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.
At the beginning of 2016 there were 927 employees occupying 876 full-time equivalent positions at Arion Bank. At the end of 2016 the Bank had 945 employees in 869 full-time equivalent positions, 65% women and 35% men. A total of 67 people were hired in 2016, 64% women and 36% men. The employee turnover was 13.8%, compared with 10% in 2015.
In 2016 the number of full-time equivalent positions decreased by 7. At the same time the Bank opened a branch at Keflavík International Airport where 49 people occupy 30 full-time equivalent positions. The real decrease in full-time equivalent positions over the year is therefore 37.
The age of employees is distributed rather equally. The average age of Arion Bank employees is 42. The average length of employment at the Bank is 10.5 years, but many people have worked at the Bank and its predecessors for much longer, some up to 45 years.
Training and professional development
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. At the end of the year a digital training system for Arion Bank employees was introduced 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.
- Strengthening the leadership skills of management has been a priority. It is a process which has been ongoing since 2014.
- In 2016, 28 employees studied to become qualified stockbrokers. A total of 89 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 53 qualified financial advisers and a further 7 will qualify in the spring of 2017.
- The average cost of acquired services for educating and retraining employees in 2016 was ISK 117,000 per employee.
Human Resources policy
We are proud of our place of work and are constantly striving to improve our results and the services we provide to our customers. Arion Bank is a relationship bank and we do our utmost to develop good, long-term relationships with our customers and colleagues. We work professionally and think in terms of providing solutions. We are flexible, progressive and dedicated in everything we do.
Human Resources is a goal-oriented division and it supports the Bank’s policy with a focus on leadership, professional development, performance, employee welfare and the culture of improvement.
The Bank has set out a clear policy to ensure equal opportunities and terms for employees of both sexes. 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 to ensure equality and equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their gender. The action plan was reviewed and updated in 2016. 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 is the largest company to have been awarded this certification and the first Icelandic financial institution. 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.
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 narrowed between years from 4.8% to 3.7%. The Bank aims to bring the explained wage gap to below 3% in 2017.
To ensure compliance and continuous improvements, the Bank pledges to set an equal pay target and to analyze pay through internal and external surveys, and to examine the results and make improvements where necessary.