Open and ethical business

Sparebanken Møre’s activities depend on the trust of customers, public authorities and the rest of society. The bank therefore works systematically and diligently to secure this through high ethical standards and openness about its intentions, viewpoints, activities and future prospects. 

Sparebanken Møre must demonstrate professionalism and capability throughout its operations. This applies to both the Group’s business operations and the conduct of each individual. All employees and employee representatives must act with due diligence, integrity and objectivity, and must refrain from actions that could diminish trust in the Group. Managers and employee representatives have a particular responsibility and must act as good role models for others.

Measures implemented in 2020

Sparebanken Møre has committed itself to complying with the ‘Good practices in advice and other customer service’, an industry standard administered by FinAut. All employees in contact with customers have reviewed this and there will be a mandatory course for new employees. There will also be a focus on this for both training and control purposes. The bank’s strategy and ‘Code of Conduct and CSR Policy’ provide guidelines for how the bank’s employees should conduct themselves and handle situations involving ethical judgements, human rights, labour rights, equality, social factors, the external environment, and combating money laundering and corruption. The guidelines were updated in 2020. The guidelines are also gone through with all new employees. 

In addition to this, ‘Guidelines for identifying and managing conflicts of interest’ were established. The purpose of these guidelines is to describe the organisational and administrative procedures for identifying, preventing and managing conflicts of interest when financial services are offered, or other activities performed in Sparebanken Møre. 

As a listed group, it is important for Sparebanken Møre to ensure that market participants receive correct, clear, relevant and concurrent information. The bank has its own guidelines for reporting financial and other investor information, and in 2020 the bank’s IR pages were improved to ensure easy access to current information regarding corporate governance, price development and financial results.

The bank’s website was also updated in 2020 to ensure that it complied with the anticipated new EU universal design requirements. We have started work on upgrading the online and mobile banks to adapt to the criteria in the EU web directive. The goal of this work is to make the site more user-friendly, both for those with disabilities (vision and hearing) and for every other customer who uses our pages.

Internally, Sparebanken Møre wants to facilitate an open culture of free speech. It is important that illegal situations, wrongdoing and other adverse situations are uncovered and followed up as early as possible. Sparebanken Møre updated its ‘whistleblowing procedures’ in 2020 and every employee took a NanoLearning course.

Sparebanken Møre is also a signatory to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), which contribute to openness through regular status reporting on ESG factors.

Planned measures

In 2021, the bank will work on developing the bank’s reporting on sustainability and corporate social responsibility further. As a result of the bank signing up to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking, Sparebanken Møre will publish a self-evaluation including the status of the work in April. The information will be reviewed by an independent third party and made available on the bank’s website. 

An updated version of the ‘Code of Conduct and CSR Policy’ will be presented to the bank’s Board in the first quarter of 2021. The document will then be reviewed by every employee via NanoLearning and published on the bank’s website. In 2021, every employee will take a NanoLearning course on the ‘Guidelines for identifying and managing conflicts of interest’. Reminders will be sent out to ensure as high a completion rate as possible.

Measurement and evaluation

Every employee of Sparebanken Møre takes regular ethics refresher courses. The Code of Conduct is a topic in employee performance and development interviews. Ethics is also part of the mandatory annual updating for every financial adviser in the Retail Banking Division, Corporate Banking Division and customer service who has to complete the authorisation scheme.

Responsible unit(s) 

The requirement for open and ethical conduct applies to all employees of Sparebanken Møre. The Organisational Development Unit is responsible for the document ‘Code of Conduct and CSR Policy in Sparebanken Møre’.

Key governing documents

  • Code of Conduct and CSR Policy
  • Guidelines for identifying and managing conflicts of interest
  • Guidelines for reporting financial and other investor information
  • Whistleblowing procedures
  • Overarching sustainability strategy

GRI indicators:

103-1, 103-2, 103-3, 417-2, 417-3, 418-1