VP Bank’s sustainability management
VP Bank’s commitment
VP Bank’s role in society is guided by its sense of environmental, economic and social responsibility toward its stakeholders. For VP Bank, a management approach that embraces sustainable corporate leadership plays an essential role in its successful entrepreneurial activity.
VP Bank Group is committed to the principle of sustainability. It firmly believes that responsible actions and economic success go hand in hand. A bank’s business model is based on the trust of its clients. VP Bank’s activities in the area of sustainability foster and reinforce that trust. Responsible business practices are therefore a key element of VP Bank’s corporate culture, internal work processes and operating business. VP Bank also maintains high corporate governance standards.
VP Bank maintains a constructive dialogue with its clients, employees and shareholders, as well as other constituents of broader society, and takes their feedback into account in its business decisions. By doing so, the Bank generates added value for all of its stakeholders.
Stiftung Fürstl. Kommerzienrat Guido Feger is the largest shareholder of VP Bank. Established by the Bank’s founder in 1954, it supports social, charitable and cultural projects, thereby shaping the corporate culture at VP Bank Group and lending expression to the Bank’s social character.
VP Bank strives to be environmentally responsible by imple- menting targeted measures for the sustainable use of resources. Moreover, through its ordinary business activities VP Bank has considerable interaction with society and thereby contributes to the further development and preservation of Liechtenstein as an economic and business centre.
With its sustainability policy, VP Bank defines precise minimum standards for its products and services. This policy applies to the acceptance of client deposits, lending and the investment business. VP Bank therefore makes every effort to keep its banking operations carbon neutral.
A CSR Board chaired by a member of VP Bank Group Executive Management oversees the practical implementation of sustainability issues. Managing these issues is a cross-functional task that requires input from multiple VP Bank Group departments. This working group therefore interacts with many other departments and supports them by conducting pertinent surveys. These other departments include Human Resources, Product Management, Technical Support, Facility Management & Services, Investment Management, Corporate Communications and e-banking.
Group Legal, Compliance & Tax reports to the “General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer” unit. Group Legal, Compliance & Tax supports all VP Bank employees on matters involving compliance with statutory and regulatory provisions. Compliance identifies risks and suggests various solutions that comply with these provisions, as risks can be minimised and systematically monitored. Internal rules are also established to ensure compliance with all provisions, and controls are implemented.
To prevent money-laundering, antecedent crimes to money-laundering, organised crime and terrorism financing, VP Bank uses a software-supported monitoring system to identify unusual circumstances and transactions. In this way, suspicious client activity can be analysed.
Management of reputational risks
Group Risk is responsible for VP Bank Group’s risk management. Risks related to sustainability/CSR issues are classified as “operational risks” by VP Bank. These risks for 2017 are presented in the VP Bank Group risk report and disclosure report. A comprehensive description of risk management is presented in the section “Risk management of VP Bank Group” on pages 138 et seq.
Promoting good conduct
VP Bank promotes customer proximity and trust through voluntary commitments to ethical principles in its business practices and creates a solid foundation for operating principles.
This objective is accomplished on the one hand through on-going training for client advisors and on the other by monitoring internal rules.
Along with the bank’s values and management principles, the Code of Conduct establishes VP Bank’s binding commitment to ethically correct management and serves as a guide for good conduct. Each employee receives a copy of the Code of Conduct upon joining the company. The document is also available on the VP Bank intranet as well as on the website as a downloadable file. Breaches of the Code of Conduct are handled through strict disciplinary measures and penalties allowed by labour law.
VP Bank also has rules covering key topics such as banking secrecy, data protection, conflicts of interest, insider information and data integrity as well as such areas as equal opportunity and social media. The respective provisions are communicated to all employees through continuous training initiatives.
Conflicts of interest and anti-corruption measures
Conflicts of interest may arise between the bank and clients, between individual clients, between the bank, its governance bodies, employees and clients and within VP Bank Group or between VP Bank subsidiaries and other financial services companies. Such conflicts may involve traditional banking transactions as well as other business opportunities or purposes.
In oder to preserve objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, in connection with their professional activities VP Bank employees may not accept or receive the benefits of money, gifts or other benefits from other employees, clients, suppliers, professional market participants (banks, brokers or intermediaries) or companies of which VP Bank is a client. This applies from an amount of CHF 200 per supplier per year.
VP Bank acts in the best interests of its clients. To that end, a strict division of tasks exists between the asset management, investment advisory, trading, financial analysis, financing, risk monitoring and clearing departments, and Chinese walls prevent the sharing of sensitive information in this regard.
VP Bank is unreservedly committed to the clean money strategy of the Liechtenstein banking centre and therefore fully implements the corresponding binding provisions of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association. Through their conduct and activities, VP Bank employees do not support any unauthorised transactions that would serve to reduce taxes or duties or conceal tax-related information.
In addition, VP Bank observes all national and international tax regulatory requirements such as QI, FATCA and the Automatic Exchange of Information.