Group management

As at 8 March 2017

The group management meeting is the group chief executive’s collegiate body for management at group level. All important decisions are made in consultation with the group management team.

Rune Bjerke
Born 1960

Role in DNB: Group chief executive since 2007

Other professional experience: Former president and CEO of Hafslund ASA and president and CEO of Scancem International. Has held a number of board positions in large companies. Served as finance commissioner of the Oslo City Council and as a political adviser in Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Education: Economics degree from the University of Oslo and a Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Number of shares 1):52 964

Kjerstin Braathen
Born 1970

Role in DNB: Chief financial officer since 1 March 2017

Prior positions in DNB: Former group executive vice president Corporate Banking Norway. Has many years’ experience from Shipping, Offshore and Logistics, SOL, in Oslo. Joined DNB in 1999.

Other professional experience Hydro Agri International.

Education: Master in Management degree from Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Nice-Sophia Antipolis.

Number of shares 1):22 931

Trond Bentestuen
Born 1970

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Personal Banking since 2013

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of Marketing, Communications and eBusiness. Joined DNB in 2008.

Other professional experience Expert and Telenor.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and political science from Temple University, California, and training from the Armed Forces.

Number of shares 1):20 692

Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer
Born 1965

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Corporate Banking since September 2016

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of DNB’s operations in Bergen and head of Corporate Banking in Western Norway. Joined DNB in 2015.

Other professional experience Executive positions in Sparebanken Vest, Rieber & Søn, Argentum Asset Management and Citibank. Board chairman in Oslo Børs VPS Holding and Oslo Børs ASA. Has many years’ experience from board positions in various industries.

Education: Graduate of the Norwegian School of Economics

Number of shares 1):2 000

Harald Serck-Hanssen
Born 1965

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Large Corporates and International since 2013

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of the Shipping, Offshore and Logistics division, SOL. Joined DNB in 1998.

Other professional experience Stolt-Nielsen Shipping and Odfjell Group.

Education: BA (Hons) degree in business studies from the University of Stirling and Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD Fontainebleau.

Number of shares 1): 31 770

Ottar Ertzeid
Born 1965

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Markets since 2003

Prior positions in DNB: Former head and deputy head of DnB Markets. Held various positions within the FX/Treasury area. Former chief financial officer in DnB Boligkreditt and head of finance in Realkreditt. Joined DNB in 1989.

Other professional experience Board chairman in the Norwegian Banks’ Guarantee Fund, board vice-chairman in the Norwegian Investor Compensation Scheme, board member in Oslo Børs VPS Holding and Oslo Børs AS etc.

Education: Graduate of BI Norwegian Business School.

Number of shares 1): 220 140

Tom Rathke
Born 1956

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Wealth Management since 2013

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of Insurance and Asset Management, DNB Livsforsikring and the investment fund company Avanse. Former board chairman in DNB Asset Management and DNB Skadeforsikring. Joined DNB in 2002.

Other professional experience Executive positions in Vesta and If Skadeforsikring and experience from SAS and Dyno.

Education: Graduate of BI Norwegian Business School, Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin and Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University.

Number of shares 1): 35 366

Rune Garborg
Born 1969

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Vipps and Payments since September 2016

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of Marketing and Category Management in DNB and head of Marketing in DNB Eiendom. Has been in charge of DNB’s digital payment solution Vipps. Joined DNB in 1995.

Education: Graduate of the Norwegian College of Marketing.

Number of shares 1): 10 931

Liv Fiksdahl
Born 1965

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president IT and Operations since 2013

Prior positions in DNB: Head of Operations since 2007. Has held various executive positions within operations and administration. Head of Bank Production in Corporate Banking and Payment Services. Customer-oriented positions in Gjensidige NOR Sparebank. Joined DNB in 1998.

Other professional experience Customer-oriented positions in Handelsbanken and Fokus Bank.

Education: Educated at Trondheim Business School.

Number of shares 1): 25 858

Solveig Hellebust
Born 1967

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president HR since 2009

Other professional experience Former vice president of Human Resources and Communications at Pronova BioPharma ASA. Several years’ experience from HR at Telenor and at BI Norwegian Business School as an associate professor in economics.

Education: PhD in international economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, an MSc in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois, and an MSc in business and economics from BI Norwegian Business School.

Number of shares 1): 17 560

Thomas Midteide
Born 1974

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Corporate Communications since 2013

Prior positions in DNB: Former executive vice president External Communication. Joined DNB in 2009.

Other professional experience Head of Communications in SAS Norge, communications officer in VISA Norway and TV reporter and presenter in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK.

Education: Journalist degree from Oslo University College. Subsidiary subject in political science and criminology at the University of Oslo.

Number of shares 1): 7 928

Terje Turnes
Born 1963

Role in DNB: Chief risk officer since 2015

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of DNB’s Baltic operations and head of DNB’s London branch, prior to which he headed both the Manufacturing Industry Section and the Energy Section in Corporate Banking. Joined DNB in 1989.

Other professional experience Business controller in Swedish Match and STORA.

Education: Educated at Trondheim Business School and the Norwegian School of Management.

Number of shares 1): 21 375

Kari Olrud Moen
Born 1969

Role in DNB: Group executive vice president Group Projects since September 2016

Prior positions in DNB: Former head of Products and the Corporate Centre. Joined DNB in 2005.

Other professional experience Former state secretary in the Ministry of Finance, consultant in McKinsey & Co, adviser for the Conservative Party’s parliamentary group and consultant in the Budget Department in the Ministry of Finance.

Education: Graduate of the Norwegian School of Economics and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Number of shares 1): 23 440

1) Shareholdings in DNB ASA as at 31 December 2016. Shares held by the immediate family and companies in which the shareholder has decisive influence are also included.

DNB’s organisation and operational structure aim to ensure efficient adaption to changes in customer behaviour and the development of products and services tailored to customer needs.

Organisation chart and operational structure

Customer areas are responsible for customer relationships and customer service, while product areas are responsible for product development. Operational tasks and group services are carried out by the Group’s support and staff units, which provide infrastructure and cost-efficient services for the business units.

The Group implemented certain organisational changes in the autumn of 2016 on the basis of changes in customer behaviour and a different market and competitive situation to just a few years ago. The new business area Vipps and Payments aspires to make DNB a winner in the market for mobile payments and to develop a competitive payment strategy for the entire Group. The new organisation strengthens the governance model, which refines the customer segments, highlights the focus on simple digital payment solutions and creates more straightforward interfaces.

REPORTING STRUCTURE

Financial governance in DNB is adapted to the different segments. The income statements and balance sheets for the segments are presented in accordance with internal financial reporting principles, according to which revenues, costs and capital requirements are allocated to the segments based on a number of assumptions. Reported figures for the different segments thus reflect the Group’s total sales of products and services to the relevant segments. The follow-up of total customer relationships and segment profitability are two important dimensions when making strategic priorities and deciding on where to allocate the Group’s resources.

Margin income on loans and deposits is calculated using internal transfer rates based on observable market rates, which in most cases roughly correspond to 3-month NIBOR. Additional costs relating to the Group’s long-term funding are also charged to the segments.

Services provided by staff and support units will as far as possible be scaled and priced according to use.

The pricing of such intra-group transactions is regulated by internal agreements based on market terms. Joint expenses incurred by group staff units and other group expenditures that cannot be debited according to use, are charged on the basis of relevant distribution formulas. Costs relating to the Group’s equity transactions, including strategic investments, and direct shareholder-related expenses and costs related to the Group’s governing bodies are not charged to the segments.

The Group’s total common equity Tier 1 capital is allocated to the segments. Allocated capital reflects the Group’s long-term capitalisation ambition, and the distribution formula is based on an adaption to the Basel III regulations. Return on allocated capital represents profits after tax relative to average allocated capital.

The segment reporting is presented in note 2 to the annual accounts.

Reporting structure

Legal structure

DNB is a market leader in the Norwegian personal customer market and has more than 2 million personal customers in Norway. Customers are offered a wide range of services through a modern distribution network, which comprises mobile solutions, 24-hour telephone and Internet banking, branch offices and real estate broking.

Key figures

Personal customers

70

Customer satisfaction score

NOK 899 billion

Exposure at default (EAD)

2.1

million personal customers

855 000

Number of active mobile bank users 1)

2.1 million

Vipps users

1) An active mobile bank user is defined as a unique customer who logged into the mobile bank via a browser or app at least once during 2016.

 

RESPONSIBLE AND PROFITABLE GROWTH, SIMPLIFICATION AND DIGITALISATION

The personal customer segment delivered a sound financial performance in 2016 in a market characterised by low interest rates, rapid changes in customer behaviour and strong competition within home mortgages and digital payments. The positive profit trend primarily reflected a satisfactory income development in a challenging market, strict cost control and cost reductions resulting from fewer branch offices and employees, low impairment losses in consequence of the sound quality of the loan portfolio and a high level of customer activity.

Innovation

Home mortgages are one of the main products in DNB’s personal customer operations, and in 2016, a new solution was launched where customers can extend their existing home mortgages in a fully automated process. The launch puts DNB right at the forefront of global digital development in this area. Digital home mortgages give customers a better experience while providing more efficient credit processes of higher quality.

Refinancing is the start of the digital home mortgage journey. The goal for 2017 is a fully digital home mortgage process also for new mortgages, and by the end of 2017, the ambition is that at least 40 per cent of all home mortgages are fully digital, from application to loan disbursement. DNB’s goal is to strengthen its position as the global champion of digitialised secured loans in the years to come.

Vipps is DNB’s biggest digital success ever. The ambition behind Vipps is that it will solve all payment needs. Vipps has had an incredible journey, from the launch of a peer-to-peer payment service in 2015 to over two million active users by year-end 2016.

DNB continues is committed to continually streamline, simplify and improve distribution and self-service customer solutions.

Here for you

Customer contact in digital channels is increasing. DNB had almost 350 million digital meeting points with customers in 2016. More than 200 million of the digital meeting points were via mobile phones, 65 million were in the form of text message services and more than 83 million were in DNB’s Internet bank. In addition, customers called the 24-hour customer centre 4 million times and took contact via chat more than 1.3 million times.   

Customers are changing their behaviour and increasing their use of self-service solutions. This means that advisers can spend less time on simple banking services and more time on fulfilling customers’ individual financial needs. The need for physical branch offices is also less than in the past. DNB has taken the consequences of this and reduced the number of branch offices from 116 to 57 in the first half of 2016. At the same time, the number of employees with direct customer contact was reduced by just under 400 full-time positions in 2016.

In addition to strong growth in digital customer contact, DNB also has a unique physical presence through its branch offices, in-store banking outlets, post offices and in-store postal outlets. 16 of the branch offices have extended opening hours.

DNB will continue to customise how the bank is present for its customers in a world which is becoming increasingly digital, with more self-service solutions.

STRATEGIC TARGETS
  • 100 per cent of all ordinary loan applications to start digitally by year-end 2017
  • 40 per cent of all loans to be fully digital, from loan application to loan disbursement, by year-end 2017
  • NOK 1 billion in cost reductions by year-end 2019
  • 100 per cent increase in the number of mutual fund savings schemes from 2015 to year-end 2018
  • 47 per cent increase in annual premiums within personal risk and non-life insurance, from NOK 2.6 billion in 2016 to NOK 3.9 billion at year-end 2019

Financial performance

Portfolio composition as at 31 December 2016 1)

Developments in loans, deposits and net interest income

DNB’s mobile bank is Norway’s largest banking platform and was visited by customers more than 200 million times in 2016

DNB EIENDOM

DNB Eiendom is organised in Personal Banking in DNB and offers services related to the sale of residential and holiday properties and housing projects, as well as advisory services in connection with the sale of other real estate. The company is one of the country’s largest real estate companies and had a market share of 19.1 per cent in 2016.

Over the last few years, DNB Eiendom has built up an important position as a market leader in Oslo. The company’s market share in Oslo rose from 14.7 per cent in 2012 to 18.7 per cent in 2016. This is a good starting point for further growth in Norway’s most important housing market.

DNB Eiendom aims to create good customer experiences and offer high-quality brokerage services. Customers can rest assured that the company carries out its operations in accordance with prevailing legislation and regulations when interacting with both buyers and sellers.

DNB Eiendom’s ambition is to be best at helping customers change homes in Norway by offering attractive and relevant products where customers are – both digitally and physically. The real estate business is being challenged by known and unknown market entrants, and new business opportunities and models are constantly popping up. DNB Eiendom will streamline and digitise the process of buying and selling property, emphasise the benefits of using an estate agent and establish new income streams for the company. DNB has designated dedicated employees who work with “the future of real estate broking” to be best at helping customers buy homes also in the years ahead.

Operating income

Personal customers

The art of serving the customer digitally

“In 2016, we demonstrated that we are capable of changing quickly. In the year ahead, we will become even better at serving our customers in a digital world,” says Trond Bentestuen, head of Personal Banking.

Personal customers are served by the Personal Banking business area.

1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your business area during the coming year?

The world is changing faster than ever before, which means that we must also change. We are facing new technology, new competitors and new regulations. This opens up opportunities, but we must be able to seize them.

In 2016, we demonstrated that we are capable of changing quickly, and we implemented some key initiatives to become a more digital bank. In the year ahead, we are going to be even better at serving our customers in a digital world. One of our challenges is to make sure that digitalisation makes us more personal when we meet our customers, not less. This requires new skills and expertise, for example how to use customer insight and digital communication with our customers.

In 2017, we must prepare for PSD2, the payment services directive which will come into force in 2018. This entails both risks and opportunities for the banking industry – and a battle between existing and new market participants to give customers the best experience possible.

2. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

Changes in our industry require new skills and expertise, but also affect how we work together. Vipps and digital home mortgages were developed by people from all over DNB sitting in the same room and working across various disciplines and business areas. We must do more of this in the future.

As the world is changing faster, we need to attract new skills and expertise, but we also need to make sure that we retain and develop the competencies we have. We must highlight the talent and potential of every single employee. We attach importance to performance management, constructive feedback and close follow-up from managers. Involvement and accountability motivate individuals to take responsibility for their own development.

Twice a year, we take the pulse of our organisation through the employee survey PULSE. The results in 2016 confirm that involving each individual employee increases motivation and engagement. The PULSE results show that we have very engaged employees who are well satisfied with the feedback they get from their immediate superiors. The results also confirm that the input and opinions of the employees are taken into account, which means that we benefit from their expertise. This is important for the individual employee and for the entire organisation.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

We see it as our social responsibility to contribute towards a better understanding of personal finance. Therefore, we are cooperating with the Norwegian Red Cross on A Valuable Lesson, a digital personal finance program for primary schools. In 2016, 1 562 teachers registered to use A Valuable Lesson to teach their pupils about saving, spending, wages and tax.

DNB would like to get more people to join the digital evolution. Most of our customers are pretty good at using self-service solutions and can carry out banking services on their PCs, tablets or mobiles, but this does not apply to all. However, it is not just banking that is becoming digitalised. The buying and selling of travel and transport services and contact with public authorities now take place almost exclusively online. We must be able to help those who do not yet master the digital world. This is why we have launched the “Guide to digital banking services”, held courses at our branch offices and taken the initiative to launch the “Guide to the Internet “.

As Norway’s largest bank, we have a responsibility to avoid irresponsible accumulation of debt in Norway. We must have responsible lending practices and, not least, we must give our customers sound and reasonable advice when they wish to take up a loan.

4. What are you doing to further culivatives initatives related to the art of serving the customer?

We refined the art of serving the customer digitally in 2016, and this will become even more important over the next few years. We will continue to launch new digital self-service solutions, and help customers to perform basic banking services themselves. This will give our advisers more time to help customers when they really need sound, professional advice.

One of the most important things we did to improve customer experiences in 2016, was to launch digital extension of existing home mortgages. Here, we automatically collect data about each property, automatically read the income tax return uploaded by the customer, and fill out most of the application for the customer based on the information given. It only takes a few minutes to apply for an extension, and many of the applications are also processed completely automatically. DNB is one of the first banks in the world – maybe the first – to make mortgages 100 per cent digital. We are now working to digitise several types of mortgages and make more of them fully automated.

Based on customer surveys and feedback, we see that customers are, on the whole, satisfied when they meet us, whether this is at a branch office, on the phone or via our online chat service. However, the scores we achieve in customer satisfaction surveys are too low. Declining customer satisfaction reflects decisions which directly affect customers, but also individual cases which have reinforced negative associations to the DNB brand. In order to meet these challenges, we must prove that we act in the best interests of our customers. We will offer relevant products and services, make it easy to be a DNB customer, and be there for our customers every day and when it matters the most.


DNB promotes the development of active and well-functioning businesses in Norway. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the bedrock of the Norwegian business community and contribute to significant value creation for society. DNB’s ability to support innovation and restructuring in the Norwegian economy will become even more important in the years ahead.

KEY FIGURES

Small and medium-sized enterprises

NOK 265 billion

Exposure at default (EAD)

183 000

Active small and medium-sized enterprises in Norway 1)

2 763

Companies that received help from DNB’s start-up pilots

1) Active customers are defined as customers who have a minimum of NOK 1 000 in loans or deposits or have carried out at least one transaction during the last three months. 34 000 customers were transferred from Personal Banking to Corporate Banking in 2016.

STRONG PROFIT PERFORMANCE AND SOUND POSITION

As in preceding years, there was a strong increase in both net interest income and other operating income in 2016. The rise in net interest income was due to growth in the loan and deposit portfolios, combined with wider deposit spreads. A wide range of products and a higher focus on cross-selling also gave a significant boost in other operating income, particularly within payment transfers and capital market services. Operating expenses increased from the previous year, reflecting higher activity levels as well as costs related to restructuring and IT development projects. Net impairment losses on loans remained at the same level as in 2015. A significant portion of the impairment losses related to individual loans, while other impairment losses were on a level with the preceding year. The quality of the loan portfolio is generally considered to be satisfactory.

The needs of companies are changing quickly in step with new technology. Over the last few years, there has been a reduction in manual corporate services in branch offices and an increase in the use of digital tools and channels. Changes in customer behaviour, combined with increasing digitalisation, set other requirements to DNB. Corporate customers expect the bank to:

  • help their companies to make more money
  • ensure seamless integration between the bank and the company’s systems
  • serve as a meeting place for customers and other partners
  • be there for them – always and everywhere

Customers with basic banking needs are increasingly served well, and more efficiently, through the bank’s digital channels. Customers appreciate that DNB is always accessible and develops products that make everyday life easier.

To contribute to innovation and restructuring, DNB has increased its focus on start-up companies in recent years. Close to half of all people who decide to establish a limited liability company, now choose DNB as their bank. The bank’s start-up pilots, DNB’s service for guiding those who would like to start a business, helped 2 779 entrepreneurs in 2016. In addition to helping those who start their own business, it is important to promote growth and further develop existing companies. DNB NXT was launched in 2016 and is a conference and a meeting place to bring together ideas and capital.  This is a long-term initiative to help ensure that more private capital is invested in exciting growth companies. Read more in the chapter Responsible operations, under Contributing to a healthy economy, and about NXT.

DNB will achieve more satisfied and loyal customers by taking initiative, providing relevant advice and having leading expertise about the companies and the industries in which they operate. Holistic thinking provides opportunities to increase the sales of more products adapted to customer needs, including interest rate, foreign exchange, pension and leasing products.

Developments in loans, deposits and net interest income

Net other operating income

Financial performance

Portfolio composition as at 31 December 2016 ¹⁾

“WE WILL DELIVER INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS THAT MAKE EVERYDAY LIFE EASIER FOR CUSTOMERS”

In uncertain economic times, Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, head of Corporate Banking, is committed to ensuring that DNB is a good partner for small and medium-sized enterprises and notifies more digital solutions.

INTERVIEW
 with BENEDICTE SCHILBRED FASMER 
Head of Corporate Banking

Small and medium-sized enterprises are served by the business area Corporate Banking.

1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your business area during the coming year?

2017 will offer both opportunities and challenges for Corporate Banking. New technology and new customer behaviour are factors that affect both us and our customers. New regulations, such as the Payment Services Directive, PSD2, mean that we, and the rest of the financial industry, are facing tougher competition and a pressure on spreads on traditional banking products. The markets will continue to be challenging for a number of industries in Norway, and sound portfolio quality will remain important in the period ahead.

New technology enables us to increase the cost-efficiency of our operations and to create innovative and simple solutions for our corporate customers. More than two million Norwegians have started to use the Vipps payment service, and in 2017, we will develop new solutions for corporate customers so that it will be possible to use Vipps to pay invoices, and as a means of payment in physical stores and e-commerce.

We will become better at using customer insight and customer data to create good services.

2. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

When the world changes, DNB must change. Having a higher pace of innovation and understanding customer needs and behaviour is more important than ever. Relational and sales expertise will still be key qualities we will need in the future, but technological expertise and an understanding of the opportunities afforded by new technology will also be very important. We work to continually develop the skills and expertise of our employees, and at the same time attract and bring in new expertise that we need to fulfil our customers’ expectations.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

Over the past few years, the decline in oil investments and the lower oil price have had an impact on parts of the Norwegian economy. It is gratifying to see that the Norwegian business community shows a great willingness and ability to restructure itself, either by finding more effective ways to operate or by using expertise in other ways or in other industries. We in DNB will be a long-term partner for the Norwegian business community and we have the capital to lend to good projects, also in challenging times.

Simultaneously, a strong entrepreneurial movement is starting to spread across Norway. The number of new businesses is increasing. Entrepreneur communities are being established across the entire country, and according to the statistics, more than 1 million Norwegians are harbouring a dream to start for themselves. These businesses are important for tomorrow’s value creation and employment.

Over the past few years, DNB has increased its commitment to focus on startups and growth companies, and the feedback has been very encouraging. Customers place their trust in us and this must be safeguarded. Many entrepreneurs struggle to find capital, while many investors are hunting for the best ideas to invest in. We have Norway’s largest network of entrepreneurs and investors, and provide a meeting place where these can get in contact with each other. We contribute not only with capital to the Norwegian business community, but also with our network and expertise.

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

We will continue to keep in close contact with our customers and be proactive and strategic advisers, whether our customers are facing restructuring or growth. We will use what we know about the customers and the industries in which they operate to provide good advice.

We will create new digital services that make everyday life easier for our customers, and that make it even easier for them to receive good advice and reach us whenever they wish to. Wework out these solutions in close cooperation with our customers.

Our customer value proposition is to be present every day and when it matters the most. We will be there for everyone who wants to start a business. We will be there for everyone who aims to grow. And we will be there for those who are making a difference.


The segment includes the Group’s largest Norwegian corporate customers, the public sector, all international customers, as well as financial institutions. DNB’s ambition in the large corporate segment is to maintain its number one position in Norway, and to strengthen its leading position within selected industries internationally. The large corporate segment is characterised by strong customer relations and sound banking and industry expertise. High-quality customer service is assured through DNB’s financial strength, a broad international network, competitive services and the ability to adapt quickly to new customer needs.

KEY FIGURES

Large corporations and international customers

80

Customer satisfaction score

NOK 733 billion

Exposure at default (EAD)

NOK 46 billion 1)

Loans to the renewable sector

1) Figure for the entire Group

SOUND UNDERLYING OPERATIONS, BUT HIGH LOSSES

Large Corporates and International (LCI) has a diversified portfolio, and major parts of the portfolio showed strong profitability in 2016. However, the year was characterised by turbulent markets in offshore and oil-related operations, and net impairment losses related to these industries rose significantly from 2015. Consequently, the return on equity for 2016 was below the target. There was a decline in income due to lower exposure within the exposed industries, resulting in lower net interest income. At the same time, there was a slight increase in the sale of non-lending products.

Profitability in the large corporate segment must be strengthened in a market where there is strong competition for the most attractive customers. Through active prioritisation, capital and resources are channelled to sectors, customers and transactions which, over time, give an acceptable risk-adjusted return. Large Corporates and International, LCI, will also continue the process that began in 2015 to rebalance its portfolio, while ensuring higher capital turnover with increased sales of non-lending products. 

DNB will continue to be competitive across the full range of financial services and aims to be a strategic adviser for a growing number of large corporate customers and capitalise on the Group’s wide industry expertise, products and services. Customers who are served by the business area continue to have a strong relationship with the bank and with their relationship managers. This is shown in the annual Greenwich customer survey, which compares the quality and market position of the banks with which DNB competes. DNB retained its clear number one position in the Norwegian market in 2016 despite the ever-intensifying competition from international banks. The annual employee survey also continues to show high engagement among the employees in the large corporate units.

STRATEGIC TARGETS

In order to help the Group reach its ambition of a return on equity above 12 per cent, LCI has set the following targets: 

  • A continued reduction in risk-weighted assets
  • Rebalancing the loan portfolio between sectors
  • Stricter prioritisation of customers
  • Increased turnover of capital
  • A return to normalised loan loss levels

Developments in loans, deposits and net interest income

Income from cross-sales

Financial performance

Portfolio composition as at 31 December 2016 ¹⁾

 

“OUR CUSTOMERS STILL HAVE A STRONG RELATIONSHIP TO LCI AND TO THEIR RELATIONSHIP MANAGERS”

The Large Corporates and International business area has come a long way in restructuring many companies in an offshore industry under pressure. In 2017, Harald Serck-Hanssen, head of LCI, will focus on a higher turnover rate and a higher return on capital in the large corporate segment.

INTERVIEW
 with Harald Serck-Hanssen
 HEAD OF LARGE CORPORATES AND INTERNATIONAL

Large corporates and international customers are served by the Large Corporates and International business area.

1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your area during the coming year?

We see opportunities within digitisation to make everyday life easier also for large corporate customers. We have launched Vipps Invoice, Vipps eCommerce and Vipps inApp with extensive coverage in the transport sector. Within our own business area, we are also looking at opportunities to further streamline operations through digital solutions. At the same time, we need to prioritise capital better and use it more effectively to ensure better profitability in the large corporate segment.

Both political and economic uncertainty represents risks that we need to take into account in the period ahead. There is still uncertainty surrounding the price of oil and volatility in the currency market. In LCI, we have a diversified industry portfolio where we see opportunities in some industry sectors and higher risk in others. For a number of industries in Norway, such as seafood, a lower exchange rate has contributed to sound profitability and a rise in investments, while the offshore and oil service industry is still in a challenging phase. We are now seeing the importance of our close customer relations and strong industry expertise so that we, together, can try to find good and balanced solutions.

2. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

We have a very competent organisation that went through many changes in 2016, and this will continue in 2017. The organisation has shown a great ability to adapt in the face of new challenges. Looking ahead, we need to focus even more on attracting people who have the skills we believe will become relevant in a more digital world. The Group has therefore established a graduate programme that replaces the former trainee programme and is more tailored to the individual business area. It is also important for us to have a good understanding of what is happening in international markets, and we can become even better at drawing on the knowledge and expertise in our international operations. Our presence outside Norway provides us with excellent opportunities to exchange knowledge and information across national borders.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

We have customers in most industries in Norway, and we make sure that it is the most robust companies that receive financing. In order to be a good bank for our Norwegian customers that have operations abroad, it is important that DNB also has an extensive international presence within industries where Norway is an important player. We assist Norwegian companies with international operations through a far-reaching global network. We also focus strongly on combating money laundering and on Know-Your-Customer to promote a healthy business community which competes on equal terms.

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

We have started an internal academy for our employees. This is where our relationship managers are trained to become better strategic advisers who are able to find the best financing solutions for our customers. We are also focusing on putting together customer teams with representatives from various relevant parts of the Group. The management of working capital is also increasingly important for many of our customers, and we have therefore established a separate unit with a stronger focus on this.

INTERVIEW WITH OTTAR ERTZEID, head of Markets

Facts Markets

Markets offers investment banking services, including risk management, investment and financing products in the capital markets to the Group’s customers. By working in customer teams and applying good digital solutions, the employees provide advice and develop tailor-made solutions for the various customer segments. Markets’ market making and other trading support customer activities with products and prices.
1. How would you describe 2016 for Markets?

After a weak start, 2016 turned out to be a year with significant growth in income and profits for both customer and trading activities.

Our position as the leading investment firm in Norway was strengthened. We have a leading position in equities, bonds and commercial paper with respect to both market shares and customer satisfaction. The advice from our analysts within equities, credit, fixed-income securities, oil and macroeconomics hit the mark, and in 2016, our customers ranked us best at equity analysis. In Sweden, customer satisfaction and income continued to develop favourably.

The positive trend on the stock exchanges contributed to a record influx of new equities customers and high activity levels. Large fluctuations in exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices contributed to the rise in customer demand for hedging instruments and increased income from all risk management products. In addition, our own trading activities showed a positive development.

Capital market activities related to arranging equity and debt capital and merger and acquisition advisory services also showed a strong trend. The build-up of international distribution capacity for securities enabled us to raise capital for a number of customers.

There was an increase in customers’ use of digital self-service solutions within securities and foreign exchange trading.

Continued capital-efficiency measures helped ensure high returns on equity in Markets.

2. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your business area during the coming year?

Macroeconomic and political events are expected to give continued volatility in the markets. This entails that corporate customers require advisory services and hedging transactions within foreign exchange and commodities.

Due to continuing low interest rates, customers are seeking alternative investment opportunities, including equities and bonds.   

On the other hand, large market fluctuations may have a negative effect on capital raising activities. Nevertheless, we still expect market growth, since strict capital and liquidity regulations for the banking industry make it profitable for large companies to seek funding in the capital markets.

Over the next few years, further EU regulation relating to financial instruments will be introduced. This may contribute to high volatility and reduced liquidity in the markets. Consequently, sound risk management will be an important priority for our customers and our trading activities.

Good cooperation between Markets and the other business areas in the DNB Group contributed to the positive development in 2016 and will continue to play an important role.

3. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

Human capital is important for investment firms, and we have succeeded in attracting talented employees. We need to have an appropriate mix of skills and relevant expertise.

Changes in markets, regulations, technology and customer behaviour mean that being flexible and adaptable is important. Recruiting the best external candidates is combined with developing our existing employees.

4. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

By raising equity and debt capital for our customers, we are an important contributor to value creation for Norwegian businesses.

We provide advice on restructuring, and mergers and acquisitions. Thus, we contribute to growth and restructuring in a time of significant change in the business community.

Furthermore, we help businesses manage risk and volatility in exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices. 

5. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

Customer satisfaction surveys are used actively to refine our product offering to our customers.

Advisory and research services to our customers are being further developed and extended both in and outside Norway.

Our customers are becoming more digital and have new requirements. We will develop digital self-service solutions and research products adapted to customer needs.

Digital services are important for customers’ business activities, and integration with customers’ internal management systems helps simplify their lives. New financial regulations also have an impact on our customers, and we will deliver solutions that help customers meet the new regulatory requirements.

INTERVIEW WITH TOM RATHKE, HEAD OF WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Facts Wealth Management

Wealth Management (WM) offers investment products, mutual funds and pension products to all DNB customers. WM also serves DNB’s high-net-worth customers through its Private Banking unit. WM aims to strengthen DNB’s position in this fast-growing segment and in the market for long-term savings and asset management.
1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your area during the coming year?

The low interest rate level and the fact that people are living longer lead to an increased need for private long-term savings. The total savings volume in Norway will rise in a market where we are experiencing fierce competition, with price pressure on both mutual funds and pension products.

We have called 2017 “The big savings year”.  During the spring, DNB will offer its customers a digital savings and investment adviser via their mobile phones. This solution will include an overview of each customer’s wealth, savings towards a goal and individual advisory services. It will also be possible to trade mutual funds and equities via this solution. We are also in the process of creating a good solution for a share savings account where individual savers will have the opportunity to use the tax exemption method for capital gains without having to establish a separate investment company. Small-scale savers will have a platform from which to buy shares and mutual funds without having to realise the values from purchases and sales, which will make it easier and more favourable to invest in mutual funds and shares.

Private Banking is launching active discretionary management in the market for large management customers. We will continue to expand our product offering within mutual funds, individual products and alternative investments.

2016 was a year characterised by fierce competition within pensions and employer’s liability insurance, and we expect market competition to remain tough and intensive in 2017. Pensions are known to be a challenging topic for most people to understand, and it is therefore important for us to be able to offer good and simple solutions in order to become the preferred provider within pension savings. We have launched the life cycle mutual fund “Live More”. This fund automatically selects the combination of equities and fixed-income securities which is best suited to the age of each customer.

In addition, we follow Finance Norway’s language standard and simplify all communication to make it easier to understand a topic that many find complex.

2. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

We are looking for employees who have a strong desire to create good customer experiences, combined with the ability to follow through, and who are focused on profitability and growth. In addition to expertise within asset management, savings and pensions, it is vital to have an understanding of how technological advances and new business models will change the financial services industry. There is a high tempo, and it is important to be adaptable and curious. A streamlined organisation with employees who put their pride in delivering with quality, is a prerequisite for retaining existing and attracting new customers.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

Through our investment operations, we want to contribute to ensuring that customer savings are invested in an appropriate and sustainable manner. Responsible investments reduce risk and can give investors a better return. We spend a lot of time on assessing companies in our investment universe. In addition, we are active owners and work to influence the companies we invest in. Read more about active ownership in the chapter Responsible operations.

A service we are experiencing growing interest for in the pensions market is “senior calls”, where we contact people who are approaching retirement age. We offer advice on how to plan and prepare for retirement in the best possible way. This and other skills upgrading services have been well received in a pension market where individuals have far more choices to consider than just a few years ago. 

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

With increased digitisation, parts of our advisory services are being moved from personal contact to digital arenas, and personal expertise will be combined with advanced digital tools. We have therefore launched a new digital savings and investment adviser. In addition to physical meetings, we use digital tools to analyse customer data and develop customer insight, in close cooperation with the other business areas. We use the skills we have about customers and industry sectors to communicate in a relevant, timely and professional manner.

Digital Business Development is a newly established division in WM. It is important for us to prioritise this area and capitalise on our potential to take part in technological advances in the future. Customer needs are changing, and we must constantly make sure that we are a professional and forward-looking adviser. By increasing our focus on new and simpler solutions, we will be able to retain existing customers and win new ones. We look forward to the “savings year 2017” where we can implement further initiatives to increase our digital expertise and deliverables in our contact with customers. We will make savings easier!

INTERVIEW With SOLVEIG HELLEBUST, head of HUMAN RESOURCES (HR)

Facts HR

HR’s role is to contribute to developing the organisation and its employees and managers. The Group’s vision, values and leadership principles form the basis for HR’s work. HR plays a key role in building DNB’s corporate culture, employee competencies and leadership skills, and administers MBO (management by objectives) and remuneration processes, pension and insurance schemes, DNB’s personnel bank and other employee benefits. In addition, HR is responsible for recruitment, restructuring and job transition management, as well as for following up absence due to illness and health, safety and environment
1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your area during the coming year?

In the past, DNB has proven to have a great ability to adapt to changes in the markets, our competitive situation and our regulatory framework. We have succeeded in changing our skills and expertise, and applying the experience we have built up. The speed and complexity of the changes we are now facing are challenging our ability to be fundamentally innovative. 

We are convinced that the extensive changes resulting from the digitalisation of our industry, represent at least as many opportunities as challenges. As an organisation, our knowledge and experience provide us with a fantastic starting point. The extent to which we will succeed in realising the opportunities will depend on how we are able to mobilise and develop both our organisation and our employees.

There are many questions that remain unanswered. What is the most important thing we need to do to retain and strengthen our competitiveness? To what extent should we hire people with new skills, and to what extent can we train those who already work here? How can we use external business partners that give us access to new insight? What will we be able to automate? There is uncertainty surrounding what kind of knowledge and skills will be needed in the future, so it is crucial to create an organisation that succeeds in adapting to change.

The rapid pace of change means that employees at all levels of the organisation must be proactive to ensure that they remain relevant for tomorrow’s demands. It is obvious that our overall digital competence must be improved. As an example, this means that everyone must understand how we relate to our customers on new platforms and must also have a good understanding of our digital services. In addition, we need to understand and use the opportunities offered by new technology within our own field of activity. For most of us, this means learning new skills – and wanting to learn.

2. What are you doing in your area to have the right competencies?

Our job is both to make sure that we are able to contribute in the best possible way as an HR unit and to ensure, on behalf of the whole of DNB, that our employees and organisation represent a competitive advantage. If HR is to continue to be a strategic partner for the rest of the organisation, we in HR must also refine our competencies. We are becoming more specialised and must reflect the Group’s needs for digital skills. DNB is in the middle of a competence shift. We will continue to capitalise on what has traditionally been our core expertise parallel to getting on board even more employees with an IT, design or technology background. More than ever, we are dependent on getting business and technology to work together if we are to succeed. 

At the same time, it is not enough to have the right people. We must also work together in a way which solves challenges faster, and which makes us able to create new and innovative customer solutions. We have gained a lot of valuable experience from the work in our own Vipps organisation. In the future, it will be even more important to find more flexible ways to work together.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

DNB is one of Norway’s largest employers. We are committed to being a decent and professional employer that sets a good example in areas such as diversity and women in management. We also wish to contribute actively to minimising the negative consequences of restructuring and change. We have, for example, an internal job centre, whose aim is to give employees who no longer have a job, new opportunities either in or outside the bank. This is about both giving each individual new opportunities and ensuring that we contribute to the restructuring society is now going through.

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initatives related to the art of serving the customer?

As a staff and support function, everything we do in HR should help increase DNB’s ability to deliver new and better customer experiences.

INTERVIEW WITH RUNE GARBORG, HEAD OF VIPPS AND PAYMENTS

Facts Vipps and Payments

Vipps and Payments is responsible for drafting and tailoring the strategy for future payment solutions in DNB. This includes responsibility for the mobile payment solution Vipps.
1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your business area during the coming year?

Payments is one of the areas within banking and finance that is undergoing the most rapid development both nationally and internationally. New technology and new regulatory parameters allow for increased competition from both traditional and new market entrants. In parallel to this, competition is becoming more international.

The increase in competition will come from traditional banks, major international brands and fintech companies. The introduction of the EU directive PSD2 will be very beneficial for customers, giving them a wider choice of alternatives and making it easier to compare prices and other terms and conditions. For payment service providers, PSD2 implies that all market participants get access to the same customer data, provided that the customers have consented to the use of such data. This is expected to result in increased competition over customer data by offering customer-friendly and secure solutions.

We therefore expect competition to intensify further, though this will also open up new opportunities. It is also anticipated that the speed of development will increase considerably through 2017. Compared to 2016, the number of new product launches in 2017 will be far higher.

In the course of 2016, Vipps took a leading position within peer-to-peer payments, with more than two million active users. More than 30 000 SMEs and clubs and associations have registered as “Vippsers”. Awareness of the Vipps brand has surpassed 92 per cent in Norway, and young people place Vipps at the top of all the Norwegian brands they use and value. “To vipps” has become a part of everyday speech among Norwegians. We will now make Vipps available in far more payment situations, including e-commerce, invoices and physical stores. In the course of 2017, it will be possible to pay without the use of bank cards or cash in many thousands of stores in Norway.

Nevertheless, we have only just started. Our goal is to be able to offer Vipps in absolutely all payment situations. Together with our new partners, more than 100 Norwegian banks, we will develop the best and most convenient digital wallet for Norwegian customers 1).

How quickly Vipps will succeed within a wider range of payment areas will depend on the user-friendliness of the solutions we develop. E-commerce currently looks very promising, where a large number of customers prefer to pay with Vipps. The potential for increased income lies within corporate payments.

1) The agreement is subject to approval by the Norwegian supervisory authorities.

2. What are you doing in your business area to have the right competencies?

We are looking for employees who thrive when there is little predictability, and who find rapid change inspiring in a unit where the reordering of priorities is a natural part of the working day. Those who succeed best in our area are those who are able to simplify complex problems and turn these into simple and forward-looking solutions for our customers.

We wish to have diversity in expertise and backgrounds where the absolutely most important common denominator is the desire to work with talented colleagues to develop the next generation of competitive products.

We are constantly searching for the best people, those who are passionate about developing simple and straightforward solutions. We have started to hold idea competitions, both internally and externally, to highlight both ideas and employees. In addition, we have a very good HR team that helps us to find the expertise and personal qualities to complement and strengthen our current team. 

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

First and foremost, by contributing to simplifications that increase the profitability of our customers. An example of this is payment solutions for e-commerce. A high percentage of customers (29 per cent) do not complete a shopping process online due to complicated payment solutions. Another example is Vipps Invoice. In 2016, 164 million paper invoices were issued in Norway with an estimated social cost of NOK 21 billion. This is time-consuming and costly for both companies and customers. Vipps Invoice also contributes to many more customers paying on time and saves companies significant costs.

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

Our aim is to make things easier for customers and companies. In addition, we will contribute to more cost-effective solutions.

Within payments, there is a wide range of areas which can be simplified. We have replaced customer identification numbers, account numbers, card verification values, paper invoices and cash with mobile numbers and Finger ID. We will set new standards for simple payments in 2017 within retail trade and further refine the market’s simplest solution for invoice payments. We look forward to a year with many innovative simplifications and a clear leading position within mobile payments.

INTERVIEW with LIV FIKSDAHL, HEAD OF IT AND OPERATIONS (ITOP)

Facts ITOP

ITOP is a support unit that administers DNB’s entire IT portfolio and operates all the services offered by the bank to its customers. The unit is also responsible for the development of new digital services and products.
1. What are the most important opportunities and risks for your area during the coming year?

ITOP is the spearhead and driving force for much of the growing digitalisation that is taking place in DNB. The market is changing rapidly, and we are moving from being a bank to becoming a technology company.

In 2017, we will increase the pace of development, create more innovation, make bold technological choices and explore non-traditional forms of cooperation with fintech companies. Together with Innovation Norway and StartupLab1, we have started DNB NXT Accelerator to establish new and exciting partnerships that can provide commercial opportunities for both start-up companies and DNB. 

We will complete the new API Platform2, where the main purpose is to pave the way for the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive, PSD2. The Directive requires banks to give third-party providers access to customers’ account information and initiate payments directly from the third party’s own systems. This represents challenges, but also great opportunities to develop new products, services and business models given that we can also act as a third-party provider.

When we start with cloud-based operation of Vipps, we will get the opportunity to upscale faster and think bigger.

The increasing use of Big Data, which makes it possible to analyse larger and more complex amounts of data faster and more accurately than before, will create opportunities for better customer insight. This will also pave the way for cooperation with Pboth other business areas and external market participants.

Moreover, we have started exciting initiatives related to automation and the use of robots. These will be important contributions to reducing costs.

We will continue to develop Digital Floor, our digital “dream factory”, to automate and digitise IT processes and projects. 

ITOP’s greatest challenge in 2017 is to combine the very high and faster pace of IT development with stable operations and high-quality products. It is important to recruit and retain the most competent people to stay ahead in the digital race. In step with the development of new services, we work continually to make information and services more secure against cyberattacks and other Internet crime.

1 Norway’s largest incubator for technology-based startups.
2 Application Programming Interface, API, is a digital interface that allows external systems to communicate with our internal systems in DNB.

2. What are you doing in your area to have the right competencies?

The most important thing we are doing to attract the best people, is to showcase our technology, innovation and the digitalisation we do in ITOP, and we are working strategically with branding and recruitment. IT skills are a scarce resource in both a Norwegian and global context, and we need people with different professional backgrounds and experience. Both those we have and those we are on the look-out for, will be vital for how we meet the digital shift.

At events like Digital Challenge and Vippsathon, we invite students to work out ideas on our Digital Floor. ITOP invests a lot of time and resources in “summer interns” and “internship”. We see clear results from taking in and developing young IT people in strategically important projects. Last year, we climbed one more place on Universum’s list of attractive IT employers, and achieved fifth place at year-end 2016.

We think outside the box and use many different recruitment initiatives, such as ‘speed dates’, tips campaigns, social media and fintech collaboration.

To retain our competent people, we have, among other things, ongoing skills development, and have established systems to find manager talents. In addition, we are working closely with our strategic suppliers to build internal expertise.

3. How will you contribute to securing a healthy economy for Norwegian businesses?

When oil exploration is no longer the main engine in the Norwegian business community, we must look for opportunities for growth in the digital economy. When we build digital expertise and technology for the future, we are helping to create jobs and contribute to a positive restructuring of the Norwegian economy.

ITOP has a great responsibility to ensure information security and make DNB a safe and secure financial institution for customers and our business partners.

ITOP’s role is also to maintain stable operations and a secure infrastructure in Norway’s largest bank.

ITOP’s suppliers must comply with DNB’s clear social, environmental and governance requirements. We require and follow up that our suppliers meet prevailing standards for labour and human rights, the environment and ethics. Through this work, we wish to contribute to improvements and ensure long-term and sustainable deliverables of high quality.

4. What are you doing to further cultivate initiatives related to the art of serving the customer?

ITOP is a key facilitator in the development of user-friendly solutions for our customers. Digital Floor is the heart of customer-focused development and provides customers with the opportunity to give feedback in the early phases of projects. When we speed up our development activities, we also reduce the time it takes before customers get new, good experiences from DNB. With increased investment in innovation related to customer insight and robotics (automation), we are helping to ensure that both DNB’s business areas and our customers get better and more tailored services.