No mortgage from Triodos Bank

In February this year Stephanie and I bought a home in The Hague. Since June we live in this corner house with a small garden in Loosduinen. We have much more space now than in our small apartment in Rotterdam. The location is convenient because Stephanie can now go to work by bicycle in ten minutes. I will write more about the home and The Hague later, for now I want to write about the mortgage we have taken to buy our home.

For me, the first bank to consider as a mortgage provider was Triodos Bank. This bank is one of the few ethical and honest banks in the mass of big and greedy ‘too big to fail’ banks. I already had a bank account there and if there had to be anyone to charge me an arm and a leg for an expensive home, it had better be Triodos. Total costs for the (compulsory) advice and closing of the mortgage turned out to be quite high: € 2,050 for those with an existing mortgage, including a a discount.

High costs, if you compare with competitors such as Hypotheek24. There it’s possible to close a mortgage for € 650 without advice. Advice often isn’t necessary, especially since only linear and annuity repayment schemes are tax deductible for new mortgages in the Netherlands now. These are relatively uncomplicated. So why can’t Triodos make it’s advice optional? Why can’t they go with the flow?

In the end we decided to use the services of Stephanie’s last financial advisor again, the VvAA. We actually needed the more complex advice because it turned out to be financially advantageous to maintain our ‘bankspaarhypotheek’, an older mortgage type with a savings-based repayment scheme. Combined with advice for insurances, we paid them € 3,000. The mortgage was closed with, unfortunately, ABN Amro: the greedy bank which had to be bailed out by the government, with the tax payer’s money. Triodos apparently doesn’t do business with external advisors, so the VvAA couldn’t close a mortgage with Triodos.

I might want to transfer the mortgage from ABN Amro to Triodos in the future, but for transfers the costs are € 2,050 as well. I could spend that on two weeks of holiday in summer. It seems as if Triodos doesn’t want mortgage customers.