Unity Trust Bank, head quartered in Birmingham, has announced its annual results, including a record level of lending to socially responsible businesses (+20%).
The Midlands region had a strong year reporting total lending of £66.6m, a growth of 21% YoY.
With a commitment to ‘Safe Growth’, Unity’s shareholders and employees have built a robust bank with a growing balance sheet, making it one of the UK’s leading socially motivated, commercial banks.
Despite the challenges from economic disruption, the pandemic and the historically low bank rate environment, Unity’s overall lending of £723.5m (2020: £601.8m) contributed towards record pre-tax earnings of £11.1m (2020: £7.5m).
This strong financial performance enabled Unity to help even more businesses and organisations across the UK to deliver quantifiable impact to the communities they serve; its funding directly supporting 795 new jobs, creating or renovating 789 bed spaces and providing housing for 1,024 people.
The Bank achieved net zero carbon status in 2021 and also invested Treasury assets in green bonds. Unity is also a member of the Financing a Just Transition Alliance, formed to progress actions from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The employee-led Unity in the Community initiative supported charities and grassroots organisations with employee donations amounting to £6,725 and colleagues across the business engaged in 145 volunteering days during work time.
James Whitaker, regional director for the Midlands at Unity Trust Bank said:
“Business confidence in the region has remained high despite the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit on all businesses. Clients that have invested in growth or acquisition have quickly adapted to the changes, taking innovative approaches to enable them to do so. This has helped to sustain both their commercial viability, and the social impact they have on their local communities.”
Unity allocated £56.77m to the healthcare sector alone in 2021 and 165 small businesses were supported through loans to Responsible Finance Providers.
Deborah Hazell, CEO at Unity Trust Bank, said: “I am immensely proud that Unity continues to demonstrate the positive role that finance can and should play in society.
“Unity lends to borrowers that not only have solid financials, but can demonstrate positive social impact too, as we strongly believe that banks have a responsibility to society.
“Our strategy of safe, sustainable growth resulted in record levels of lending in 2021, and through our financial resilience, and an ethos that is embedded in our culture, we will continue to work with customers and stakeholders to create a better society for everyone.”
Unity also has commercial offices in Manchester and London and in 2021 it was named Socially Responsible Lender of the Year for the second year running by the NACFB. Unity is also a Real Living Wage and Disability Confident employer, a member of the Banking Standards Board, holder of the Investors in People Gold standard and is Bronze Standard Carbon Literacy accredited.