Sustainability and social responsibility

ESG report 2020 for Ringkjøbing Landbobank

Ringkjøbing Landbobank faced very special demands in 2020 in order to maintain the balance between our four most important stakeholders:

  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Society
  • Shareholders

Like everyone else, we have been strongly affected by Covid-19. In March and April we could not know how big an impact the virus would have, but we knew that it would hit many others harder than Ringkjøbing Landbobank. Therefore, at an early stage we decided, and have implemented, a number of initiatives to support our customers and other partners:

  • We have stayed in close contact with our business customers and functioned as their sparring partner regarding the government’s aid packages and Covid-19 loans
  • We have offered our personal customers the possibility of skipping loan payments
  • We have renewed our sponsorship agreements and paid in advance even though many of our partners have been unable to carry out their usual activities
  • We have paid our bills on receipt and moved construction work forward
  • We have supported local media in West, Central and North Jutland by placing advertisements with them as an exceptional measure, in response to appeals from a number of mayors

So far we have been affected less than feared but the situation is still uncertain. We are looking ahead, however, and continue our sustainability efforts working with environmental (E), social (S) and governance (G) aspects – work for which we enjoy extensive support from all four stakeholder groups.

Our four most important stakeholders

Customers

In Ringkjøbing Landbobank we strive to integrate sustainability throughout our business model – not least in the areas of investment and lending.

For many years we have cultivated niches that support green transition. 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. We have built relationships with national and international partners, which has increased our capacity to participate in financing investments in renewable energy production. As early as 1995, we financed wind turbines, which have developed into an important business area for the bank. Later we built expertise in solar cell and biogas plants and have lent increasing sums to them.

In the area of investments Ringkjøbing Landbobank works closely with BankInvest, which launched two Nordic Swan Ecolabelled funds in 2020: Globale Aktier Bæredygtig Udvikling and Globale Obligationer Bæredygtig Udvikling (Global Equities Sustainable Development and Global Bonds Sustainable Development). Interest has been overwhelming. At the end of 2020, more than DKK 8.5 billion had been invested in the equity fund and the bond fund also had a very satisfactory start.

In the area of annuities and personal insurance, Ringkjøbing Landbobank works with Letpension, which is  planning the launch of a climate-friendly savings product in 2021. We look forward to offering this product to our customers.

Employees

At the end of 2020, we were training 28 apprentices and trainees – and besides that we generate a substantial number of knowledge-based jobs in our local areas. Employees in Ringkjøbing Landbobank develop expertise through further training – in partnership with Finanssektorens Uddannelsescenter (the Financial Sector’s Training Centre), Aarhus and Aalborg Universities, local business academies, upper secondary schools etc.

Society

Ringkjøbing Landbobank's goal is to be carbon-neutral. We are carbon-neutral now, because we own Sæbygård Skov forest. Its annual growth captures approximately five times more carbon dioxide than the bank emits.

Rating agencies assessing the sustainability of businesses normally only accept carbon sequestration in forestry projects if they are certified under a UN-approved standard. Sæbygård Skov is not, which is why we have decided to supplement its role by buying climate credits equalling 300 tonnes of carbon.

As a strong local bank, we have always been conscious of our importance to the local communities in West, Central and North Jutland and are happy to shoulder this responsibility. In our advice, we place greater emphasis than ever on sustainability – including improvements to energy efficiency. We support replacement of oil and gas burners throughout Denmark, and on landbobanken.dk our personal customers can find inspiration for energy savings through Totalkredit’s energy calculator. We finance investments in local business development and support more than 1,400 local clubs, associations, initiatives and events.

In 2020, Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s board of directors endorsed the 25 recommendations for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. The recommendations were the result of the work of Finance Denmark’s Anti-Money Laundering Task Force in late 2019. The bank spends substantial resources on combating money-laundering and financing of terrorism. In addition, we make a substantial contribution to society at national level by solving a range of tasks, e.g. in tax reporting and digitalisation and as one of Denmark’s 100 biggest taxpayers. We are therefore disappointed that a majority in the Danish parliament, the Folketinget, has decided to levy a surtax on the financial sector which means that we will pay higher income tax than other private-sector businesses from 2023.

Shareholders

Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s business model must be robust and sustainable for all our stakeholders. This is a precondition for generating a satisfactory return on our shareholders’ investments. We believe we have succeeded and look forward to continue working along this path.

Reporting

Ringkjøbing Landbobank 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.

On the following pages, which constitute Ringkjøbing Landbobank’s second ESG report, you will find the status of these key figures for 2020 and much more about sustainable banking operations. The bank’s ESG effort is a process and it is now up to you to judge how far we have come.

CEO John Fisker

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

Ringkjøbing Landbobanks business model

Ringkjøbing Landbobank’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, 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 contributing to creating a sustainable society, focusing on customers, employees, climate, the environment and society – locally as well as nationally. It is also our goal to be seen as a reliable and attentive partner among all our stakeholders.

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 through video, phone and email and we strive to ensure that our distance customers experience the same attentiveness from their personal adviser, and can feel the same attachment, as local customers.

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 2021

More information

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