Triodos Bank Review (January 2023): Second Best?

triodos bank review

Up until recently, at least in England, Triodos has gone somewhat unnoticed by the public.

This is perhaps a testament to how hard it is to stand out today in a financial market that is so competitive.

I don’t know why but for some reason, everyone seems to want to look after your money!

Jokes aside, Triodos has ignored the threat posed by its older counterparts like Barclays to do its own thing which is certainly admirable.

And perhaps best of all, Triodos Bank has done so to great effect!

Last year they came 1st in the Best British Bank awards for #best investment provider’ and ‘ best ethical financial provider’.

So just how good is this small challenger bank and is it worth opening an account with them?

Let’s find out in this comprehensive Triodos bank review.

What Is Triodos Bank?

You can trace Triodos Bank’s origins back to the Netherlands, where it became successful for its unique mission in the banking industry.

According to Triodos, their mission is to ‘create a society that protects and promotes quality of life and human dignity for all’.

Triodos achieves this by providing ethical financial products to individuals and businesses- using money in a way that benefits the environment.

I guess you could look at Triodos as a ‘green bank‘ that focuses on sustainability and ethical practice.

The challenger bank also has some attractive values, which are:

  • Excellence– High-quality services and products, striving to be one of the best in the banking sector.
  • Transparency– Triodos is crystal clear about where your money goes.
  • Sustainability– Triodos only finance companies that focus on culture and the environment.
  • Entrepreneurship– Always developing innovative ways to finance sustainable companies, entrepreneurs and initiatives.

How Does Triodos Bank Work?

Triodos is what’s known as an online bank because you guessed it, they have no psychical branches.

This is common for challenger banks as they believe in evolving away from the traditional banking style.

By providing a modern approach to finance, at least in theory, they gain some of the markets that more ‘old school’ banks neglect.

According to Triodos, they have over 730,000 customers using their cards and app- which is nothing to turn your nose up at.

Just like any other bank, Triodos offers business, joint, charity and/or personal accounts for users.

When you complete the signup process (more on this next) you’ll receive your card through the post.

Once it’s arrived, you can activate it via the Triodos bank app.

This will then allow you to set up direct debits, Apple pay, standing orders etc.

We’ll touch upon some features later on in this Triodos Bank review, but for now, we’ll take a quick look at the signup process.

Setting Up A Triodos Bank Account

(Note: If you have already signed up, skip this portion of the Triodos Bank review)

The signup process takes place purely online and can be done via the Triodos Bank website.

This example will be showing you how to set up a personal account (requirements vary with account types).

Before we get started, here are a few criteria you need to meet:

  • Be aged over 18 and a UK resident
  • Have no county court judgements against you
  • Have not filed for bankruptcy, a debt relief order or an individual voluntary arrangement in the last 5 years

Here are a few things you’ll need at hand when setting up a Triodos bank account:

  •  Your previous address (if you have moved in the last 3 years)
  • Details of your income and expenditure
  • Your national insurance number or tax identification number

Head over to the Triodos, click on the menu and press ‘I am an individual’.

From here you can click on the ‘personal account’ option.

Read through the features of the account and as you scroll down you’ll see the option to apply will appear.

 

Setting up a triodos bank account

 

Now you can start your application and fill out all the required details.

 

Filling out the triodos application

After you have completed this, your details will be verified and a card will be sent.

Now all you need is the app which is available on either the AppStore or Playstore depending on your device type.

 

triodos app on the app store

 

Then you can connect your app to your account by filling in your Digipass.

 

From here you’ll then be able to access the app’s main interface allowing you to use all the features I talk about later on in this Triodos Bank review.

Is Triodos Bank Safe?

This is an important question to answer, particularly in light of the Uk leaving the EU.

As I mentioned earlier, Triodos is a Dutch bank and therefore adheres to different laws and regulations than Uk banks.

As a result of Brexit, Triodos decided to create a new subsidiary company in the Uk owned entirely by Triodos N.V.

By doing this,  Triodos became eligible for the Uk’s financial compensation scheme as the company has to abide by the Uk’s rules and regulations.

Triodos used to be covered by a Dutch compensation scheme that protects personal accounts up to €100,000 (£83,500).

Joint accounts would have also been protected up to 200,000.

Now they are covered by the Uk compensation scheme (FSCS), personal accounts are protected up to £85,000 and joint accounts up to £170,000.

Although the difference seems trivial on paper you’d have to factor in exchange rates and communication with Dutch authorities.

So this was definitely a smart move on their part.

Particularly since prior criticisms of Triodos bank revolved around whether or not they were fully committed to there Uk division.

I like to think this action has silenced such critics.

So in short, your money will be safe and secure with Triodos.

Interest Rates And Fees

Triodos make it perfectly clear and do not try to hide the fact that they charge £3 a month for a personal account with them.

Here’s Triodos’s take on charging a monthly fee-

“Typically, banks offer ‘free’ bank accounts with hidden cost and high charges on overdrafts- often with financially vulnerable customer footing the bills”

Certainly, a fair point that very much aligns themselves with their values of being a transparent bank.

(Note: Triodos says this fee goes to towards the cost of running your current account)

In terms of savings and ISAs accounts, Triodos provide 6 different accounts, 2 for children.

Let’s take a look at them.

Everydays SavingsUpto 0.30% Gross AER
Regular savingsUpto 1.26% Gross AER
Monthly deposits from £25 to £500
Fixed Rate BondUpto 0.40% Gross AER
Variable Rate Cash ISAsUpto 0.40% Gross AER
Tax free
Right Start Saver0.55% Gross AER
Junior Cash ISA1.50% Tax Free AER

When it comes to overdrafts, Triodos has a very simple model.

Here’s an overview:

Maximum Overdraft Amount– £2,000

Flat Interest Rate– 18% EAR variable for each day you use it

Example– A £2000 overdraft (based on 18% EAR variable) will charge you at the most 91p a day or £30.58 a month.

Triodos Mobile App

Like most banks today, Triodos has a full app in which you can do a whole host of things.

After you open an account, you can simply link your account to the app by entering a DIGI code.

Here’s a quick look at what you can do via the app:

  • Check you balance a recent transactions
  • Discover inspiring lenders near you
  • Make payments to new and existing payees
  • See all of your accounts in one place
  • Log in using touch or face ID

These are some handy features to have in your pocket.

Triodos Bank Reviews

On Truspilot, Triodos is rated as average from over 330 reviews.

54% of reviews rate them as excellent while 24% rate them as bad.

Positive Triodos bank reviews include things like:

  • Intuitive app
  • Ethical banking
  • Easy to get set up

Negative Triodos reviews touch on things like:

  • Slow payment times
  • Card declines
  • Customer support issues

FAQS

Is Triodos Bank FSCS Protected?

Yes, Triodos Bank is FSCS protected.

Who Owns Triodos Bank UK?

Triodos NV.

How Ethical Is Triodos Bank?

Triodos is considered one of the most ethical banks in the UK.

Do I Need A Smartphone To Bank With Triodos?

To utilise Triodos Bank’s app you will need a smartphone.

However, you can access your account via the Triodos Bank website.

Conclusion Of This Triodos Bank Review

Triodos’s story and values are definitely a breath of fresh air in the banking industry.

As a challenger bank, it’s Triodos’s job to attract a small part of the market that want an alternative to the ‘big four’.

There does, however, seem to be a trade-off point between having a smaller bank, with a more intimate experience and a bigger bank with a more refined system/service.

I suppose the question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re willing to accept a slightly lesser quality service (in comparison to the big four) for an ethical bank with good intentions.

If you are, then, by all means, try Triodos.

You can’t come second in the Best Bank Awards and win the Best Customer Support award without really giving it your all as an organisation.

If you aren’t impressed by what you’ve seen, then you’ll likely be better suited to a bigger, more established bank.

I hope you found this Triodos Bank review helpful and if you are looking for a different bank, particularly a challenger check out these posts:

If you are looking for useful finance software articles, take a look at  these

As always be sure to leave a comment on this Triodos bank review if you enjoyed it or equally if you think I missed anything out.