The Finance division facilitates the flow of capital profitably and efficiently within Arion Bank and ensures that the Bank’s liquidity meets the requirements made by the Board and the regulators at all times. The division raises debt on the domestic and international markets at favourable terms which enables the Bank to provide necessary services to its customers. Finance is also responsible for market making which provides liquidity in equities and bonds on the Icelandic securities market. Finance prepares the Bank’s annual and interim financial statements and prepares all kinds of reporting. Finance therefore plays a pivotal role in helping the Bank's different units, its subsidiaries and the Bank as a whole achieve the optimal results for the customers, employees and shareholders. Finance had 51 full-time employees at the end of 2016. Finance is managed by Stefán Pétursson, Chief Finance Officer.
Funding raises wholesale funding at favourable terms which makes the Bank more competitive and puts it in a better position to serve its customers.
Treasury manages and facilitates the flow of capital effectively between different units of the Bank. The division is the central intermediary for all capital 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 preparing 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 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 license. Planning and Analysis also supports the decision-making process at Arion Bank by providing the Board and employees with information and material.
Cost Accounting and Payroll records and provides information on the Bank's operating expenses. The department also actively monitors costs and ensures that the cost 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 improve efficiency and to strengthen the Bank's relationship with suppliers and ensure the optimum terms of business.
Our goal is to be the leading digital bank in Iceland. We aim to expand the range of digital products and services available to our customers. Information Technology (IT) plays a key role in implementing this strategy. At the end of 2016, IT had 105 full-time employees but in January 2017 the number of full-time equivalent positions decreased by 20 when IT system administration was outsourced to Nýherji. The agreement with Nýherji simplified the structure of the division and it now comprises four departments: software development, digital future, technology management and business management. The managing director is Rakel Óttarsdóttir.
The rapid progress of digital technology is driving innovation at a relentless pace throughout the world. These technological advances have the power to transform entire industries and open up endless new opportunities. Companies need to find new, unconventional and quicker ways to keep pace with these developments if they want to survive. Banks, just like other companies, need to rethink the way they do business and technology is a decisive factor. The bank of the future does not resemble the bank of today.
The leading digital bank
Our goal is to be the leading digital bank in Iceland. We are simplifying and automating procedures, making everything we do more straightforward for the customers and our employees. We intend to utilize the data from our research to make good decisions and we aim to develop creative solutions which our customers find stimulating.
Technology allows us to accommodate our customers, whenever and wherever they want. Technology enables to know the customers, and 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.
Digital technology takes centre stage
To underline the importance of information technology and our focuses on digital technology in the future, the IT division was separated from Operations in mid-2016 and is now an independent division with a seat in the Executive Committee.
In early 2016 we set up a project accelerator under the name digital future which directs digital projects over 16-week periods. The projects are carried out by cross-disciplinary teams which concentrate on redesigning one business process from start to finish during the project period. There is a strong emphasis on frequent testing with the input of customers from day one.
Towards the end of the year we entered into an agreement with Nýherji on outsourcing the administration of the Bank's IT systems. Not only will this deal result in improved operating efficiency, enhanced security and better services, it also creates space for us to concentrate on the Bank’s digital development for the future.
Numerous new digital services were launched during the year. People can now become customers of the Bank online using eID, a valid credit appraisal can be performed in just few minutes on our website, customers can open new deposits accounts and obtain credit cards, transfer money to anyone using the Arion app and spread out credit card bills with one click. Digital services planned for the near future include online trading with shares, an app for the Einkaklúbbur discount scheme, digital mortgages and digital credit card services
Software development is responsible for developing and maintaining the Bank’s digital solutions, integrating systems and developing digital data.
Digital future is a project accelerator which manages digital projects over 16-week periods with a focus on redesigning business processes from start to finish.
Technology management collaborates with the other departments in IT and is responsible for quality, security, technological design, product management and administrating IT systems in partnership with Nýherji.
Business management is responsible for the project management of the Bank's cross-disciplinary projects, works with business segments to prepare projects and is an adviser on the development and application of digital solutions.
The Operations division performs a vital role for the Bank by ensuring that all employees can apply their abilities to the full for the benefit of our customers. The division comprises Facilities and Property Management, Back Office and Records Management. Operations had 143 full-time employees at the end of 2016. The managing director is Sigurjón Pálsson.
The objective of Facilities and Property Management is to ensure that all employees have the best possible working environment. The department manages and maintains all premises used by the Bank, a total of 30,000 m2, is responsible for managing and selling foreclosure assets, runs a catering service for employees and provides a range of other services.
Back Office is responsible for administrating and processing transactions, including loans, deposits and securities transactions. This includes ensuring compliance with the rules on completing documents and the correct recording of data in the Bank’s systems. Specialists in Back Office advise the front office and are in direct contact with domestic and international financial institutions and, where applicable, customers of the Bank. The main focuses in 2016 were to improve the efficiency of procedures, cultivate closer relations with the customers to shorten lines of communication, boost internal controls, as well as to integrate Pension Services which joined Back Office in late 2015.
Records Management supervises and manages the organization of records, both in electronic and physical format. The main tasks in 2016 were continuing the introduction of a new records management system, reviewing the Bank’s procedures to ensure that documents are stored correctly and continuing the shift in emphasis from printed documents to electronic.
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. Legal had 42 full-time employees at the end of 2016. 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, business development specialists, head of innovation and the Customers' Ombudsman. Human Resources, Marketing, Communications and Compliance also belong to the CEO’s Office. The CEO’s Office had 40 full-time employees at the end of 2016.
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 innovation and supervises projects including 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 were transferred from Investment Banking to the CEO's office during the year.
Human Resources brings together HR and the Bank’s A Plus team, which is made up of the Bank’s specialists in lean management. Human Resources is a united team which has a clear vision and the expertise to communicate the Bank's strategy. Human Resources is a goal-oriented division which supports the Bank by connecting people and key processes.
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.
The role of Marketing is to support the development of long-term relationships with the Bank’s customers through focused marketing and effective communications. Marketing is integral to the Bank’s strategy and future vision and involves marketing products and services, event management, internal marketing and sustainability, while at the same time nurturing the Bank’s image and brand.
Communications is responsible for public and investor relations and external and internal communications.
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.