At Arion Bank we strive to create a working environment shaped by professional, ambitious and progressive attitudes and close teamwork between each and every person at the Bank. Arion Bank’s policy is to maximize its human resources by ensuring equal opportunities and terms for employees of either sex and to be an attractive place to work for both men and women. The Bank has been awarded equal salary certification from the trade union VR and works in compliance with it.
We always endeavour to do better today than we did yesterday and place great importance on continuous improvements and taking the initiative to improve what we do. The employees are the heart of Arion Bank’s business and we do our utmost to take good care of our people.
Diverse team of employees
Arion Bank employs a diverse team of people with wide-ranging experience and varied educational backgrounds. In 2016 there were 889 full-time equivalent positions, while in 2017 the total was 830. The number of full-time equivalent positions therefore decreased by 59 in 2017.
The age of employees is distributed rather equally. The average age of Arion Bank employees is 41.5. The average length of employment at the Bank is 10.2 years, but many people have worked at the Bank and its predecessors for much longer, some up to 45 years.
Training and professional development
Employees are encouraged to show initiative to maintain and improve the skills and expertise needed to perform their work.
Professional development is promoted at the Bank through goal-oriented employee training and education. The Bank offers a wide range of courses and seminars designed to support professional development. During the year work continued on introducing a digital training system for Arion Bank employees to add to the diversity of options available and to ensure that the appropriate training and education is available to all who seek it. There is a keen emphasis on enabling employees to develop their professional and personal skills. Employees are also required to have a sound knowledge of the laws and regulations which apply to their jobs. Employees are encouraged to show initiative to maintain and improve the skills and expertise needed to perform their work. The Bank’s training and professional development programme is integral to the policy of continuous improvement, e.g. doing better today than yesterday. We also began preparations for an initiative to improve the service culture at the Bank, using the infrastructure brought in by A Plus, lean management, over the last few years.
- Lean management has been introduced into all areas of the Bank since 2012. In 2017 the final formal implementation of lean management was completed and the task ahead is to maintain the culture of improvement which has been deployed throughout the Bank in recent years.
- In 2017, 22 employees studied to become qualified stockbrokers. A total of 87 employees have already completed this course.
- In 2012 banks in Iceland started to offer specialized courses for financial advisers with the aim of improving customer service. Today, Arion Bank employs 57 qualified financial advisers and a further 9 will qualify in the spring of 2018.
- The average cost of contracted education and retraining of staff was ISK 99,000 per employee in 2017.
Human Resources policy
Arion Bank is a relationship bank and we do our utmost to develop good, long-term relationships with our customers and colleagues.
Strategy and vision
The Bank has set out a clear policy to ensure equal opportunities and terms for employees of both genders. Any kind of sexual discrimination is contrary to the Bank’s equal opportunities policy and equal opportunities legislation. The CEO is responsible for implementing equal opportunities at the Bank and he is represented by an equal opportunities committee comprising Bank employees.
Arion Bank adheres to an equal opportunities action plan. The objective of the plan is to ensure equality and equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their gender. The plan covers a wide range of topics, including the right to work, terms of employment, professional development and positions on committees and in working groups. The tasks of the equal opportunities committee are divided into eight categories: Salary equality; equality in committees; vacant positions; working groups; professional training and further education; instruction on equal opportunities; coordinating work and family life; combatting bullying and sexual harassment. Since 2014 the Bank has supported the UN Women/UN Global Compact Women’s Empowerment Principles. These are international declarations and treaties under the auspices of the United Nations which companies and institutions can use as guidelines when implementing responsible working practices, irrespective of geographic location or sector and primarily concern advancing gender equality.
In 2015 Arion Bank was awarded equal salary certification by the union VR. Arion Bank became the largest company to have been awarded this certification and the first Icelandic bank.
In 2015 Arion Bank was awarded equal salary certification by the union VR. Arion Bank became the largest company to have been awarded this certification and the first Icelandic bank. Equal salary certification from VR involves a detailed survey of employees’ salaries, job classification and other factors which have an effect on terms of employment.
The Bank’s policy on bullying, harassment and violence was updated in 2017. Communication at the work place should be characterized by mutual respect and we have zero tolerance for any inappropriate behaviour. One of the Bank’s cornerstones is that we say what we mean. It should be the concern of all employees if they experience inappropriate behaviour towards their colleagues and they should notify the management of any inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.
An anti-bullying team oversees the Bank’s policy on bullying, harassment and violence. A process has been set up for receiving complaints from employees about inappropriate behaviour. A formal assessment process is then carried out by an independent body and this is backed up by an action plan to combat inappropriate behaviour.
Equal pay policy
Arion Bank complies with the Gender Equality Act No. 10/2008 and all other legislation and rules designed to ensure that women and men are not discriminated against and that people receive equal pay for equal work.
In support of the equal pay policy Arion Bank complies with Icelandic standard ÍST 85:2012 on equal pay systems. According to the standard pay levels should be predetermined and should not allow for any direct or indirect sexual discrimination or discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. The policy applies to all employees.
The Bank passed two inspections during the year which confirmed that the Bank is operating in compliance with equality standards. The explained wage gap decreased from 3.7% to 2.9% year on year, and the Bank’s objective was for the explained wage gap to fall to below 3% in 2017. The Bank will apply for permission from the Centre for Gender Equality to use the equality symbol to confirm that the Bank meets the legal requirements for equal pay certification which came into effect on 1 January 2018.