Our work within sustainability
Responsible business is central to our success. We are convinced that it generates a long-term value for us and our stakeholders. If we take responsibility today, we increase our prospects of running a successful business in the future.
Sustainability is important to us at Nordax. Integrating sustainability into our day-to-day-operations is a stated desire of our Board of Directors and management team.
Responsible lending is our core business and main focus within sustainability. Without question we will continue to offer our customers loans they can afford and give them the information they need to make well-informed decisions. Besides responsible lending, we have identified the following focus areas within sustainability: employee well-being, efficient use of resources and solid business ethics. These areas were identified through dialogue with customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.
We are UN Global Compact participants and its ten principles for responsible business guide our work with sustainability, where we strive to improve and develop our operations and contribute to the fulfilment of the global sustainable goals set in the UN Climate Change Convention in 2015. We published our first sustainability report according to the GRI G4 framework in 2016.
Responsible lending is our core competency. We help people make informed decisions for a life they can afford. In Nordax’s business model there is a built-in risk that our customers, due to various circumstances, may incur problems repaying their loans, which is undesirable for them, society and us as a lender and explains why responsible lending is vital to our sustainability work.
We offer loan products only to customers who are financially stable, and we always make a thorough credit assessment to reduce the risk that they will face future problems. If a customer has a problem repaying a loan, we step in to help. We have specially trained employees who contact customers early on to remind them that a payment is late, so that we can work together to find a solution and if possible offer advice and support.
We think it is sound that our customers do not receive their money the second they apply for a loan. All our lending is comprised of instalment and amortising loans. If a customer wants to amortise faster or prepay their entire loan, we do not charge additional fees.
Our target is a net credit loss level of 2% over an economic cycle, a level we have been well below in recent years. In 2016 the credit loss level was further reduced to 1.4%. Our aim is to continue to grow the loan portfolio, but growth may not come at the price of less thorough credit assessments.
To attract new customers, maintain and develop relationships with existing customers, and for the sake of our brand, our customers have to be satisfied with the services we offer. Nordax conducts systematic customer satisfaction surveys. After speaking with customers, we send out random questionnaires asking about their interaction. We strive to develop and improve our processes in order to create a better experience.
Our employees are our most important asset. Competent and motivated employees who enjoy their work provide better service. Thanks to broad competence and personal responsibility, a corporate culture based on participation and decisiveness has emerged. An encouraging atmosphere, short decision paths and a working environment noted for cooperation, job satisfaction and commitment foster motivation.
SAFE AND SOUND WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Employee well-being will help us to succeed. We are an inclusive bank where everyone should feel welcome, seen and heard. To become the leading niche bank in Europe, we have to undertake the journey together.
Equality and diversity are important to us. It is obvious that our employees should reflect the society we operate in. This contributes to an inclusive workplace were initiative is welcome – it is a key to our success.
Respect and equal value are the foundation of our HR vision. Our view is that everyone should be treated with respect and valued equally. Every employee has the right to be seen, heard and respected on the job, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion, physical limitation, gender or sexual orientation.
Equality and equal wages for equal work are a given at Nordax. The latest survey from March 2017 showed that women receive 99% of men’s salaries, something we hope will inspire others in the industry.
At Nordax we have zero tolerance for discrimination. We have a responsibility to others. We are simple and honest. We respect each other.
LEADERSHIP AT NORDAX
Leadership at Nordax means understanding and taking responsibility for our business and driving it forward by managing and developing others. We place a premium on hands-on leadership, where managers sit together with their staff in an open-plan office to make daily and individual coaching possible.
Nordax leaders are responsive and present and focused on leading and developing. Our workplace is characterized by co-operation, joy and commitment.
To ensure deeper dialogue on performance and future development, employees have an annual performance review with their manager. In addition, we offer continuous feedback. We conduct employee pulse surveys on commitment and well-being at work to improve our workplace.
Solid Business Ethics
Nordax wants to contribute to an ethical business community, not least to create confidence in the financial market. Fair treatment, transparency and taking responsibility are Nordax’s three business ethics priorities.
For Nordax, it is fundamental to act ethically and responsibly, which includes meeting legal requirements and ethical standards and maintaining a sound risk culture. Nordax has established a business ethics framework that includes strategies, processes, internal rules and reporting routines to promote sound and ethical behaviour in everything the bank does.
High ethical standards apply to the entire company, from the Board of Directors to each individual employee. Most of the business ethics framework is incorporated in Nordax’s policy on ethical standards. Parts of the framework are also in other governing documents. To create a more uniform approach to business ethics, our code of conduct will be introduced in the company in November 2017. The code will guide us to act ethically, correctly and responsibly as we continue to create long-term value and relationships with customers and other stakeholders. It will also guide us internally, to create a culture within the company and an attractive workplace.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Conflicts of interest are unavoidable, and identifying and managing them is essential in order to maintain complete confidence. Nordax has routines to continuously identify and manage potential conflicts of interest at every level of the company.
FIGHTING FINANCIAL CRIME
At Nordax, the term financial crime refers to money laundering, terrorist financing, bribes and corruption. Nordax takes a number of measures on a daily basis to prevent and detect financial crime. Fighting it is a matter of course for Nordax, first and foremost to curb crime in general, but also to protect the business and the brand.
Nordax advocates transparency and encourages employees to report suspected irregularities, unethical or unlawful behaviour within Nordax. Reporting can be done anonymously to closest manager, the Chief Compliance Officer or the Chairman of the Risk Committee through Nordax’s risk management system. All reports are investigated immediately and appropriate action is taken.
For every company in the financial sector, internal governance and control are indispensable. This also covers activities and businesses that are outsourced to suppliers and partners. Nordax has extensive routines to continuously monitor outsourced operations and ensure compliance and effective risk management.
Nordax’s procurement is centralised with respect to company-wide purchases and decentralised for function-specific purchases. All employees responsible for procurement are tasked with keeping sustainability and economic efficiency in mind. By placing demands on our suppliers, we can contribute to sustainability inside Nordax and out.
Our customers’ needs and demands are the basis of Nordax’s business. Ethical treatment of current and prospective customers is fundamental. Nordax tries to give every customer personalised service. Well-informed decisions are essential to satisfied and profitable customers, which in turn creates the potential for building a sustainable business that creates value.
Effective Use of Resources
The environment and climate change are one of today’s most important issues for society. We want to contribute to fulfilling the UN’s global sustainable development goals. While our environmental impact is limited, that doesn’t mean we can rest easy. We challenge ourselves in everything we do and search opportunities to reduce our impact.
GREEN COMMUNICATION WITH CUSTOMERS
Direct mail and advertising is an important part of our distribution model. We offset the carbon footprint of our print marketing by planting trees. To reduce our impact and simplify for our customers, we always try to digitalise communications.
We have a well-functioning waste management solution at our office to maximise the recycling of paper, plastics, electronics and other recyclables. For example, all reusable electronic equipment is given to a partner that specialises in reuse and lifecycle management of IT products.
The environmental impact of our office and travel is limited, but here as well we try to reduce it. All employees have been informed at meetings and through the intranet of the travel policy we established in 2016. They are expected to be eco-friendly and cost-effective travellers. We will try to use mass transit and travel by train rather than car, taxi or air whenever possible.
Electricity consumed in our office and cooling for our server room is from renewable sources. In 2017 we signed a green lease with our property owners. We dialogue with them annually about resource consumption, focusing on how to reduce it.
We are careful when choosing materials. In our direct mail we use Nordic Swan Ecolabel or FSC-labelled paper. In procurement and sourcing we have a process to ensure that our demands are fulfilled before taking on a new partner. We want to contribute to the fulfilment of the UN’s global sustainable development goals and Agenda 2030. We are members of the UN Global Compact and use their ten principles of sustainable business to inspire and guide us.