A values-based culture

While our purpose answers “why” we exist, we define “how” we work with our values – Inclusion, Meritocracy, Partnership, Accountability, Client Focus and Trust. Together, these values form the word “IMPACT” and provide the framework by which we reinforce good behaviors and address poor behaviors.

Our purpose statement and cultural values ensure a common understanding and consistent expectations in respect of our culture and conduct. Our culture is underpinned by a governance framework (see chapter: Organization and Governance, Corporate governance section for more details), which ensures Board oversight and clear accountability at the executive level. In 2021, we enhanced our governance with our newly established Purpose, Values & Culture Council, whose aim is to lead the Group-wide culture strategy and design efforts, including regular reviews of our Code of Conduct, and to champion the implementation of our Group culture agenda in their respective divisions and functions. This Council complements our Group Conduct Board, which determines and establishes Group conduct governance and is responsible for serving as a decision-making body for disciplinary matters. The culture agenda is a key priority, with high importance being assigned to the recognition of positive behaviors and preventive training, as well as to ensuring appropriate governance and sanctions for negative conduct. Our Board has made it clear that we must all think and act as risk managers. This is a core part of our message when it comes to communicating our values and behaviors.

The challenges we encountered in our business in 2021 highlighted the need for us to assess where we stand in relation to our values. As such, we engaged a third-party vendor to conduct an anonymous Group-wide survey to engage all our employees and measure how we are performing in relation to our cultural values. The results were discussed extensively by our Executive Board and proactively shared with all employees. Based on feedback from the survey, we have identified several key areas that require further attention – namely Speak up, Strain, Risk Mindset and Client Focus. This has resulted in a coordinated program of work for 2022 and beyond.

Client Focus


  • Create a culture where everyone belongs
  • Identify and leverage diverse perspectives
  • Promote equality and reject bias


  • Strive for excellence
  • Recognize outstanding performance
  • Demonstrate and drive engagement
  • Confront inequity


  • Be an inclusive partner and team player
  • Collaborate across the bank
  • Show empathy and respect


  • Maintain exemplary control and compliance, comply fully with regulations
  • Ensure sustainability
  • Act responsibly towards society, our shareholders and all other stakeholders

Client Focus

  • Be a principled partner to our clients
  • Be innovative and entre­preneurial
  • Have a long-term view for our business
  • Take appropriate risk


  • Act with integrity at all times
  • Foster and encourage open dialogue
  • Be willing to challenge and be challenged
  • Be honest and transparent