Savings Banks Group corporate responsibility report
Responsibility holds key importance in everything we do – in how we relate to our customers and our partners, our operating area, the authorities and other stakeholder groups. Our corporate responsibility data and indicators are prepared, as appropriate, in accordance with the GRI G4 reporting framework, following the recommendations for the financial sector.
Key points of our corporate responsibility report
Social responsibility is one our most important and prominent values.Our banks base their operations on helping our customers to take care of their finances and to prosper. We actively promote the wellbeing of our customers and the local communities. Since the founding of Savings Banks Group, we have directed a proportion of our profits to enhancing welfare within local communities.
In 2017, we donated, for example, to the following causes:
- We made financial contributions to work with children and young people, war veterans, the elderly, junior sport as well as other leisure activities.
- Through the Savings Banks Research Foundation, we granted scholarships to university researchers and research projects.
- We also contributed considerable sums to non-profit purposes across Finland though savings bank trusts owning limited liability-format Savings Banks.
How do our social responsibility efforts impact our customers?Social responsibility impacts customers through investments in the Savings Bank experience and information security, as well as equal treatment of customers.
The key values observed in the Savings Banks Group’s advisory services are integrity, accessibility and transparency. Our employees have a particular responsibility to ensure that our customers receive information in accordance with good business conduct. We strive to ensure that customers are aware of the consequences of their financial decisions, including the potential risk of losses.
Responsibility for the environment through personnel and investment effortsWe also recognise our role in promoting environmental responsibility. We encourage our employees to use public transport, replace business trips and meetings with telephone and video conferences, and we prioritise eco-friendly alternatives in purchasing.
Investments may, however, involve indirect environmental impacts. Responsible investment refers to accountability in matters related to the environment, society and good governance (ESG factors) in investment operations.
Financial responsibilityFinancial responsibility refers to good profitability, capital adequacy and liquidity, good governance and responsible leadership. We want to ensure that our customers and partners are able to rely on our judgement and sense of responsibility in all circumstances.
To maintain financial responsibility, all entities within the Savings Banks Group have to ensure their capital adequacy and liquidity even in poor economic conditions.
Responsibility for promoting financial well-being among our customersA particular feature that applies to Savings Banks is that they are taking responsibility for promoting saving and financial well-being among the local population. For example, we only provide our customers with loans and credit that they can manage without straining their finances.
Responsibility for the Finnish economy – all taxes paid directly to FinlandWe are a wholly Finnish banking group. The 23 independent Savings Banks that form the Savings Banks Group pay all of their taxes directly to Finland. They do not participate in controversial tax planning practices. In 2017, we paid EUR 16.3 million in income taxes.
Job creation and active development of the banking sectorSavings Banks Group employs financial and service industry professionals around the country. Through its presence on the various committees of Finance Finland, the Group contributes actively to the development of the Finnish banking sector. In addition to our own personnel, we have an indirect employment effect in Finland through purchasing, for example. One example of this effect is that local operators were used in the construction of Säästöpankki Optia’s new head office, which opened in 2017.
The themes highlighted in the report were selected on the basis of a materiality analysis. The report includes the non-financial information required by the Finnish Accounting Act. The Savings Banks Group’s Board of Directors has signed the GRI report, including the Group’s statement of non-financial information, in its meeting on 25 April 2018.
Read the corporate responsibility report here