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What they do

Ecology Building Society is a mutual building society dedicated to improving the environment by supporting and promoting ecological building practices and sustainable communities.

The Society offers a variety of savings accounts and then lends the money to ecological projects. It now has over £130 million in assets under management.

Typical mortgage projects include renovating a derelict or disused property and converting it into a home; building a new property to a recognised ecological standard; installing energy saving measures to existing homes; and supporting community businesses such as organic farms and co-operative living projects. The Society will not lend on holiday homes, because of their impact on rural communities, or projects involving intensive agricultural practices. 

Borrowers are offered discounts of up to 1.25% for projects achieving certified energy savings.

Ecology ensures that the Financial Regulators' 'Treating Customers Fairly' principles are central to the way they deal with their members. They do not use short term discounts to attract new members, and do not use interest rates for existing members to subsidise the rates for new members. They aim to provide clear, jargon free information and to deal with any complaints promptly and fairly.

We provide mortgages for properties and projects which support individuals and communities to adopt environmental building practices, improve the energy effi ciency of our building stock, and live or work in a way that promotes a sustainable economy. These are funded through our simple, transparent, ethical savings accounts that offer long-term value.

It’s a simple model, but our work makes an important contribution to a much bigger picture. Turn to page 17 to fi nd out how we’re making progress towards a democratic, sustainable fi nancial future.

Future plans

The Society continues to weather the effects of the financial crisis well and is in a strong position to continue to grow and develop its activities in the next few years having invested in additional staff resources and systems improvements in 2014.

During 2014, the socity has been working on a new product range which was launched in March 2015 and is designed to allow access to their savings range for more new members.

In the coming year the society will work towards a comprehensive digital strategy and a first class online offering, to ensure they are ready for an digital future. This will not hinder the existing services that they provide.

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https://www.ethex.org.uk/savings--investments_16.html

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