Scottish Building Society partners with Ambiental to map climate change impact on £400m of mortgages


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Scottish Building Society has embarked on a ground-breaking partnership with leading European climate change analysts Ambiental to assess flood risks in more than £400million of mortgages.

The modelling work draws on Ambiental’s predictive analytics, machine learning and expertise to forecast risks to SBS’s portfolio for up to 50 years.

Ambiental, a company of Royal HaskoningDHV Digital, estimates an additional 1.2million properties across the UK could be at a risk of flooding by 2050.

Given that 35% of UK households have property debt, and the average value of a mortgage in the UK is £137,000, this means £60billion in mortgage debt could be impaired due to climate induced flooding alone.

Paul Denton, Chief Executive of SBS, said: “In the build-up to COP26 in Glasgow, climate change is very much front of mind.

“As the world’s oldest building society, with 173 years of history behind us, it is important to ensure that we have a sustainable business for the next 173 years.

“We are delighted to partner with Ambiental, a world leader in the field. Their predictive technology, combined with expert analysis models the risk of different climate change scenarios on our £400million mortgage portfolio, whether from flooding or coastal erosion.”

New guidelines to be introduced by the Bank of England require the finance sector to better analyse and disclose climate change risks.

Flood losses in Europe are expected to increase fivefold by 2050, according to the European Environment Agency.

Ambiental looked at every property on the Society’s books to build up a picture of current risks and then future risks over a 10-50 year timescale, based on different levels of carbon in the atmosphere and their impact on climate.

Justin Butler, CEO of Ambiental, said: “As the risk of flooding increases and the impact of flood events becomes more severe, organisations need new ways to see and manage their risks.

“SBS are well ahead of the curve in this respect. They now have an understanding of what the risk profile of their mortgage portfolio is today but also how that risk profile changes into the future, and that can help them to make adjustments if they need to, or to reflect upon different business decisions to support with a sustainable mortgage book growth over time.”

Ambiental’s FloodScore Climate is already being used for stress testing and ESG compliance in the financial sector, as well as long term financing, asset management, property investment and insurance risk underwriting.

Scottish Building Society this year announced it is partnering with Trees for Life on their mission to rewild the Scottish Highlands and support its rich and diverse wildlife.

The Society is helping mitigate its own carbon footprint by supporting the charity’s pioneering conservation work on the Caledonian Forest.

Mr Denton said: “As Scotland’s building society we understand our responsibilities as a corporate citizen to reduce our carbon footprint. This ranges from looking at the ways we can limit the impact we have on the environment, to launching products to help customers make their homes and properties more energy efficient and sustainable. “

For further information contact Allan Rennie, Associate Director, Hollicom. T: 07831 725141


Scottish Building Society is Scotland’s only independent building society having been established in 1848. Scottish Building Society offers a range of savings and mortgage products designed to allow members to buy their homes and save for the future.


Scottish Building Society

SBS House, 193 Dalry Road


EH11 2EF


Telephone: 0131 313 7700


Twitter: @_ScottishBS

Facebook: @ScottishBS



Unlike many other financial institutions, our primary aim is not to maximise profit. Any surplus profits we make are reinvested in the Society to benefit our members and ensure we have sufficient funds to invest in the future and remain financially strong.



We believe we have an important role to play both in the provision of a safe haven for our members’ savings and in offering a range of mortgage products to meet their needs. At the Scottish Building Society, we outline the commitment to all our members through Our Loyalty Promises which includes rewarding loyalty, delivering long-term value and treating customers as individuals.

We pride ourselves on offering mortgages tailored to suite our member’s needs and are committed to treating customers are individuals. To do this, we underwrite each case individually and have developed a range of mortgage products such as Retirement Interest-only, Self-Build and Professional mortgage (accountants, dentists, doctors etc. see website for full list).

As well offering unique mortgage products, we also offer a wide variety of savings account options, from Junior ISAs through to Fixed Rate Bonds.




o  Chief Executive Paul Denton appointed in July 2019.

o  The Society celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2018.

o  In 2017 the Society became the first commercial sponsor of the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

o  Society members voted Alzheimer Scotland as its charity of the year for 2020/2021.

o  Scottish Building Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Register No 206034)





o  Ambiental Risk Analytics is a global specialist in environmental hazard intelligence, predictive analytics and risk management.

o  A company of Royal HaskoningDHV, Ambiental provides flood forecasting systems using flood modelling techniques that support better decision-making around flood and climate risk management by predicting the location and severity of flooding, preventing damage, and protecting people, property and assets.

o  Ambiental produces environmental hazard alerting systems, flood maps, data sets, catastrophe models, flood forecasting systems and environmental climate data internationally.

o  Royal HaskoningDHV Digital, part of Royal HaskoningDHV, builds on the company’s mission to enhance societies by combining specialised digital capabilities with deep engineering knowledge built over the 137 years. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of digital consultancy and software solutions to create value for clients across the globe. Royal HaskoningDHV Digital focuses on accelerating innovation and implementation of emerging technologies.


o  Telephone: +44 (0)203 857 8543

o  Website:

o  LinkedIn: @ambiental-risk-analytics

o  Twitter: @floodexpert




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