The information and data provided to staff through a FT Group Subscription helps our employees be up to speed on current affairs relevant for our customers.Sustainable business advisor, Danske Bank Sweden
A Nordic champion for ESG
Financial Times editor-at-large Gillian Tett calls it ‘Conscious Capitalism’, while for others it might be ‘Responsible Business’ or another term. Regardless of how we want to label it, there is no ignoring the growing importance of the environmental social governance (ESG) space, which is now reckoned to be worth more than $32tn.
Danske Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in the Nordics and as such, acts as a trusted financial partner for all its stakeholders - customers, shareholders and the wider societies it is part of. That trust is founded on understanding the societal, environmental and economic needs of those stakeholders and providing advice and solutions that create long-term value.
This requires an acute awareness of what’s going on globally as well as locally and how what you’re doing fits into the bigger picture. Staff therefore need to be equipped with quality, trustworthy intelligence they can use to help shape their views.
Identifying sustainable business trends
Although it’s only recently that ESG issues have really come to the fore, sustainability has been at the core of how Danske Bank conducts business for some time now. Karin Reuterskiöld is one of the bank’s sustainable business advisors, based in Stockholm and makes ESG considerations an integral part of Danske Bank Sweden’s operations. As the ESG responsible business space is still an emerging one, it’s critical to keep up to speed on new innovations and how the sector is evolving.
“I always read the Moral Money section, as well as other articles on, for example, climate change, energy issues and human rights,” Karin explains. “We have a responsibility to help our customers with what is important for them today, but we also try to raise our head and look towards the future too.”
By enabling access to the FT’s ESG commentary through a group subscription, Danske Bank Sweden helps staff to get on the same page when thinking about sustainability. “It gives our understanding some common ground,” says Karin.
Building stronger customer relationships
In order to retain the trust of its customers, Danske Bank Sweden relies on equally reliable information sources. Beyond the FT’s ESG coverage, Karin reads a diverse mix of articles covering different themes and industries in order to be well-informed. In Karin’s view, a wide breadth of reading ultimately helps staff provide better advice to customers.
“The FT gives me a good general knowledge of specific industry issues as well as a macroeconomic overview,” she explains. The flexibility of a FT Group Subscription also enables Karin and her colleagues to share articles directly with their customers if they come across an interesting talking point.
“Sometimes I send articles from the FT that I think would be useful for customers and other counterparties,” says Karin. Using the gift article feature on FT.com, each staff member at Danske Bank Sweden can share up to 20 articles with their customers each month.
Connecting the local with the global
As a Nordic bank with strong local roots, it’s important for Danske Bank staff to be knowledgeable on regional issues and events in Scandinavia. However, the interconnected nature of business and global economies means that Karin and her colleagues require a far wider international perspective in order to connect what’s happening at a global level to the Nordic region.
“Part of our role as a bank is to be able to relate the international trends to our customers’ local markets,” Karin explains. “That’s the kind of financial advisor we know that our customers want us to be.”
For us as a bank it’s important to be on top of both local and global developments that could potentially have an impact on our customers.Sustainable business advisor, Danske Bank Sweden
It’s also important for Danske Bank Sweden to continue to look outwards in terms of new innovations and ways it can operate better and more sustainably. With an extensive network of over 600 journalists globally, the FT brings together different ideas and ways of tackling challenges from across the world.
“I would say that the international coverage that the FT has is unique,” Karin concludes. “We need the outlook that you bring in order for us to compare, find new approaches and perhaps be challenged to try new things.”
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