Stakeholder dialogue helps us develop our business
We dialogue on a daily basis with our stakeholders: customers, owners/investors, employees and society at large. We can only be successful as a company if we are in accord with our stakeholders. By listening and learning, we get better and can focus on the right things.
Each year we conduct customer surveys, brand surveys and opinion polls and also participate in various industry forums that address current challenges and trends in society. Taken together, this provides guidance for our work and gives us a good idea of whether we are focusing on the right things. It also gives us an opportunity to continuously develop and improve our operations. The feedback we receive from our stakeholders is very valuable to us – in our strategic work and our business planning.
A materiality analysis was performed in 2017 to identify which topics our stakeholders consider the most important to our long-term survival – from an ethical, social, environmental and economically sustainable perspective. The analysis was conducted in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The previous analysis from 2015 was limited to Sweden. The results from the 2015 analysis were used as a basis for the 2017 analysis, which began with an internal survey sent out to around 40 key employees of the bank representing different business areas and staff functions in every market, all with a good understanding of our stakeholders. The responses were then used to support the year’s materiality analysis. The number of key topics were consolidated from 21 to 15 to increase the focus on what we thought was important to measure and is not captured in other customer surveys.
The year’s materiality analysis was constructed on this basis. It consisted of a survey with 30 questions covering everything from economic stability to secure IT systems, climate change, social engagement and gender equality. The questions were sent to over 1 000 private customers, 800 corporate customers, 1 800 employees and 20 social partners (e.g. authorities and stakeholder groups). Interviews were conducted as well with 10 owners/investors. The stakeholders were asked how much they agree with specific statements about Swedbank, such as “Swedbank is a financially stable bank”, and how important they considered each question.
The materiality analysis resulted in 15 key topics. The results indicated great similarities between stakeholders and markets when it comes to what was considered most important. We also saw that all the topics are important to some degree, with the lowest average response for a single question of 8.1 (scale of 1 to 10). That Swedbank is a financially stable bank and has secure and reliable IT systems were considered the most important by respondents regardless of market. Other areas they rated highly were preventing corruption and money laundering; transparent reporting of profits, taxes and fees; easily available products and services; and responsible lending. Being a financially stable bank is not only considered important, but also the area that Swedbank best lived up to, according to respondents. Taken together, the survey shows that Swedbank has a big impact on the national economy and on stakeholders’ assessments and decisions.
What our stakeholder considers most important for Swedbank to live up to
Key topics for Swedbank:
- Financially stable bank
- Prevent corruption and money laundering
- Transparent reporting
- Responsible lending
- Secure IT systems
- Profitability and competitive return for investors
- Social engagement
- Gender equality and diversity
- Responsible owner
- Attractive employer
- Sound compensation culture
- Sustainable products and services
- Sustainable procurement
- Prevent climate change