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Ethical lending for sustainable growth

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Ethical lending for sustainable growth

Published: December 6, 2023

Joshua Meek, Head of Impact and Sustainability at Unity Trust Bank discusses how ethical banking can be an integral part of an organisation’s business strategy, not just an afterthought.

Unity Trust Bank Head of Sustainability & Impact, Joshua Meek

The World Economic Forum declared 2023 as the year of the ‘polycrisis’.

In the UK, cost of living, high interest rates, political uncertainty and the effects of climate change are impacting the way organisations of all sizes operate.

For them to adapt and grow during this period, banks can play a critical role in helping to build confidence, set plans and achieve goals for their customers.

With so much to consider, businesses may feel there is a tension between choosing to borrow from an ethical bank and securing the funds they need.

Are the rates competitive? Will I get good service as a customer? Will an ethical bank want to work with me?

The answer to the above is yes! Ethical banks provide a wide range of services to all types of organisations which deliver impact in their communities.

Supporting sustainable growth

Banks like Unity don’t just serve charities or third sector organisations. We believe every business has the potential to contribute to a better society.

From specialist and traditional care home providers to small businesses providing local job opportunities, ethical banks will work to understand how an organisation contributes to social, economic or environmental outcomes.

The likelihood is, if you’re making a positive impact through employment, delivering goods and services in key sectors or driving forward the green economy, they will be keen to meet you and find out more.

Furthermore, lenders like Unity specialise in the sectors that positively contribute to people and planet. They often have Relationship Managers with experience in areas like health services, education and housing.

In the current climate, it’s more important than ever to have support from your bank. We offer businesses an effective and knowledgeable Relationship Manager. They take time to get to know the strategic direction of your business, its goals and potential challenges.

Partnering with an ethical bank is just one way that businesses and organisations can make a tangible difference to society. This will, in turn, build their own credentials with customers and stakeholders. This is especially important as people are now placing greater emphasis on ESG when it comes to selecting commercial partners.

There’s no doubt that conversations around lending are changing.

After 14 years of low base rates in the UK, businesses now have to consider a new economic environment.

At Unity, we’re proud to have 40 years of solid experience and social good behind us.

As an ethical bank and a responsible commercial lender, we review all loans to understand the quantifiable impact they will have across the UK as well as assessing the credit suitability.

Despite the challenges, enterprising organisations and businesses still have the courage and desire to invest in growth.

Choosing to partner with an ethical bank can be an integral party of a company’s financial strategy. It can enable businesses to secure investment for sustainable growth whilst also making a meaningful positive impact on society.

This article first appeared in NACFB Commercial Broker magazine.