Stakeholders

Stakeholder engagement forms a key part of OP's cooperative business model. Dialogue with stakeholders is a prerequisite for OP to succeed in its social role. By listening to our stakeholders, we can understand their expectations and then find ways to promote wellbeing in our operating environment. Through listening and discussion, we want to learn and understand how we, as a company, could take our efforts in seeking solutions to social challenges and contributing to our country's reform to the next level.

Stakeholder engagement aims to identify development targets in OP's corporate social responsibility, describe OP's transformation into a diversified services company of the digital era to stakeholders and make our dialogue with stakeholders even more effective. These efforts are underpinned by our Public Affairs unit created in 2017. The OP forum for stakeholders continued its regular meetings. The members of the forum include representatives of labour market organisations, think tanks, political parties, universities and non-governmental organisations.

We assess stakeholder views and engagement through various surveys and feedback requests. OP's own media channels, such as our Chydenius publication with a strong voice and mission, have been revamped to strengthen our dialogue with stakeholders, particularly among decision-makers.

 

 

The following table shows examples of our cooperation with stakeholders in 2017.

Stakeholder groups

Examples of our cooperation and meeting of stakeholder expectations

Personnel

OP Financial Group's entire personnel in Finland and abroad is covered by performance and career development reviews. The Group wants to provide equal working opportunities for everyone. We listen to our employees with regular personnel surveys.

Owner-customers and customers

OP Financial Group, owned by its customers, aims not to maximise profits for its owners but to provide, as efficiently as possible, the services which the cooperative's owner-customers need. We want to offer the sector's best loyalty benefits. Through participation in governing bodies, our owner-customers have a strong representation in OP Financial Group's decision-making. In addition, our customers are at the core of all our product and service development.

Investors

Investors OP Financial Group's investors include holders of Profit Shares issued by OP cooperative banks and holders of debt instruments issued by Group companies. OP conducts its financial reporting to the same extent as listed companies, while the IR function is responsible for maintaining relations with debt investors.

Representative Assembly and administration

In November 2017, OP Financial Group’s 81 cooperative banks held the election of the Representative Assembly where owner-customers elected from among them the Representative Assembly for their own bank for four years. A total of almost 2,400 members were elected to the Assemblies. The number of candidates totalled over 5,600.

Local and regional communities

OP cooperative banks organise a variety of events for different stakeholder groups, including school visits to promote financial literacy, lectures, customer events and traditional Hippo sports competitions for children. Many OP cooperative banks also support local sports clubs, cultural events, charity causes and entrepreneurship. OP is taking part in banks’ joint project to improve young people's financial literacy. In honour of the 100-year-old Finland, OP Financial Group’s personnel and administration did over 274 person years of volunteering work together with partners and other people.

Media

OP executives and experts meet media representatives, answer questions and initiate discussions in various channels. OP has an active social media presence. Mainly present on Facebook and Twitter, OP also continues to develop its own media, including op.media launched in 2017 and Chydenius, OP's revamped publication with a strong voice and mission.

Schools, universities and the scientific community

OP participates in several cooperation and recruitment events of universities and universities of applied sciences throughout Finland. In 2017, we provided numerous practical training and summer job positions and thesis opportunities for students. OP supports educational innovations through the HundrED project as one of its main partners. Moreover, OP cooperative banks and OP Cooperative donated a total of 6.3 million euros to Finnish universities during the 2015–2017 donation period.

Non-governmental organisations

OP is seeking to maintain active CSR communications and to respond to information and discussion requests. OP's Customer Experience and Communications function reports stakeholder concerns, if necessary, to the senior management. OP offers NGOs a new volunteer work exchange site at Hiiop100.fi.

Industry associations and labour market organisations

In line with its strategy, OP is transforming from a financial services group into a diversified services company and is, as an employer, a member of Service Sector Employees Palta. OP also has an active role in international industry associations, such as the European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB).

Decision-makers and authorities

OP Financial Group actively conducts dialogues and cooperates with Finnish authorities, ministries and government officials regarding topical legislative projects. OP Financial Group's Legal Services and Public Affairs unit is responsible for supervising the Group's interests in legislative projects and it meets and informs members of the European and Finnish Parliaments concerning the effect of legislative projects on the Finnish financial sector. In its social role, OP aims to identify influencing methods generating positive effects on Finnish society and economy, too.