Sustainability and social responsibility

ESG report 2021 for Ringkjøbing Landbobank

Ringkjøbing Landbobank is a customer-focused relationshipbank which, since its inception in 1886, has always endeavouredto strike the right balance between our four principal stakeholders:

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Society
  • Shareholders

Ringkjøbing Landbobank is doing well. We realised core earnings of DKK 1,548 million in 2021. Our original expectation for core earnings for the year was DKK 1,100-1,300 million and we exceeded it due mainly to a continued strong increase in new customers, continued growth in loans and satisfactory credit quality.

In 2021, we were aware both of a growing interest in the bank’s work of creating a more sustainable society and of higher demands in this regard.

In 2021 we chose to endorse the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact regarding responsible business operation and thus also the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which the bank has been supporting for several years. We pledge to continue to work with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and to support the Sustainable Development Goals. We are pleased that the bank’s social responsibility policy and other policies have proved themselves in this context. The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact were already largely incorporated into the bank’s policies, and living up to them has been a part of our daily lives for a long time.

We cannot deny that Covid-19 again played a big role for long periods in our everyday lives in 2021. I take this opportunity to thank both our customers and our employees for their patience and understanding of the great emphasis the bank placed on our health all year when we were together.

The continued Covid-19 challenges will not prevent our continued sustainability work in 2022, with its Environmental (E), Social (S) and Governance (G) aspects. The bank acknowledges the need for a green transition and a more sustainable society and all our stakeholders are keen supporters of our work towards these goals.

Our four most important stakeholders

Customers

In Ringkjøbing Landbobank we focus closely on implementing the Forum for Sustainable Finance’s recommendations on how the financial sector can accelerate the sustainable transition of the economy. Not least, this is true in the area of investments and loans. For the first time, we publish portfolio-level carbon emissions from discretionary asset management, pooled schemes and the bank’s own securities portfolio in this report. In addition, we are preparing portfolio-level calculations of carbon emissions from the bank’s loans as at 31 December 2022 for publication in the ESG report for 2022. We also got more new sustainable investment products to offer and look forward to applying the EU sustainability taxonomy to both investment and lending.

Strong drivers of the bank’s green transition work are the business opportunities deriving from this work. For more than 25 years we have successfully cultivated niches that fit well into the green agenda. The distinctive feature of a niche in Ringkjøbing Landbobank is that we have studied the area in detail. This enables us to show responsiveness, integrity and expertise in our advice.

Initially we financed wind turbines, which have developed into an important business area for the bank and today account for a handsome part of our total loans. Later we built expertise in lending to solar energy and biogas plants, and our lending to personal customers for energy-efficient renovation of their homes and purchases of sustainable vehicles is considerable.

Sustainability is increasingly becoming a part of our advice to personal customers, where we place a strong emphasis on improvement of energy efficiency. One way we do this is by giving our personal customers access to Totalkredit’s energy calculator. We see increasing customer interest in sustainability, and new home owners often give higher priority to improving energy efficiency than, say, installing a new kitchen.

In the area of investments, Ringkjøbing Landbobank works closely with BankInvest, of which we own 22%. In 2021, BankInvest launched one more Nordic Swan Ecolabelled fund – Danske Aktier Bæredygtig – and now offers three funds with that label. Interest has been overwhelming – including from the bank’s customers. At the end of 2021, investments in the three funds totalled DKK 18 billion. In addition, BankInvest is working to present the sustainability impact, in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the fund’s carbon emissions and ESG score. Sustainability impact reports are now available for 39 of a total of 45 public funds. BankInvest has a total of DKK 149 billion under management.

Ringkjøbing Landbobank also works with Letpension. This cooperation enables us to sell PFA’s investment and annuity products to our personal customers. In 2021, we launched a particularly climate-friendly annuity via Letpension, which was very well received by our customers. The even more climate-friendly annuity emits 80% less carbon than the world equity index. The goal is to reach carbon neutrality for the product by 2025.

Employees

In light of the disruption caused by Covid-19, the bank’s job satisfaction scores in 2021 were remarkably positive. The job satisfaction ratings given by 82% of the bank’s employees are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied.’ This is an increase of 3.7 percentage points compared to 2020. Voxmeter’s annual image analysis shows that Ringkjøbing Landbobank has the best image of any Danish bank. Nordjyske Bank is in fourth place. Results like that are not achieved without a very great effort from our employees and I want to say thank you for that.

One of the Forum for Sustainable Finance’s 20 recommendations is that we should focus on education and training in the finance sector. This has always been a high priority to the bank. Accordingly, we have not set a cap on our education and training budget. We offer our employees education and training in our own academy and in collaboration with Aalborg and Aarhus Universities, the Financial Sector’s Training Centre and local vocational education institutions. In addition, we provided training to 48 young people in 2021, and generate a substantial number of knowledge-based jobs in our local areas.

Society

The bank wants to be carbon-neutral. We own Sæbygård Skov forest, which captures more carbon dioxide per year than the bank emits. However, carbon sequestration in forestry is only accepted if the forest is certified under a UN-approved standard. We have therefore decided also to offset our CO2 scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by buying climate credits.

As a strong local bank in West, Central and North Jutland, we are of great importance to local communities. We have always been conscious of this responsibility and are happy to accept it. We finance investments in local business development and are proud to support more than 1,400 local clubs, associations, initiatives and events.

At national level, the bank has expended more resources in 2021 than ever before on combating money-laundering and financing of terrorism. We are also one of Denmark’s top 100 taxpayers and contribute to society by handling a range of other imposed tasks, e.g. in tax reporting and digitalisation. In addition, the Danish parliament, the Folketinget, has passed a proposal to levy a surtax on the financial sector which means that we will pay a higher income tax rate than other private-sector businesses from 2023.

Shareholders

Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s business model must be robust and sustainable for all stakeholders. This is a precondition for generating a satisfactory return on our shareholders’ investments. We believe we are on the right track and look forward to continuing working in this direction.

Reporting

The bank supports the 15 ESG key figures defined by Nasdaq Copenhagen, the Danish Finance Society and FSR – Danish Auditors to make data comparable across industries and sectors.

You will find the status of these key figures for 2021, and much more about sustainable banking operations, in Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s ESG report and our report on the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2021.

CEO John Fisker

"The bank runs its business based on the values: Competent, Active, Proper"

Ringkjøbing Landbobanks business model

The bank’s business model is based on close relationships with our customers, responsible lending and a high level of expertise combined with efficient business processes.

We focus both on being a local bank in West, Central and North Jutland and on being a niche bank within selected segments throughout Denmark.

The bank has a two-brand strategy with a joint logo: a flaming torch and two monograms: “Nordjyske Bank” in North Jutland and “Ringkjøbing Landbobank” in the rest of Denmark.





In accordance with our social responsibility policy, our other policies, our endorsement of the UN Global Compact and our support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we want to be a responsible and value-creating bank that shows social responsibility.

We do this by creating good, long-term results for our shareholders and by working towards a sustainable society. In doing so we focus on customers, employees, climate, and the environment, locally as well as nationally. It is also our goal to be seen by all our stakeholders as a competent, responsive and proper bank.

As a relationship bank, we see it as our responsibility to provide competent and attentive advice to personal as well as business customers – irrespective of distance. Our distance customer concept is based on close relationships online or by phone and email. We strive to ensure that our distance customers experience the same attentiveness from their personal adviser as local customers, and feel the same sense of connection.

The bank bases its operations on the values:

  • Competent
  • Responsive
  • Proper

ESG Fact Book

A supplement to the bank's annual ESG report

The bank’s annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report focuses on selected subjects in more
detail and presents ESG key figures. This Fact Book should therefore be seen as a supplement to the ESG
report.

It presents data in a more compact and clear form and beyond the scope of the ESG report.

ESG Fact Book

UN Global Compact

In 2021, Ringkjøbing Landbobank endorsed the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact regarding responsible business operation in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

UN Global Compact

More information

Here is the full overview if you want to read about sustainability and social responsibility for the bank and our partners.