A National Champion is a responsible business, one that is customer focused in how it conducts its business, and one that puts things right quickly when things go wrong.Francesca McDonagh, Group CEO
I am delighted to introduce our Responsible Business Report for 2017 – my first as Group CEO of Bank of Ireland.
Since joining Bank of Ireland last October I’ve been struck by the pride my colleagues have in the company, its history, and its heritage. This pride is a strong foundation from which to shape the next chapter of the Bank’s story.
That next chapter means achieving our ambition to be the National Champion Bank in Ireland – to be the Bank of Ireland.
To be a National Champion in your chosen business means a number of things – it means to have strong market shares and focussed businesses, to drive economic growth and generate positive returns.
But it’s about much more than this. A National Champion is a responsible business, one that is customer focussed in how it conducts its business, and one that puts things right quickly when things go wrong.
Our ambition is to be the National Champion Bank in Ireland and to achieve this needs a clear and strong purpose. Since joining Bank of Ireland I have introduced a new purpose to guide everything we do – that purpose is to enable our customers, colleagues and communities to thrive.
To thrive means many things. It can be measured in different ways – not all of them financial. It means flourishing and progressing towards whatever we want to achieve in life. Sustainability is key: without it, no person, no company, and no community can thrive long term. I am committed to leading this organisation in a manner that is responsible and sustainable, as well as profitable – so that we all thrive.
Striving to achieve our ambition, and truly living our purpose, means that Responsible Business must be more than a form of words. Responsible Business must go to the core of how we do business.
This report – an annual publication – allows us to demonstrate our Responsible Business practice to our stakeholders. It highlights the positive impact of our business and also acknowledges where we’ve made mistakes. Most importantly, it sets out what we are doing to put things right.
When I look through the pages of this report, there is a lot for us to take pride in. We are helping more and more people to buy a home, move home, and grow their home. We are helping more and more businesses to grow – with traditional banking supports, but also by offering entrepreneurs and startups places to work from, to meet new customers, to make contacts and win contracts.
We have affirmed our commitment to inclusion and diversity ensuring colleagues can bring their ‘whole selves’ to work. And we recognise the work of our colleagues to support our flagship charities, thereby giving back to the communities in which we live and work. But we need to do more, and the survey of all colleagues last year gave me very honest feedback about what we need to improve.
Our financial results paint a picture of the Bank of Ireland, but this Responsible Business Report completes the canvas – showing our purpose in action, for customers, colleagues and communities alike.
I’ve been struck by the level of pride our colleagues feel about the history and heritage of the Bank, theFrancesca McDonagh, Group CEO
commitment they have in serving our customersand in giving back to the community.
Reporting in itself is a powerful thing to do because it drives an ambition to improve our work in this area.Audrey Nolan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Reporting
For the fourth successive year, we are reporting on our non-financial performance in Bank of Ireland. We are committed to doing this because we believe that being transparent with our stakeholders about our approach to doing business is important. Reporting in itself is a powerful thing to do because it drives an ambition to improve our work in this area.
In 2017 Bank of Ireland introduced a new purpose and values, which act as the foundations for this report. Framing our responsible business impact through the lens of our customers, colleagues and communities provides an opportunity to be transparent about our business practice from the perspectives of our different stakeholders.
As with all large businesses, we have a responsibility to show leadership in this area and to continue to demonstrate our commitment through our actions. We also know that our stakeholders’ expectations around transparency, and those of society in general, are continually evolving. We must respond to that.
The EU Directive on non-financial reporting, along with Gender Pay Gap reporting in the UK (and forthcoming requirements in Ireland), the UN Sustainable Development Goals and increased interest from our investors, all present opportunities for us to take action and demonstrate best practice in responsible business.
In addition, the Business Working Responsibly Mark, which we are very proud to have achieved in 2016, requires continuous improvement and we will begin the process toward re-certification later in 2018.
In Ireland, Responsible Business has been recognised at Government level, with the publication in 2017 of the second National Plan on CSR, Towards Responsible Business. We are delighted to be working together with a range of other businesses, non-profits and public sector organisations to drive this agenda as part of the National CSR Stakeholder Forum.
We have a responsibility to show leadership in this area and to continue to demonstrate our commitment through our actions.Audrey Nolan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Reporting
Bank of Ireland Group plc is a public limited company incorporated in Ireland, with its registered office at 40 Mespil Road, Dublin 4 and registered number 593672. Bank of Ireland Group plc, whose shares are listed on the main markets of the Irish Stock Exchange plc and the London Stock Exchange plc, is the holding company of Bank of Ireland. Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. In the UK, Bank of Ireland is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.