Sustainability management

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’s commitment

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. 

Stifung 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 implementing 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 activities, VP Bank strives for precise minimum standards for its products and services. This policy applies to the acceptance of client deposits, lending and the investment business. VP Bank defines minimum standards for products and services and strives to keep CO2 emissions from its banking operations as low as possible. 


Organisational roots

A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Board, which is chaired by the Chief Investment Officer in his capacity as 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. 

The CSR Board therefore interacts with many other departments and supports them by conducting pertinent surveys. These other departments include Human Resources, Product Management, IT, Facility Management & Services, Investment Management, Corporate Communications, Risk Management and Compliance. In 2019, we strengthened the CSR competence centre of VP Bank by creating a "Head of Group Sustainability".

The units of the “General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer” function support all VP Bank employees on matters ­involving compliance with statutory and regulatory pro­visions. Group Compliance, Group Legal Services and Group Risk identify risks and suggest various solutions that comply with these provisions so that risks can be ­minimised and systematically monitored. Internal rules are also established to ensure compliance with all pro­visions, and controls are implemented. 

In the risk management area, VP Bank pursues long-term goals and adopts a conscientious approach. 

A comprehensive description of risk management is presented in the section “Risk Management of VP Bank Group” (➔ page 119 ff.).


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. 

VP Bank works actively to combat bribery, which is the basis for corruption, the granting or receiving of advantages and financial crimes in the banking business. This objective is accomplished on the one hand through on-going training for client advisors and on the other through internal monitoring measures. 

The Code of Conduct, which is well established at VP Bank, as well as the bank’s values and management principles underpin VP Bank’s binding commitment to ethically correct management and serve as a guide for good conduct. Violations of the Code of Conduct or against VP Bank rules are penalised through uncompromising disciplinary measures and consequences as authorised by labour law. The Code of Conduct was revised in 2019 and all employees were trained on the Code of Conduct in an e-training course. In 2019, three violations of the Code of Conduct were reported; all violations were sanctioned with a reprimand.

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 areas such 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. 

A comprehensive set of rules and supporting processes (e.g. with respect to benefits) exists to maintain objectivity and prevent conflicts of interest. 

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. 


Tax compliance

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.