Our role in the local community
Sparebanken Vest believes in and supports Western Norway. Every year, we donate millions of kroner to projects for the public benefit in Western Norway. We also support a wide range of, both elite and popular, sports associations and cultural events. Why? Because we want to help make life in Western Norway even better.
Sparebanken Vest was created by and for the people of Western Norway. We know who we are and we know where we come from. Our heart beats for Western Norway, for the people who live there and the work they do. Our strong ties to the region are the driving force behind our strong involvement in society, an involvement that goes beyond our social mission as a regional bank.
Active role in the community
We shall take an active and visible role in the community in Western Norway. We will do so by taking part in public debate, donating funds to selected projects and developing analyses of the status of business and industry in Western Norway.
We have donated funds since 2014 to selected projects that make the local community an even better place to live, measures we call ‘Hjertebank’ projects. The awards take place at a special ‘Hjertebank’ concert, a free event featuring well-known artists where an external jury announces who has been awarded funding.
Sparebanken Vest engages in lobbying in relation to national and local authorities in areas that are relevant to ensuring framework conditions and regulatory conditions that protect the interests of businesses and customers in Western Norway.
The management often invites politicians and bureaucrats to discuss regulatory matters, and hosts visits from delegations comprising representatives of the political sphere, public administration, academia and governmental and non-governmental organisations, from both Norway and abroad. The bank cooperates with other industry players through the fintech cluster Finance Innovation, and with other special interest organisations and forums.
We will not lobby when there can be negative consequences for sustainable developement, in line with our principles for corporate social responsibility. Under the Norwegian principles for freedom of information, documentation of contact with the public authorities is publicly accessible.
In cooperation with Respons Analyse, Sparebanken Vest draws up quarterly reports, ‘Vestlandsindeks’ (the Western Norway Index), which presents the development status of business and industry in Western Norway. The reports are based on surveys among business managers in all the counties in Western Norway. In the first quarter of 2018, the bank started a cooperation with Kantar TNS on the preparation of ‘Vestlendingen’ – a quarterly private economy index in Western Norway.
Funds for the public benefit
As a savings bank based on both direct private ownership and community ownership, we have two clear, yet different purposes. Sound banking operations shall enable us to deliver a competitive return to our equity certificate holders, and we shall also contribute to the development of activities for the benefit of society as a whole through disposal of the primary capital.
Sparebanken Vest was established on a philanthropic basis by and for the people of Western Norway with a strong commitment to the people of the region. This is the heritage on which we build when we now show our commitment to the people of the region.
We are engaged in different arenas. From sponsoring local festivals and supporting young sporting talents to helping support higher education. We also contribute to economic development in Western Norway, through major conferences to innovation awards and actively sharing our own and others’ expertise.
In 2018, we awarded NOK 150 million to reward the efforts of enthusiasts in Western Norway.
Our focus areas:
- Research and education
- Economic development
- Sports and culture
The main deadline for applying for funds for the public benefit is 1 April every year. The applications are considered by local award committees after the expiry of the deadline for applications. We try to answer everyone by the end of June.
Sponsoring culture and sports is one of our active social engagement strategies. Sponsorship agreements enable us to build relations with customers, employees and partners in sports, culture and organisations. The agreements shall be long-term, and target both popular and elite levels.
The three main goals of our sponsorship activities are:
- Brand building
- Customer relations
- Building team spirit in our own organisation