in the balance sheet. Realised changes in the value are recognised in the profit and loss account.

Shares

Shares are not held in the trading portfolio and are valued at cost.

Participating interests

Participating interests where significant influence can be exercised will be valued at net asset value.

The net asset value is calculated in accordance with the accounting principles that apply for these financial statements; with regard to participations in which insufficient data is available for adopting these principles, the valuation principles of the respective participation are applied.

If the valuation of an participation based on the net asset value is negative, it will be stated at nil. If Triodos Bank N.V. can be held fully or partially liable for the debts of the participation, or has the intention of enabling the participation to settle its debts, a provision is recognised for this.

Participating interests where no significant influence can be exercised will be carried at fair value. In the case of a participating interest that is listed on an active stock exchange, the fair value will be deemed to be equal to the most recently published stock exchange price. In the case of a participating interest not listed on an active stock exchange or where there is no regular price quotation, the fair value will be determined to the best of one's ability using all available data, including an annual report audited by an external auditor, interim financial information from the institution and any other relevant data provided to Triodos Bank. Unrealised changes in the value of participating interests where no significant influence can be exercised are recognised in equity via the revaluation reserve, with the exception of changes in value below the acquisition price, which will be recognised directly in the profit and loss account.

Realised changes in the value will be recognised in the profit and loss account.

Exchange rate differences resulting from the conversion of foreign currencies will be charged or credited directly to the equity.

Intangible fixed assets

Intangible fixed assets are stated at acquisition price or cost of manufacture minus amortisation. These costs mainly comprise the cost of direct labour; upon termination of the development phase. The amortisation will be determined in line with the estimated useful life. Impairments are taken into consideration; this is relevant in the event that the carrying amount of the asset (or of the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs) is higher than its realisable value.

The development costs for the banking system will be amortised over the estimated useful life from the moment the system is used. The current end-of-life date is December 2020. Parts of the investments in this banking system have been impaired as a result of the decision to replace some functionalities in 2017.

Management contracts paid by Triodos Bank when acquiring the participating interest in Triodos Investment Management BV will be written off over a period of 20 years. The remaining depreciation period is ten years. No impairment was recognised based on the remaining usefullness of the contracts.

Computer software that has been purchased will be written off over its useful life. This period will not exceed five years.

Property and equipment

Property under development is valued at the lower of the expenditure and the expected replacement cost upon completion. The expenditure consists of payments made to third parties.

Property for own use is stated at the actual cost, which is derived from the replacement cost. A valuation is carried out at least every five years by an external appraiser. The last valuation took place November 2013. The buildings for own use are depreciated according to the straight-line method on the basis of an estimated useful economic life of 40 years. Land for own use is not depreciated.

Equipment is stated at acquisition price less straight-line depreciation on the basis of estimated useful economic life. The depreciation periods vary from three to ten years.

The difference between the proceeds on disposal of equipment and net carrying value is recognised in the profit and loss account under Other income.

Impairments expected on the balance sheet date are taken into account. With regard to the determination as to whether a tangible fixed asset is subject to an impairment, please go to note 9.

Other assets

Other assets are recognised initially at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost. If payment of the receivable is postponed under an extended payment deadline, fair value is measured on the basis of the discounted value of the expected revenues. Interest gains are recognised using the effective interest method. When a trade receivable is uncollectible, it is written off against the allowance account for other assets.

Provisions

Provisions are valued at the nominal value of the expenses expected to be incurred in settling the liabilities and losses. The provisions mainly consist of a provision for major building maintenance which is based on a long-term maintenance programme. Other provisions may contain costs of unsettled claims, legal proceedings or other estimated costs for expected cash outflows that qualify as provisions under the Dutch accounting principles.

Funds entrusted

On initial recognition funds entrusted are recognised at fair value. After initial recognition funds entrusted are recognised at the amortised cost price, being the amount received, taking into account premiums or discounts, less transaction costs. This usually is the nominal value.

Other liabilities

On initial recognition other liabilities are recognised at fair value. After initial recognition other liabilities are recognised at the amortised cost price, being the amount received, taking into account premiums or discounts, less transaction costs. This usually is the nominal value.

The purchasing and reissuing of depository receipts for own shares is charged or credited respectively to the Other reserves. Any balance remaining after the re-issuing of all own depository receipts purchased shall be placed at the disposal of the Annual General Meeting.

Own depository receipts for shares may be purchased up to 2% of the issued and paid-up share capital.

A decision to purchase own depository receipts may be made if the supply of existing depository receipts exceeds the demand for new depository receipts. For this, authority has been given to management by the Annual General Meeting.

Derivatives and hedge accounting

Derivative financial instruments consisting of foreign currency forward contracts and interest swaps are initially recognised at fair value, with subsequent measurement at each balance sheet date except if the cost model for hedge accounting is applied. Fair values are obtained from quoted market prices in active markets, except for interest rate swaps, whose fair values are determined by discounted cash flow analysis against prevailing market interest rates. Changes in the fair value are included in the profit and loss account, as result on financial transactions.

Derivatives embedded in contracts shall be separated from the host contract and accounted for separately at fair value if:

  • the economic characteristics and risks of the host contract and the embedded derivative are not closely related;
  • a separate instrument with the same terms and conditions as the embedded derivative would meet the definition of a derivative; and
  • the combined instrument is not measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognised through profit and loss.

If forward exchange contracts are concluded to hedge monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currencies, cost hedge accounting is applied. Hedge accounting is applied to ensure that the gains or losses arising from the translation of the monetary items recognised in the profit and loss account are offset by the changes in the value of forward exchange contracts arising from the difference between the spot rate at inception and spot rates as at reporting date. The difference between the spot rate agreed at the inception of the forward exchange contract and the forward rate is amortised over the term of the contract.

If cost hedge accounting is applied to hedge interest rate risk, derivatives are measured at fair value upon initial recognition. As long as a derivative hedges an interest risk in connection with an expected future transaction, it is not remeasured. As soon as an expected transaction leads to the recognition in the profit and loss account of a financial asset or financial liability, the gains or losses associated with the derivative are recognised in the profit or loss account in the same period in which the asset or liability affects profit or loss.

Triodos Bank has documented its hedging strategy and how it relates to the objective of risk management. Triodos Bank has documented its assessment of whether the derivatives that are used in hedging transactions are effective in offsetting:

  • currency results of the hedged items using generic documentation;
  • interest rate results of the hedged items using documentation per hedged item.

Any overhedge is recognised directly in the profit and loss account at fair value.

Hedging relationships are terminated upon the expiry or sale of the respective derivatives. The cumulative gain or loss that has not yet been included in the profit and loss account is recognised as a deferred item in the balance sheet until the hedged transactions have taken place. If the transactions are no longer expected to take place, the cumulative gain or loss is accounted for in the profit and loss account.

Net interest income recognition

Interest income and expenses are recognised in accordance with the effective interest method. The application of this method includes the amortisation of any discount or premium or other differences (including transaction costs and applicable commissions) between the initial carrying amount of an interest-bearing instrument and the amount at maturity, based on the effective interest method.

Taxation on operating result

Taxes are calculated on the pre-tax result on the basis of the applicable profit tax rates. Exempted profit items, deductible items, additions and differences between the balance sheet value and the fiscal value of particular assets and liabilities are taken into account.

Deferred tax items arising from differences between the balance sheet value and the fiscal value are valued at nominal value insofar these may be recovered through future profits (temporary differences).

Deferred tax assets arising from operating losses are reviewed at each reporting date. To the extent that future taxable profits do not exceed the tax losses recognised, an impairment loss is recognised.

Earnings per share

Earnings per share is calculated on the basis of the weighted average number of shares outstanding. In calculating the weighted average number of shares outstanding:

  • Own shares held by Triodos Bank are deducted from the total number of shares in issue;
  • The computation is based on monthly averages.

Cash flow statement

The cashflow statement sets out the movement in Triodos Bank's funds, broken down into operating activities, investment activities and financing activities. The funds consist of cash and the on demand deposits with banks. The cashflow statement is produced using the indirect method and gives details of the source of cash and cash equivalents over the course of the year. The cash flows are analysed into cash flows from operations, including banking activities, investment activities and financing activities. Movements in loans and receivables and interbank deposits are included in the cash flow from operating activities. Investment activities are comprised of acquisitions, sales and redemptions in respect of financial investments, as well as property and equipment. The issuing of shares and the borrowing and repayment of long-term funds are treated as financing activities. Cash flows arise from foreign currency transactions are translated into euros using the exchange rates at the date of the cash flows.

Segment reporting

The segments (branches and business units) are reported in a manner consistent with the internal reporting provided to the Executive Board, which is responsible for allocating resources and assessing performance. All transactions between segments are eliminated as intercompany revenues and expenses in Group Functions. Segment assets, liabilities, income and results are measured based on our accounting policies. Segment assets, liabilities, income and results include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis. Transactions between segments are conducted at arm’s length. The geographical analyses are based on the location of the office from which the transactions are originated.

For further details about these accounting principles, please refer to the corresponding notes to the financial statements.