Ecology Building Society has raised £3 million through an issue of ‘core capital deferred shares’ (CCDS), arranged by Allia C&C. The share issue will enable the Society to grow its balance sheet, invest in innovation and drive forward its mission to improve the environment by supporting and promoting ecological building practices and sustainable communities through its lending impact.
Ecology is the third, and smallest, building society to have raised new funds through CCDS, alongside Nationwide, which has to date issued over £1 billion in CCDS, and Cambridge Building Society which placed £15 million privately with its local county council pension fund.
Commenting on the success of the issue, Paul Ellis, Chief Executive of Ecology, said: “I’m delighted that Ecology has secured this investment which marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the Society’s history, underpinning our growth prospects and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and ecological lending. This demonstrates confidence in Ecology’s values-based and purpose-driven model.
“The effects of the climate and ecological crisis continue to be felt both here in the UK and across the globe, and it has never been more relevant and important for Ecology to continue to provide a progressive force for positive environmental change. The additional capital will accelerate our lending, ensuring we’re well placed to support the green recovery.”
The structure of the investment preserves Ecology’s status as a member-owned, mutual organisation as each shareholder will have only one vote regardless of how many shares they hold.
Allia C&C acted as manager for the Ecology Building Society offer of CCDS. As a specialist in raising funding for charities and mission-driven businesses in the capital markets, it placed the CCDS through its network of ethical and mainstream institutional and professional investors. The offer closed early after 8 days having been 1.25 times oversubscribed.
Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of Allia C&C, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Ecology on this ground-breaking transaction. There is a growing demand for investments making a positive social and environmental impact and Ecology has been able to capitalise on this to significantly increase its lending to sustainable and community projects.”
A spokesperson for the investment team at West Yorkshire Pension Fund, said: “West Yorkshire Pension Fund is pleased to support the new Ecology CCDS issue as a cornerstone investor. The Fund is committed to sustainable investing, and this new investment is an addition to our growing portfolio of stocks and bonds which are actively engaged in green technology and environmentally sound businesses.”
Gildas Surry, portfolio manager at Axiom Alternative Investments, said: “Axiom Alternative Investments is delighted to take part in Ecology’s capital raising via the Axiom European Financial Debt investment trust. Axiom’s participation will further strengthen the building society’s capital ratios, while supporting the resilience of its unique business model and the growth prospects of its differentiated ethical product offerings.”