Owner-customer interests guide our operations

OP is owned by some 1.8 million owner-customers. In accordance with our mission we, owned by our customers, create prosperity and wellbeing for our owner-customers and our operating region. Owner-customers are therefore at the core of our business.

Everyone can become an owner-customer by paying a cooperative contribution to one's own OP cooperative bank. Such contribution entitles owner-customers to a diverse range of benefits and gives them the right to vote in the election of the bank's Representative Assembly. It is a one-time contribution – no other payments or charges exist. Since 2014, our owner-customers have been able to make additional investments in their own OP cooperative banks by means of Profit Shares. An OP cooperative bank will pay annual interest on Profit Shares on the basis of its financial performance, thus channelling part of its good performance for the benefit of its owner-customers. OP anticipates paying interest of 3.25% (3.25)  on Profit Shares for 2017.

 

 

Benefits and OP bonuses for owner-customers

A significant part of business performance is returned to owner-customers in terms of OP bonuses that come from banking, non-life and wealth management services and that are used to pay service charges and insurance bills. Owner-customers also get discounts on their insurance policies.

Moreover, owner-customers have access to specific owner-customer service packages, such as daily banking services, a new long-term fixed rate home loan and the OP investment partner service. Owner-customers can also buy, sell and switch the majority of OP funds’ units with no transaction costs.

A total of 103 million euros (101) of bonuses were used to pay for banking and wealth management services and 114 million euros (107) to pay non-life insurance premiums in 2017. Since 1999, we have granted over 1.9 billion euros in OP bonuses. In 2017, our owner-customers earned a total of 220 million euros (208) in OP bonuses. Non-life Insurance loyalty discounts granted totalled 70 million euros (67). Not having to pay most transaction charges related to mutual funds saved our owner-customers 5 million euros.

Owner-customers influence in various ways

In accordance with cooperative principles, owner-customers can, if they so wish, have an impact on the bank’s decision-making and development of operations. Through their representatives in the bank’s governing body, owner-customers can promote business and prosperity in the region.

Owner-customers can have an influence on the bank’s activities, for example, in the following ways:

  • In the OP cooperative bank’s governing body: The Representative Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the bank with owner-customers acting as its members. An owner-customer can run as a candidate for the Representative Assembly election and if elected, he/she can contribute to the bank’s activities. Every owner-customer has the opportunity to vote in the election of the Representative Assembly of the bank he/she owns.
  • In digital communities: As a new channel of influence, many banks have introduced an owner-customer community, a digital forum where the bank regularly requests owner-customer opinions and feedback on various matters. Through the community, owner-customers can influence, for example, where the bank donates funds for charitable purposes.
  • In product and service development: Customers can participate in OP’s product and service development in OP Helsinki's Vallila branch and online on our OP Lab website and our customer community Paja.

The biggest electronic voting in Finland thus far

In the autumn of 2017, OP Financial Group's 81 OP cooperative banks held an electronic election of the Representative Assembly. The nomination of candidates, using the voting advice application and the act of voting itself was possible online. Owner-customers elected from among them a Representative Assembly to their bank for the next four years. The election results were published in early December 2017.

Election of Representative Assemblies at OP:

  • 81 OP cooperative banks organising their election simultaneously
  • 1.5 million electors, of which 1.2 million had the opportunity to vote electronically
  • 5,600 candidates, with almost 2,400 elected to a Representative Assembly
  • Over 300,000 voters, with a 26% turnout
  • 66% of votes cast electronically, 34% by postal voting.