The Finance division facilitates the efficient flow of funds within Arion Bank and ensures that the Bank’s liquidity position meets the requirements made by the Board and the regulators at all times. The division raises credit on the domestic and international markets on competitive terms which further enables the Bank to provide services to its customers. Finance is also responsible for market making which provides liquidity in equities and fixed income on the Icelandic capital market. Finance prepares the Bank’s annual and interim financial statements and provides various reporting to internal and external parties. Finance therefore plays a vital role in assisting the Bank's various units, its subsidiaries and the Bank as a whole to achieve optimal results for the customers, employees and shareholders. The division, furthermore, is responsible for reporting to the regulators, thus meeting the requirements set out in the Bank's operating licence. Finally, the task of Finance is to ensure that all employees have the best possible working environment. Finance is managed by Stefán Pétursson, Chief Financial Officer.
Funding raises wholesale funding at favourable terms which makes the Bank more competitive and places it in a better position to serve its customers.
Treasury manages and facilitates the flow of funds effectively between different units of the Bank. The division is the central repository for all funds at the Bank and is responsible for managing customers’ deposits, wholesale funding, foreign exchange and other financial products. The department also manages liquidity and maintains a balance in the Bank’s operations in compliance with the Board's risk appetite and regulatory requirements. Treasury performs its role profitably and efficiently.
Accounting is responsible for producing the annual and interim financial statements and for providing accurate and up-to-date information which contribute to running a better business. The work undertaken by the department also aims to build up and maintain trust with the owners, the Board, the regulatory authorities and the general public.
Planning and Analysis is responsible for the regular reporting of information to the regulatory authorities, which is one of the conditions for the Bank’s operating licence. Planning and Analysis also supports the decision-making process at Arion Bank by providing the Board and employees with information and data.
Cost Accounting and Payroll records and provides information on the Bank's operating expenses. The department also actively monitors costs which assists in ensuring that the cost-to-income ratio matches targets and promotes greater cost awareness.
The role of Procurement is to coordinate the procurement of supplies at the Bank. The objective of clear and effective procurement management is to achieve significant reductions in expenses. Effective procurement management also strengthens the Bank's relationship with suppliers and ensures the optimum terms of business.
Facilities and Property Management is responsible for managing and investing in the Bank's premises, a total of 30,000 m2. The department is also responsible for managing and selling foreclosure assets, runs a catering service for employees and provides a range of other services.
In January 2017 Arion Bank outsourced IT systems administration to Origo. Information Technology subsequently restructured itself and it is now even better organized to support the Bank’s focus on digital banking. The division is split into four departments: Software Development, Digital Future, Technology Management and Project Office. Back Office, previously part of Operations, now also belongs to Information Technology. The managing director is Rakel Óttarsdóttir.
The rapid progress of digital technology is driving innovation at a relentless pace throughout the world. Banks, just like other companies, need to rethink the way they do business and technology is a key factor. The bank of the future will not resemble the bank of today. Arion Bank has set itself the goal of being the leading digital bank in Iceland. We want to make life easier for our customers by meeting their everyday banking needs with our state-of-the-art digital products. Information Technology plays a key role in implementing this strategy.
Leading digital bank
Today Arion Bank is the leading digital bank in Iceland. We are simplifying and automating procedures, making things more straightforward for the customers and our employees. We utilize the data from our research to make good decisions and we try to develop creative solutions which our customers find stimulating.
Technology allows us to accommodate our customers, whenever and wherever they want. Technology enables to get to know our customers, to understand and meet their needs. We are there for people who want to do their banking at home or via a smartphone, but we are also there for people who want to come and meet us in person at one of our many branches.
A whole range of new digital services were introduced in 2017. Companies can now become customers online, homebuyers can apply for a mortgage online and refinance existing loans and investors can trading with shares via their online bank account. Customers can freeze their credit cards and change overdrafts and credit card limits simply and conveniently. The Einkaklúbbur discount club was relaunched as an app which has proven highly popular.
Effectively organizing projects
In the second half of the year, we introduced some changes to our procedures in IT. The changes apply to all the division's major projects and build on a template used in the digital future accelerator, where the Bank’s digital solutions are developed.
All the division’s major projects are tackled by cross-disciplinary teams who are entirely dedicated to the projects at hand and each project is completed according to a predetermined schedule. Smaller projects are taken on by a special taskforce so that other project teams can concentrate on larger projects.
Software Development is responsible for designing, developing and maintaining the Bank’s digital strategy and developing a solid platform for future digital solutions.
Technology Management is responsible for the operation and security of IT systems, day-to-day services to users and liaison with our partners. The departments controls the security and design of solutions, develops quality systems and handles product management.
Digital Future is a business accelerator which redesigns the Bank's business processes from start to finish. The projects are worked on by cross-disciplinary teams which dedicate all their resources to that particular project during the allotted period.
Project Office manages cross-disciplinary projects. As in Digital Future the projects are realized by dedicated cross-disciplinary teams whose sole focus is that particular project.
Back Office is responsible for administrating and processing transactions, including loans, deposits and securities transactions, and records management. This includes ensuring compliance with the rules on completing, storing and handling documents and the correct recording of data in the Bank’s systems. The key focuses in 2017 were to improve processes, support the Bank’s digital solutions, enhance internal quality controls and fully integrate the activities of records management with Back Office after it joined the division in early 2017.
The main roles of the Legal division are to provide independent legal advice, high quality legal drafting and the professional collection of debt. Legal strives to foster good relationships with other divisions of the Bank in order to ensure that legal experts are involved in any issues requiring legal advice at an early stage. Legal is divided into four units: Restructuring and Litigation, Legal Collection, Legal Services, and Legal Documentation. The managing director is Jónína S. Lárusdóttir.
Restructuring and Litigation works on the financial restructuring of those customers, both retail and corporate, experiencing financial difficulties. It handles the satisfaction of the claims of Arion Bank in the legal collection process and also represents the Bank in court. The department supervises the Bank’s composition and debt cancellation committees. It is also responsible for the Bank's foreclosure assets, i.e. settling affairs after auctions and handling lease agreements.
Legal Documentation provides legal advice and drafts legal documents for Retail Banking and Corporate Banking. There are two separate teams: the first specializes in legal advice and drafting for individual customers in Retail Banking and consumer loans and agreements in Retail Banking. The second provides legal advice and drafting services for corporate clients and legal entities.
Legal Collection handles the collection of the Bank’s claims at all stages of the collection process. It is responsible for issuing collection letters, for communications and agreements with customers and legal collection measures through the agency of the courts and district magistrates.
Legal Services provides legal advice to different divisions and departments of the Bank, including Asset Management, Capital Markets, Corporate Finance, CEO's Office, Marketing, Finance and various support units, and reports on new legislation, judgments, decisions and instructions given by the authorities. Legal Services also advises on competition and taxation issues.
The CEO’s Office includes the CEO, personal assistants to the CEO, a business development specialist, a head of innovation and the Customers' Ombudsman. Human Resources, Marketing, Communications, Investor Relations, Credit Management and Compliance also belong to the CEO’s Office.
The main tasks of the CEO's Office involve general assistance to the CEO and the organization and administration of board and committee meetings. Business development is responsible for development and short-term and long-term strategic planning, as well as administering innovation projects such as Startup Reykjavík and Startup Energy Reykjavík. The Customers’ Ombudsman is responsible for analyzing and following up on recovery cases involving retail and corporate customers. The majority of the Bank's assets in listed and unlisted companies are also administered by the CEO's office.
Human Resources is a united team with a clear vision and the expertise to communicate the Bank's strategy. Human Resources offers advice and support when recruiting employees and helps develop leadership skills and nurtures employees' abilities. Human Resources encourages professional development, continuous improvement and greater job satisfaction. Human Resources is a goal-oriented division which supports the Bank’s strategy by connecting people and placing customer experience at the heart of what we do.
The role of Marketing is to support the development of long-term relationships with the Bank’s customers through focused marketing and effective communication. Marketing is in line with the Bank’s strategy and future vision and involves marketing products and services, event management and internal marketing, while at the same time nurturing the Bank’s image and brand.
Communications is responsible for public relations and external and internal communications. Communications also project manages sustainability at the Bank.
Investor Relations is responsible for providing investors with good, timely and relevant information to enable them to understand the business.
The role of Compliance is to apply effective precautionary measures to ensure that operations are in compliance at all times with the law, regulations and good business practices, and to foster an affirmative corporate culture in this respect. Further information on Compliance at Arion Bank can be seen here.
Credit Management is involved in all the Bank’s main loan cases and its aim is to guarantee a comprehensive overview of the Bank’s loan portfolio. Credit Management has representatives on all the Bank’s credit committees and the head of the department is a member of the Board Credit Committee. Credit Management is made up of credit managers who work closely with account managers to analyze individual loan cases, and specialists who submit written recommendations on cases to be decided upon by the Bank’s credit committees. The department also helps develop and makes proposals on the Bank’s credit rules.