Winner of eleven CSR awards since 2010 and the only bank in Ireland to be accredited with the Business Working Responsibly Mark, Ulster Bank recently joined the top tier of responsible companies in Ireland by winning the Chambers Ireland Outstanding Achievement in CSR Award.
With a clear vision to be the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy on the island of Ireland, Ulster Bank sees sustainability as central to achieving its vision. Speaking at the recent BITCI members network event hosted by Ulster Bank, Sarah Dempsey, Head of Corporate Affairs & Economics, said: “For us sustainability is the foundation for everything we’re doing to achieve our vision – building a simpler, fairer bank for our customers, creating a great place to work for our people so that they will be passionate about serving our customers, and achieving long-term benefits for our communities”.
Amongst the important building blocks the Bank has identified in re-building trust and employee engagement are leadership development and communication, fin-tech innovation to enhance customer experience, and initiatives that enhance employee well-being, professional development and community involvement. The Bank’s CEO and executive team are driving the transformation in culture and re-energising employees towards achieving that vision – whether through CEO staff roadshows, leaders blogs, Listening Groups, People Boards or the variety of other initiatives the Bank has deployed towards building a responsible business.
The results are clearly paying off; employee engagement scores have more than doubled in the last few years, customer satisfaction is rising and the bank has won a number of high profile customer service awards – including the international tender to provide customer services to RBS and Nat West in Britain, creating 350 new jobs at its Customer Service Centre as a result.
The Bank has eleven CSR awards under its belt since 2010, through some of the most difficult years in banking history. “Awards are not what drives us” says Dempsey, “but they do give us independent endorsement and help us stay focused and committed to what matters to our stakeholders”.
Ulster Bank has been unwavering in its long-term commitment to financial education through its free MoneySense for Schools programme, which won the Chambers Ireland Community Volunteering award this year. Similarly, the Bank’s new Skills & Opportunities Fund is a strategic community investment to support entrepreneurship, employability and education – areas which Ulster Bank has focused over many years. It’s that consistent commitment to long-term impact and focus on issues that are material to its business that Chambers Ireland look for when awarding the coveted ‘Outstanding Contribution to CSR Award’.