The social engagement of VP Bank
Social and cultural engagement
At home in Liechtenstein as well as selectively at all of its global locations, VP Bank upholds its responsibility towards society through charitable donations. These contributions are directly related to the local marketing strategy, client acquisition and servicing efforts, as well as brand management. Since 2014, VP Bank has focused on the annually alternating donation categories of recreational sports and broad-impact cultural institutions. In addition, employees of VP Bank Group who are active in a public organisation receive a patronage allowance. For a number of years now, a wide array of projects and initiatives have benefited from this commitment.
At VP Bank Group, sponsoring is used as a supportive marketing and communication measure that plays an important role by enhancing the name recognition and image of the company. The sponsoring projects must be linked to the strategic goals of VP Bank Group in some way. VP Bank Group concentrates on sponsoring commitments to the areas of sports, culture and entrepreneurship, each of which is unique in its own way.
VP Bank Art Foundation
The VP Bank Art Foundation was established in 1996 and collects works of contemporary artists. Its purpose is to foster art appreciation in a targeted manner within and outside VP Bank as well as to promote visual arts by means of acquisitions and art-related publications. The purchased works are displayed in the rooms of VP Bank as well as at art exhibitions. They are also loaned to third parties for showings at other venues.
Hans Brunhart is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Other board members are Fredy Vogt, Chairman of the Board of VP Bank Group, and Dr Uwe Wieczorek, curator of the Hilti Art Foundation. Petra Büchel is curator of the Foundation.
In its acquisition activities, the VP Bank Art Foundation has become increasingly focused on artists who have not yet gained full recognition in the art market. During 2016, four acquisitions were made thus complementing the collection and consolidating its focus on «painting». The acquisitions were made purposefully for the client area in Vaduz and in this manner, provide for the promotion of art within business premises. One painting from the Art Foundation’s portfolio was made available for an exhibition in Switzerland as a loan item. The VP Bank Art Foundation receives an annual financial contribution from VP Bank.
VP Bank Foundation
The VP Bank Foundation was initiated in 2006 and established in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of VP Bank. In keeping with its Articles of Association, the Foundation supports projects, individuals and institutions that have gained an outstanding profile in the areas of ecology, art, education, science or culture. Charitable activities in the interest of the public at large are also supported. Moreover, this patronage is intended to be connected in some way with Liechtenstein as well as the corporate values of VP Bank. Donations can also be made for welfare and social purposes.
The Board of Trustees comprises Hans Brunhart and Fredy Vogt. During the year under review, the VP Bank Foundation distributed around CHF 200,000 to worthy causes.
Promoting science and education has occupied an important place within the scope of the VP Bank Foundation’s activities from the outset. With this objective, the Foundation supports scientific institutions and their projects.
During the year, the research project «Characteristics and Origins of the Increase in Productivity in Liechtenstein» was completed; the project analyses the fundamental economic trends and renders them of use for political and economic strategies.
VP Bank Foundation supports the recently established foundation Zukunft.li for the coming five years by making annual contributions in the conviction that a scientifically-based and politically-neutral handling of important issues concerning the future is of great significance for Liechtenstein and can contribute to surmounting the issues confronting the country in the future.
In addition, the Foundation Council resolved in 2016 to make contributions for several years to the «UFL Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein» in recognition of services to Liechtenstein as a centre of education.
In addition to promoting university activities, VP Bank Foundation sponsors the journalistic activity of the Liechtenstein Academic Society. Its scientific publications on Liechtenstein-related issues are often in connection with events and research projects of the Liechtenstein Institute and constitute a valuable fundus for politics and the society.
For many years, VP Bank Foundation has supported the Gutenberg Education and Seminar Institute in the conviction that permanent education and lifelong learning are necessary not only for professional purposes but also contribute to mastering one’s life tasks in the private sphere.
In connection with the promotion of culture, contributions were made in 2016 for a catalogue for an exhibition at the Liechtenstein National Museum as well as a contribution to the Schlösslekeller small theatre.
The project initiated in 2015 with the Liechtenstein House of Literature and the literary magazine «Literary Month» was continued in 2016. In addition to promoting literature in Liechtenstein, the goal of supporting a platform for Liechtenstein authors has already produced welcome results.
It is a particular desire of VP Bank Foundation to sponsor not only projects of larger institutions but also young initiators of innovative projects, in particular. With this goal, personal undertakings in the field of literature, of human rights and in promoting professional education, received support during the year.
In the area of ecology, the Foundation gave its support yet again in 2015 to the “pro natura – pro ski” foundation, which was initiated by VP Bank. The foundation works closely with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and through the development of an “Öko-Audit” (ecology audit) for skiing areas, has made an internationally recognised contribution to the ecological development of the Alpine region which is one characterised by the balancing of opposing interests. In 2016, the symposium “BERGumWELT” was held in Saalfelden (Austria) for the goal of dealing with this subject and which was attended by numerous scientists and practitioners from Alpine countries.
In connection with the current-year’s “Lichtblick” campaign, over 30 social institutions in Liechtenstein received grants from the Foundation in 2016: it disbursed a total of almost CHF 70,000 for this initiative and other projects of social institutions and organisations and associations in Liechtenstein.
Through CSSP (Center for Social and Sustainable Products), the Board of Trustees commissioned an ESG screening of the Foundation’s invested assets. In this connection, an analysis of the potential risks and impact on environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) was prepared, thus creating a basis for the Board of Trustees to systematically gear its investment policy to these objectives. The entire portfolio of the Foundation obtained an “A–” rating, thus exceeding the most important benchmarks. The risk diversification also received a positive assessment.
Again, this past year, a portion of the Foundation’s resources was invested in the EMF Microfinance Fund AGmvK as well as in VP Bank Balanced (CHF) Strategy Fund class C units. Via returns from the latter exposure, the relief organisation “SolidarMed” received financial aid. As a result of the recognised accomplishments of this organisation, the purpose- related funding agreement was renewed.
The VP Bank Foundation is a member of the Association of Liechtenstein Non-profit Foundations e.V. and the Swiss association of charitable institutions “SwissFoundations”. The Board of Trustees is involved in the management and development of the Liechtenstein association and benefits from the valuable exchange of ideas and experiences in both federations.
Responsibility as an employer
VP Bank Group demonstrates its responsibility as an employer by providing modern, pleasant working conditions. Motivation and good health have just as much influence on the work environment as the personal performance of each and every employee, and these factors also influence the success of the entire company. Through attractive career opportunities and a wide array of continuing education possibilities, VP Bank desires to attract and retain the best talents.
Motivated, well-educated employees exude the kind of competence, service orientation and candidness that clients appreciate. One of the prerequisites for this is a working environment in which all of the employees feel comfortable and are simultaneously encouraged to accomplish their very best. VP Bank offers them not only leeway to develop and realise their own ideas, but also staff training and further education.
Private banking has become more demanding and sound training and further education for committed junior employees is increasingly gaining in importance. VP Bank recognises this in that it offers traineeships in the commercial area, IT traineeships, as well as varied developmental programmes for high-school graduates.
In the case of the graduate programmes, VP Bank offers two developmental models for students with attractive future perspectives. Under the programme «Career Start», graduates of high-schools or universities have the opportunity of acquiring detailed knowledge in selected banking-related subjects. As a rule, the training lasts 18 months and is oriented individually to the respective specialist subject area. The «support model» is focussed on masters students who desire to combine their banking knowledge with practical experience. The programme lasting between 12 and 24 months offers tailored hands-on experience within the selected specialist areas.
With these two programmes, VP Bank targets the sponsoring of potential junior employees. Furthermore, the planned assignments in the various specialist areas are linked to the possibility of gaining valuable practical experience at another location of VP Bank.
To mark the Liechtenstein banking awards on the occasion of which awards are handed out for outstanding scientific and practice-relevant achievements, three participants in VP Bank’s training programmes were under those nominated. This clearly demonstrates how successful know-how transfer of theory and practical experience can function.
On 10 November 2016, the National Day of the Future took place in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Many firms on this day open their doors and give school pupils of the 5th to the 7th classes the possibility of discovering the world of work through practical experiences. In this way, the National Day of the Future contributes to widening horizons in the selection of future employment as well as the future perspectives of the pupils and to taking their future into their own hands, detached from rigid gender images.
In 2016, VP Bank in Vaduz participated already for the fourth time in the National Day of the Future. 12 adolescents aged 10 to 13 took advantage of the possibility of taking a glimpse into professional life together with a contact person during one whole day. They received comprehensive information on VP Bank, became acquainted the work processes in the various departments and showed great interest in the various types of professions existing within a bank. The highlights were the dismantling and reassembling of a PC, the visit to the vault and the trading room as well as a video conference between the locations in Vaduz and Triesen at the conclusion of the day.
In 1974, the sports’ club of VP Bank was founded in Liechtenstein with the purpose of promoting sport and camaraderie amongst the employees. The club organises numerous activities which can be used free-of-charge or at greatly reduced prices. These include, inter alia, spinning, skiing, tennis, Nordic walking, bowling, mini-golf, walks and sports weekends.
VP Bank’s intranet contains extensive information on the topics «fit at work», «promoting good health through movement» and «healthy nutrition». Related topics are stress-checks and tips on ergonomics whilst using computers as well as accident prevention. Employees receive discounts for the purchase of skis and snowboards and products for the outdoors as well as price reductions for massages, fitness centres, kinesiological treatment, dancing classes and spectacles for the workplace. In addition to this, VP Bank in Liechtenstein offers its employees the opportunity to have massages during working hours. The massages are tailored specially to the needs and problems of office workers.
Diversity at VP Bank
Diversity and equality of opportunity constitute a solid foundation for developing strong relationships between VP Bank and its employees as well as with its external stakeholder groups. VP Bank subscribes to the concept of diversity at the level of each employee and management level. This diversity in the company guarantees that decision takers are put in the position of challenging issues constructively and of being more to open to innovative ideas.
The criteria for hiring managers are based strictly on qualifications regardless of age, gender or nationality. VP Bank offers all employees equal employment and promotion opportunities. The performance evaluation of employees is undertaken in a fair, objective and comprehensible manner.
Diversity in VP Bank – Proportion of women and men in management bodies
Total number of women
Number of women in %
Number of men
As of 31 December 2016, women made up 40.9 per cent of the total headcount. The proportion of women in the Board of Directors increased in 2016 year-on-year by 20 per cent. From 2017 onwards, one female person will be represented at management level 1.