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LLB Annual Report 2021 de


Information checkedInformation unaudited Information geprüft Information ungeprüft Employees

Excellent, committed employees are a fundamental prerequisite for the success of a company. For this reason, the LLB Group attaches particular importance to an attractive and modern work environment. We offer a strong corporate culture, interesting tasks, high development potential as well as many opportunities to help shape our common future.

LLB as employer

As at the end of December 2021, the LLB Group had 1’229 employees (2020: 1’225), who together filled 1’056 full-time positions (2020: 1’064). This makes LLB one of the largest employers in Liechtenstein.

Well anchored in the region

We are very keen that our managers understand the mindset and concerns of our clients. And for this reason, almost 100 per cent of the managers and the majority of employees in the main business locations have their roots in their respective region. As a result, they are highly dedicated to the company and have a high level of integrity. They also take a longer-term view, which is very much appreciated by the clients.

To meet the demand for skilled employees, LLB relies on commuters who travel every day from eastern Switzerland (2021: 287) and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg (2021: 93) to Liechtenstein. This makes LLB a major regional employer in the Rhine Valley. Bank Linth recruits almost all of its professionals from the Swiss regions of Lake Zurich, Sarganserland and Winterthur.

Communicating with employees

A clear, consistent and transparent approach when addressing employees is essential for successful corporate management. This is all the more so in crisis situations like the corona pandemic, which affected many parts of day-to-day operations yet again in 2021. Internal communication thus assumed special relevance once again during the reporting year.

Across the entire Group, we kept our employees – tailored to the individual companies – informed about the latest developments through, for instance, news postings on the intranet. The Group CEO also reported on projects and new developments in regular video messages. Similarly, LLB (Österreich) AG posted video messages from members of the Board of Management. Bank Linth conducted employee information events virtually when they could not be held physically.

The main focus of internal communication in 2021 was again the Group Forum, an annual Group-wide information event, where the Group Executive Board set out the new ACT-26 corporate strategy. The event took place simultaneously at three of the Group’s locations, namely Vienna, Uznach and Vaduz. The employees could participate either in person or digitally.

The main instrument for internal communication is LLB’s intranet. The upgrading of our Group-wide, internal communication platform was completed during the reporting year so that we are now able to reach our employees in a more targeted way. Furthermore, the modernised intranet offers an array of collaboration tools such as, for example, the comment function. These tools enable employees to engage with each other in an interactive dialogue – much like other social platforms.

Attractive work environment

We continually implement measures to improve the work environment so that we can position ourselves actively in the competition for the best talent. Here we focus in particular on health promotion in the workplace, raising job quality and flexibility of working hours and location.

Flexible work environment

Mobile working is now well up the list of priorities for jobseekers. In recent years, the LLB Group has responded to this development and ramped up its home office capacities. The corona pandemic has sharply accelerated this process. Since the autumn of 2020, almost all employees have been able to work from home. During the reporting year, moreover, the home office regulations were made fit for the post-corona era. These provide that employees may work from home for up to 40 per cent of their workload, if their job duties permit it and the legal framework conditions allow it. The measures taken are in line with the Group’s strong commitment to sustainability as defined in its new corporate strategy: after all, fewer days in the office reduces commuter traffic.

Compatibility of work and life situation

A high degree of compatibility between work and private life makes for an attractive employer. In recent years, therefore, we have pushed ahead with projects offering greater flexibility of working hours and location. Most employees work under the trust-based working time model. Under this model, they determine, in consultation with their manager, exactly how their working time is to be structured and different workloads managed. A reduction of working hours is, in consultation with their manager, possible as well – this also applies to management positions.

In addition, employees can increase their holiday entitlement by five or ten days and forego a corresponding amount of pay in return. This “FreiZeit-Kauf” (purchase leisure time) scheme is highly valued: in the reporting year, 105 employees (2020: 106) purchased a total of 745 additional leave days (2020: 745).

Compatibility of work and life situation is an important criterion when choosing an employer – particularly for mothers. We have launched a special programme to facilitate their return to work after childbirth. For example, the workload can be reduced to 60 per cent in the first year if a mutual commitment is made to subsequently increase this to 80 per cent. In other instances, individual arrangements to take extended leave after childbirth or a smaller workload are made (see section “Family-friendly company”).

We also support paternity leave and permit our employees care leave in the case of a family emergency. The “Villa Wirbelwind” crèche in Vaduz, which was set up in co-operation with the Liechtenstein Bankers Association, is open to the children of all Liechtenstein bank employees.

Long-service employees are rewarded with a sabbatical. 45 employees (2020: 49) with long-service anniversaries of ten, twenty, thirty or forty years went on a sabbatical for up to four weeks in 2021.

Family-friendly company

LLB AG has been recognised by the Liechtenstein Government with the “Familienfreundliches Unternehmen 2021” (2021 Family-Friendly Company) award.

(Source: Liechtenstein government / IKR)

Over 50 domestic companies submitted their entry and were assessed and evaluated for their commitment to the compatibility of work and family life. An employee survey had been conducted internally in advance; for LLB, it revealed the following findings:

  • A family-friendly environment is very important to our staff.
  • Compared to the benchmark, our employees enjoy coming to work more than average and are more satisfied with the general conditions of work. More education, training and career development programmes are on offer than at other companies that took part in the survey.
  • The compatibility of work and private life is very important and challenging for parents and carers.

These topics all play a central role in our new HR strategy. The formulation of associated goals and measures is already underway.

Fair and performance-oriented compensation

The LLB Group offers attractive employment conditions. It spent CHF 190.0 million (2020: CHF 181.0 million) on salaries and social contributions in 2021.

We have a modern compensation system that is considered exemplary in the banking sector. For the majority of employees, it includes a variable remuneration component. We set great store by fair compensation that explicitly recognises skills and performance. Women and men in the same position and at the same performance level are in the same pay scale and wage model. In 2020, the LLB Group, together with the University of St. Gallen (HSG), analysed pay equality between men and women. The results from the analysis, which were presented in the reporting year, confirmed that there is no statistically significant disadvantaging of women at LLB. Based on this, Liechtensteinische Landesbank received the highest award possible, the “We pay fair” certificate. Bank Linth similarly complies with the legal framework with its wage differential.

Breakdown by employment type 1

1Including permanent and temporary employees

In 2013, we decided to introduce the Market-Adjusted Performance Indicator (MAPI) so as to be able to make a careful and objective evaluation of the management’s performance (see chapter “Compensation report”). The model was developed in conjunction with FehrAdvice & Partners AG, Zurich, and is based on the results of behavioural economics research carried out by Professor Ernst Fehr from the University of Zurich.

High employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is an indicator of whether it is possible to retain motivated, high-achieving employees in the company. To understand where we stand in this respect, we regularly conduct in-depth employee surveys at the companies of the LLB Group. In the last survey of 2020, we achieved very good results once again in the main criteria of commitment, satisfaction and evaluation of the company as an employer. LLB AG and Bank Linth were subsequently honoured with the Swiss Employer Award. The next survey is scheduled for 2023.

Initiative for employees over 50

Rapid digital developments and growing complexity are affecting the workplace, making job profiles more demanding. Staying motivated and up-to-date is a challenge – especially for people who have been in professional life for a long time. At our Liechtenstein location, 28 per cent of employees are over the age of 50. To ensure they remain fit for the working world of the future, we have a special programme available for them. It includes, among other things, offerings to strengthen personal, professional and methodological competence. Training courses and workshops planned for 2021 had to be cancelled yet again due to coronavirus-related restrictions. They will be held again as soon as the situation allows. Our service offerings for employees turning 50, namely an analysis of their financial position, and for those over 56 of regular progress meetings are actively used and much appreciated. A new addition to the programme in 2021 was the “Skills 4.0” course from a leading centre of excellence for future-oriented learning in Switzerland. The course provides further education training to meet the needs specifically of the 50+ age group.

Health and safety

Gaining the “Friendly Work Space” label from Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz (Swiss Health Promotion) in 2020 has made us truly top of class in this metric. In 2021, we followed this initial success through with action. Besides our very broad health-focused offering, which formed the basis for this award, we dedicated our attention during the reporting year to further developing procedural topics and to mental fitness. Pilot events were also held on topics such as “Healthy leadership” for supervisors and “Stress fit” for employees. Following very good feedback, we will be rolling out these training courses more broadly over the next few years.

We want to reduce the absenteeism rate, which indicates the incidence of accidents and long-term illnesses, through these and other measures. We were again able to meet our target of a maximum of 2.5 per cent in the reporting year. In 2021, we registered 143 absences (2020: 133), corresponding to a rate of 1.9 per cent (2020: 1.5 %).

Breakdown by nationality 1

1Including permanent and temporary employees

Support at difficult times

Our aim is to reduce short- and long-term absences and to facilitate the return to work. Mental stress can often result in physical illness and vice versa. Our employees are therefore able to gain free and anonymous access to psychological counselling should they find themselves in difficult professional or life situations. We also offer support to employees returning to work after a long absence and to those with serious health problems. Providing practical support enables employees to maintain or regain their productivity.

Diversity of employees and managers

Productivity and innovation are key drivers of a company’s success. Studies show that teams that are highly diverse are more likely to question existing processes and thought patterns as well as to develop and advance innovative ideas. The LLB Group has for this reason long since stated its commitment to diversity among its employees and at all levels of management.

In 2021, 23 per cent of our employees were Liechtenstein nationals, 36 per cent Swiss nationals and 26 per cent were Austrian nationals. All in all, people from 38 nations are employed at the LLB Group. We are committed to ensuring that our client base is reflected in our employee mix. This also applies to our traditional cross-border markets in Germany and the rest of Western Europe as well as to the growth markets of Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Breakdown by gender 1

1Including permanent and temporary employees

The proportion of women working for the LLB Group is relatively high at 43 per cent, though they are still under-represented in leadership positions. The first woman was appointed to the Group Executive Board in 2016 (see chapter “Corporate governance”).

Women in management positions:

  • Executive management: 4 men, 1 woman
  • Senior management: 25 men, 1 woman

The Board of Directors of LLB, which is publicly listed, has been characterised by an above-average proportion of women since 2014. At the end of 2021, with two out of the seven members women, they represented just under a third (29 per cent) of the board members (see chapter “Corporate governance”).

91 employees were assigned to the “Potential Pools”, from which, among other things, future managers are recruited internally; of these, 27 were female.

Breakdown by age group 1

1Including permanent and temporary employees

Training as a main pillar of a company’s success

For the LLB Group, training and professional education are important instruments for increasing its competitiveness. In 2021, we invested CHF 1.5 million (2020: CHF 1.4 million) in the targeted development of managers, talent and competences. By doing so, we were able to fill 76 per cent (2020: 63 %) of management positions that became vacant internally in the reporting year. In the “Career Planning” project, the developmental intentions and perspectives of those employees wishing to progress were discussed using a system-based process and with the aid of competence-oriented job profiles.

Digital learning

In the age of digitalisation, learning is increasingly taking place online. Digital learning formats are opening up new possibilities fo acquiring knowledge. Many of our internal training courses now use webinars to deliver content.

Since 2021, all LLB Group employees have enjoyed access to LinkedIn’s entire e-learning offering. LinkedIn Learning provides expert-led practical courses that enable them to acquire or deepen specific skills. Greater flexibility is another advantage of e-learning: employees can learn at any time or place, according to their individual needs. LinkedIn Learning is therefore also an essential component of our Group-internal management training.

Client adviser certification

With mandatory SAQ client adviser certification, we are ensuring the outstanding advisory competence of the LLB Group for the long term according to uniform quality criteria. In 2021, all uncertified employees with client contact were able to complete the qualification according to SAQ standards. The recertification catalogue had new training topics added, both in the online and in-person formats. All employees needing recertification in 2021 were able to extend their SAQ certificate for another three years. The SAQ certification also complies with the regulatory requirements arising from the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and the Swiss Financial Services Act (FinSA). In 2021, we invested CHF 198’000.00 (2020: CHF 176’000.00) in training programmes in accordance with the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ). Of this total, CHF 132’000.00 was spent on initial certification and CHF 66’000.00 on recertification.

Management development

The success of a strategy requires a thorough understanding of the goals and intentions as well as of the corporate culture. Just as important, however, is an individual’s attitude towards the changes that are coming. In autumn 2021, shortly after launching the new ACT-26 corporate strategy, the LLB Group therefore kicked off the “Leading to success III” training course. It enables management to develop the content of the strategy and subsequently implement it in their teams.

Professional training

Liechtensteinische Landesbank is one of the largest providers of training in Liechtenstein. In the reporting year, the LLB Group trained a total of 34 apprentices (2020: 30) in the fields of IT and commerce. These young adults benefit from high-quality dual vocational education and training. The traditional apprenticeship remains the main pillar of the development programme for our junior employees. We believe that the provision of a broad education is a key task, especially as through the Federal Vocational Baccalaureate (FVB) it allows young adults to keep their options open to go to a university of applied sciences or a traditional university.

Bachelor, work and study, and master programmes

The LLB Group focuses strongly on university graduates. There are three different programmes available for candidates:

  • practical-based direct entry for graduates (2021: 8 participants);
  • a work and study programme for postgraduates in the final phase of their studies (2021: 4 participants);
  • and a trainee programme for postgraduates (2021: 4 participants) in the areas of general and relationship management.

The participants of these three programmes are in contact with top management, are involved in day-to-day business from the outset and profit from the comprehensive spectrum of tasks of a universal bank. Those whose demonstrate performance and commitment are recommended for a permanent position.

The LLB Group continues to have a high demand for employees with a higher education. To enhance our profile as an attractive employer, we are regularly visibly present at both online and physical events at the Universities of Liechtenstein and St. Gallen, FHS St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences and Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Winterthur. This is bearing fruit: the level of qualifications of new entrant employees and managers has increased significantly in recent years. At the end of 2021, 62 per cent of newly recruited employees had graduated from a university or a university of applied sciences or completed higher professional training.

Measuring the success of staff development

The LLB Group has established various processes in recent years to support the systematic further development of its staff and internal pool of specialists and experts. Based on regular assessments of performance and development potential as well as strategic staffing needs within the Group, concrete action plans can be developed and implemented for all employees. There are, among other things, so-called “Potential Pools”. Some 87 individuals, or 8.9 per cent of employees (2020: 91 individuals; 10.3 %), were assigned to one of five “Potential Pools” in 2021.

Digitalisation of personnel management

The LLB Group has had a digital portal for some years now that offers employees and managers a uniform platform for a variety of different HR applications, ranging from tools for learning management to onboarding new employees. At the same time, two management-intensive processes (performance management and people development) were also system supported and automated, improving and facilitating performance measurement and employee development. The HR portal also enables employees to network more closely internally over a collaboration platform.

We are increasingly using digital tools for recruitment purposes, too. The focus is on recruiting via our social media channels, i. e. LinkedIn, Instagram and Xing.

Representation of Employees

As a fair and responsible employer, it is important to us that employees have a body to whom they can turn should they encounter problems at work and which represents their interests vis-à-vis the Group Executive Board. The Representation of Employees (Arbeitnehmervertretung) at LLB’s parent bank holds a regular dialogue with the Group Executive Board. The former has a say in various issues such as staff pension plans, rationalisation projects and staff retrenchment. It also represents the viewpoint of the employees in various working groups such as the Mobility Commission and the Working Atmosphere and Health Commission. The Group Executive Board is obliged to inform the Representation of Employees of all matters that are relevant to employees. The Group CEO and the Head of Group Human Resources alternate this task on a quarterly basis.

Personnel Pension Fund Foundation

In the reporting year, 730 employees of our corporate Group who work in Liechtenstein were covered by the retirement, life and disability insurance plans of the autonomous Personnel Pension Fund Foundation of Liechtensteinische Landesbank. The pension fund and its defined contribution scheme offer three attractive savings plans that go beyond the requirements of the law (Occupational Pension Act (OPA)). In addition, LLB’s contributions as an employer amount to two-thirds of the financing of the fund.

Thanks to good investment returns, the retirement assets of the insured persons bore interest of 4.0 per cent at year’s end. To safeguard pension benefits, the Board of Trustees decided to switch from periodic tables to OPA2020 generational tables and a technical interest rate of 1.50 per cent. In the generational tables, the expected increase in life expectancy is included directly in the tariff. The switch renders the provision previously made for “Increase in life expectancy” no longer necessary and the future required return on the pension fund capital of pension recipients is reduced accordingly. The disadvantage is increasing retirement losses as a result of the pension conversion rate being too high. These, however, are within an acceptable range so that there is no need to reduce the pension conversion rate further.

The liquidity ratio increased as at the end of 2021 to 113.3 per cent (2020: 110.5 %). The fluctuation reserve amounted to CHF 46.7 million (2020: CHF 34.3 million), or around three quarters of its target value. The latter was increased from 116.0 per cent to 118.0 per cent following the decision in 2020 to adjust the investment strategy.

All these measures will further strengthen the financial resilience of the Personnel Pension Fund Foundation of Liechtensteinische Landesbank.

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1 Includes all working students in master's studies, trainees with master's degree and direct entrants with bachelor's degree. All young talents have temporary employment contracts.