The sustainability perspective must also be directed inward

If you’ve been following the financial media recently, a somewhat gloomy picture of the situation in the financial sector has been drawn, particularly around the quarterly reports from some of the larger companies.

By Kent Petersen, Chairman

​While the various considerations and assessments of earnings, bottom line and returns may be of varying qualities and natures, there is obviously no doubt that the interest rate level in general and the negative interest rates in particular are currently a challenge for the entirely traditional core business model around the interest rate margin.

On the other hand, it is worth noting precisely in this light that – in a market like the one we find ourselves in – results and equity returns are still being delivered that are actually largely sound.

But even more importantly: Although it's the rules of the game to take stock every quarter, it's quite crucial that the perspective on a lasting and sustainable business is both longer and broader. Therefore, it's also worth noting in connection with Danske Bank's third quarter report that there seems to be signs in the signals being sent that are positive. Because financial companies have a broader circle of interests than the shareholders, who are often at the forefront and also in the shadows to a degree in the wider vision in the stakeholder landscape.

At Finans Danmark's annual meeting in early December, part of the programme will be about the financial sector's sustainable interaction with the rest of society. There are also good reasons to focus on the positive difference that we as employees and a sector make for value creation, welfare and society.

But at the same time, it's also necessary – especially and specifically with the collective agreement negotiations coming up at the start of the new year – to remind our employers and companies to also direct the sustainability perspective inward.

Because it's the employees who run the business on a daily basis. And there needs to be attention on the development of the skills that are naturally the companies' most important assets and on the basic job satisfaction situation, which has been under too much pressure for too long. It is quite simply a responsibility to the employees, but is actually much more than that: A sustainable business must be run by employees who have room to deliver results and sustainable frameworks around their work life.

We will also bring that topic to the table in the negotiations with Finanssektorens Arbejdsgiverforening. Because we need an ambitious and sensible agreement that looks to the future. When the employers show that their perspective on business and sustainability is both broad and long-term. And, first and foremost, also looks inward and towards the employees.


Finansfagligt; Sektorens udvikling og vilkår