At Arion Bank we strive to create a working environment shaped by professional, ambitious and progressive attitudes and close teamwork between everyone at the Bank. Arion Bank’s policy is to maximize its human resources by ensuring equal opportunities and terms for employees of both sexes and to be an attractive place to work for both men and women. In 2015 Arion Bank was awarded Equal Pay Certification by the labour union VR.
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 expertise and varied educational backgrounds.
At the beginning of 2015 there were 914 employees occupying 867 full-time equivalent positions at Arion Bank. At the end of 2015 the Bank had 945 employees in 900 full-time equivalent positions, 64% women and 36% men. A total of 62 new people were hired in 2014, 61% women and 39% men. The employee turnover was 10%, compared with 12% in 2014.
The proportion of employees with a university education has increased in recent years and now 62% of employees have a university degree.
The age of employees is distributed rather equally. The average age of Arion Bank employees is 42. The retirement age at the Bank is 67. Many employees have remained very loyal to the Bank and its predecessors. Some employees have been with the Bank for more than 40 years. The average length of employment is 10.4 years.
In 2015 the number of full-time employees increased by 11, mostly in Retail Banking and Back Office. The increase in Retail Banking and Back Office is primarily a result of the Bank’s acquisition of Afl Savings Bank at the end of the year and the opening of a new branch in Siglufjördur.
Training and professional development
Professional development is promoted at the Bank through goal-oriented employee training and a wide range of courses. The Bank offers a wide range of courses and seminars designed to support professional development. 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.
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.
- Strengthening the leadership skills of management has been a priority. It is a process which has been ongoing since 2014.
- In 2015, 20 employees studied to become qualified stockbrokers. A total of 98 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 6 will qualify in the spring of 2016.
- The average cost of acquired services for educating and retraining employees in 2015 was ISK 106,000 per employee.
Human resources policy
Arion Bank has a cohesive team of dedicated employees. 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.
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. The committee is responsible for reviewing the equal opportunities policy and devising and implementing action plans. Converting plans into action is the responsibility of the Bank’s Human Resources department in cooperation with the management.
The CEO is responsible for implementing equal opportunities at the Bank and he is represented by an equal opportunities committee comprising Bank employees.
The equal opportunities action plan was approved by the executive management in 2013 and its aim is to foster equality and equal opportunities for employees regardless of their sex. This includes the right to work, terms of employment, professional development and taking positions in committees and working groups. The action plan is reviewed on a regular basis. 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 the 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.
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.