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LLB Annual Report 2022 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 2022, the LLB Group had 1’318 employees (2021: 1’229), who together filled 1’116 full-time positions (2021: 1’056). This makes LLB one of the largest employers in Liechtenstein. LLB records these figures for employees only. Our systems cannot currently record workers who are not employees.

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 come every day from Switzerland (348; 2021: 287) and the Austrian state of Vorarlberg (105; 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. During the reporting year, the repercussions of the corona pandemic continued to be felt and many employees chose to take up the offer of home office working. Internal communication thus assumed special relevance once again.

Clear, transparent communication is imperative to gaining trust and commitment from employees. Here, LLB is guided by the values of “integrity” and “respectfulness”. Through it, we increase the acceptance of change processes. LLB fosters the corporate culture and motivates the employees to contribute to the implementation of the ACT-26 strategy, so that its goals as well as the achievement of intermediate steps are clearly visible to those on the outside.

The main instrument for internal communication is LLB’s intranet, which was launched in 2021. The modernised version (SharePoint) offers an array of collaboration tools such as, for example, the comment function. These tools enable employees to engage in interactive dialogue – much like on other social platforms. Continual further training takes place as part of Workspace 4.0.

In accordance with the Group directive “Corporate communications”, employee communications is anchored in Group Corporate Communications. The Head of Group Corporate Communications periodically reports to the Group CEO and discusses key internal and external announcements with him. The Group CEO regularly addresses employees at all Group companies with video messages on ongoing projects as well as on new developments via the intranet. At least once a year, he invites all employees to the Group Forum, an internal information event, which is broadcast by livestream to all business locations. The event for 2022 was postponed to the beginning of January 2023. In future, the Group Forum will be held as an annual kick-off event. If circumstances permit, there is also an annual Group Night, where the Group CEO addresses the staff but which is primarily a social gathering. An important internal communication channel is the “InSight” staff magazine, which is published four times a year.

The main focus of internal communication in 2022 was the ACT-26 strategy – and there were many narratives on the topics of sustainability, growth, efficiency and digitalisation that accompanied it. Through this project, video production has become increasingly important within the LLB Group.

Attractive work environment

It is getting more and more important for companies to position themselves in the market as a highly attractive employer in order to exert a special appeal to potential applicants and to retain existing employees. Against this backdrop, we continue to implement measures to improve the work environment. Here, we focus in particular on health promotion in the workplace, raising job quality and flexibility of working hours and location. In this way, the LLB Group can influence the creation of an employee-friendly work location in Liechtenstein through example.

As a universal bank, the LLB Group offers a greater level of job diversity and a wider range of subject areas. To attract and retain talent, it relies on a humane corporate culture that is characterised by partnership-based cooperation. The targeted development of employees and a modern compensation system also act as motivators. Through the use of staff turnover analysis, we want to understand the reasons and motives behind employees leaving their jobs and, based on this, come up with measures to improve the terms of employment and to reduce staff turnover and the costs that go along with it. The staff turnover rate at the LLB Group was 13.44 per cent in the reporting year (2021: 14.5 %). The staff turnover rate is collected monthly and collated quarterly for a qualitative evaluation of the reasons for the departures. The LLB Group surveys its employees, as a rule, every three years to get an idea of their opinions and their needs. In the last survey of 2020, we repeated our very good results in the main criteria of commitment, satisfaction and evaluation of the company as an employer (also see section “High employee satisfaction”). Liechtensteinische Landesbank and Bank Linth were honoured once again with the Swiss Employer Awards for this achievement.

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. Modern home office regulations for the post-corona era were drawn up already in 2021 and came into effect during the reporting year. 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. The feedback on these regulations has largely been very positive.

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, 125 employees (2021: 105) purchased a total of 783 additional leave days (2021: 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 (also 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. 54 employees (2021: 45) with long-service anniversaries of ten, twenty, thirty or forty years went on a sabbatical for up to four weeks in 2022.

Family-friendly company

In 2021, LLB AG was recognised by the Liechtenstein Government with the “Familienfreundliches Unternehmen” (Family-Friendly Company) award, which is presented every two years.

(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 of the awards in 2021; 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 196.1 million (2021: CHF 190.0 million) on salaries and social contributions in 2022.

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.

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.

During the reporting year, the LLB Group disclosed the wage ratio for the first time; it stood at 11.13. Calculations for the whole LLB Group were performed in Swiss francs (conversion rates for EUR and AED as at 31 December 2022). The calculation was based on 100 per cent of total target compensation as at 31 December 2022. Neither the group of young talent employees nor hourly paid employees are included in the calculation.

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 repeated our very good results in the main criteria of commitment, satisfaction and evaluation of the company as an employer. As a result, Liechtensteinische Landesbank and Bank Linth repeated their success in the Swiss Employer Awards in the category of 250 to 999 employees. A glance at the last three employee surveys to be conducted is also encouraging: both banks scored above the average for the sector or achieved the Swiss Employer Awards average in all relevant points. The next survey is scheduled for 2023.

Initiative for employees 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, 27 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. Our courses 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. And the “Skills 4.0” course from a leading centre of excellence for future-oriented learning in Switzerland provides further education training to meet the needs specifically of the 50+ age group. Two courses from the Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry – one on looking at where they stand in life at age 50+ and the other on consciously entering a new stage of life – which we actively recommend to our employees, are also very well received.

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 and 2022, 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 such as “Healthy leadership” for supervisors and “Stress fit” for employees. Following very good feedback, we will be rolling out these training courses more widely over the next few years. We have expanded our offering with a variety of online events on various health topics as well as with weekly yoga lessons and a back fitness programme over lunchtime.

We want to reduce the absenteeism rate, which indicates the incidence of accidents and long-term illnesses, and improve employee health and satisfaction 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 2022, we registered 137 absences (2021: 143), corresponding to a rate of 2.3 per cent (2021: 1.9 %).

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. A broad-based workforce where everyone is afforded equal opportunities ensures that LLB has a talent pool in which different experiences and expertise complement each other. Treating all employees the same, alongside other preventative measures, also helps reduce discrimination in the workplace. Group Human Resources (GHR) is the body to turn to in case of any dispute. In 2022, there were no cases of discrimination reported at LLB.

The LLB Group has long since stated its commitment to diversity among its employees and at all levels of management. The Board of Directors and management support teams that embrace cultural diversity. While we have no specific programme to promote diversity, creating diversity and equal opportunities are an intrinsic part of our recruitment process. When we fill positions we look for an ideal complement to the team as well as an appropriate balance in terms of gender, nationality and age. The LLB Group has special programmes designed to promote young talent and employees over the age of 50.

Further, the LLB Group 2020, together with the University of St. Gallen (HSG), analysed pay equality between men and women. The results from the analysis presented in 2021 confirmed that there is no statistically significant disadvantaging of women at LLB. Based on this, Liechtensteinische Landesbank received the “We pay fair” certificate. This is the highest possible award. Bank Linth similarly complies with the legal framework with its wage differential.

Since 2015, a Group Human Resources concept has been implemented with the aim of enhancing the LLB Group’s profile as an attractive employer for men and women. Various measures have been introduced as a result: for example, the crèche in Vaduz for the children of all Liechtenstein bank employees to promote the compatibility of work and family life. Modern, attractive home office regulations for the post-corona era were developed during the reporting year. 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. In addition, the “FreiZeit-Kauf” (purchase leisure time) project enables employees to increase their holiday entitlement by five or ten days by foregoing a corresponding amount of pay in return. The LLB Group offers part-time work opportunities.

In 2022, 22 per cent (2021: 23 %) of our employees were Liechtenstein nationals, 36 per cent (2021: 36 %) Swiss nationals and 26 per cent (2021: 26 %) were Austrian nationals. All in all, people from 39 nations (2021: 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 nationality 2

2Including permanent and temporary employees.

The proportion of women working for the LLB Group is relatively high at 43 per cent (2021: 43 %), 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: 22 men, 2 women

The Board of Directors of LLB, which is publicly listed, has been characterised by an above-average proportion of women in 2014. At the end of 2022, with two out of the seven members women, they represented 29 per cent of the board members (see chapter “Corporate governance”).

78 employees were assigned to the “Potential Pools”, from which, among other things, future managers are recruited internally; of these, 29 were female.

Breakdown by gender 3

3Including permanent and temporary employees.

Breakdown by age group 4

4Including 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. They can also enhance the professional and personal skills of current and potential employees. Moreover, this not only has a positive effect on the level of qualifications of LLB employees but also on the overall level of qualifications in Liechtenstein’s labour market.

The organisational unit Group Human Resources is responsible for implementing a uniform personnel and social policy in accordance with the corresponding Group directives. The employees receive regular appraisals of their performance and their career development.

The LLB Group has two uniform appraisal processes – the “Performance Management Process” (PMP) and the “People Development Process” (PDP) – to support the systematic development of its employees. For employees with above-average potential, so-called “Potential Pools” are created. Those talent who exhibit good performance and impeccable conduct are systematically developed. Our electronic portal eMap allows all employees to create a profile containing personal information. It also provides them with an overview of available courses and of any training they have completed or are planning to undertake. And via the Jam social learning platform, they can network on HR-related topics. The Group-wide training and education programmes are reviewed every year. LLB also draws on employee surveys, which are carried out regularly, to improve its offering.

In the reporting year, we invested a total of CHF 1.5 million (2021: CHF 1.5 million) in the targeted development of managers, talent and competences. By doing so, we were able to fill 69 per cent (2021: 76 %) of management positions that became vacant internally. In the “Career Planning” project, developmental intentions and perspectives were discussed with interested employees 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 for 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 2022, some 55 employees with client contact started certification. The recertification catalogue had new training topics added, both in the online and in-person formats. Around 40 employees needing recertification in 2022 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 2022, we invested around CHF 220’000 (2021: CHF 198’000) in training programmes in accordance with the standards of the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ).

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. By June 2022, all our managers had gone through the training. It was rated extremely highly with a net promoter score of 48. Among the feedback was the following comment: “Inspiring and tangible results, very practical, and valuable to the work we do every day.”

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 25 apprentices (2021: 34) 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 (2022: 4 participants);
  • a work and study programme for postgraduates in the final phase of their studies (2022: 2 participants);
  • and a trainee programme for postgraduates (2022: 6 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 remained constant in the reporting year compared to 2021. 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. The exact figures were not updated for 2022.

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 78 individuals, or 8.9 per cent of employees (2021: 87 individuals; 8.9 %), were assigned to one of five pools in 2022.

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 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. 19.3 per cent of LLB Group employees are covered by collective employment contracts.

Personnel Pension Fund Foundation

In the reporting year, 795 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 (PVS LLB). 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.

2022 was a very eventful year – for global financial markets, too. This left its mark on PVS LLB’s investment results. Net performance was minus 12.3 per cent, mainly due to the equity and bond asset classes. Directly held real estate had a positive impact on results. The rise in interest rates means that a return to much higher performance can be expected over the long term.

The sharp rise in interest rates prompted the Board of Trustees to raise the technical interest rate from 1.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent in a first step. If interest rates remain at this level over the longer term, further interest rate steps are possible.

In view of the negative return on assets, the Board of Trustees set the interest rate on the retirement assets at 0 per cent as at the end of 2022. Taking last year’s rate of 4 per cent into account still gives an average of 2 per cent.

The liquidity ratio decreased as at the end of 2022 to 101.3 per cent (2021: 113.3 %). The fluctuation reserve amounted to CHF 4.5 million (2021: CHF 46.7 million). The target value for the fluctuation reserve remains unchanged at 118.0 per cent.

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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.