Sustainability

For Raiffeisen, sustainability means acting responsibly and considering the ecological and social impact of its activities, in addition to the economic impact. As a result, the cooperative bank offers its clients a wide range of sustainable products. The Raiffeisen Group also supports various international initiatives, thus emphasising its commitment to a sustainable financial centre.

Sustainability strategy

Sustainability has long been a corporate value at Raiffeisen. Sustainability also forms a central element of the Raiffeisen 2025 Group strategy. Raiffeisen accepts responsibility for its actions and the impact its business activity may have on society and the environment. For Raiffeisen, sustainability means only using resources to the extent that sufficient quantities remain available to future generations. Raiffeisen aims to arrange its activities so they are compatible with sustainable development. In practice, this means that ecological, social and economic issues are considered when taking decisions.

Raiffeisen drafted a Group-wide strategy for sustainability as one of the central elements of the Group strategy. After the sustainability strategy 2020 had been approved by the Executive Board, it was formally incorporated in the year under review.

The sustainability strategy defines the two key areas for action: “Strengthen sustainability management” and “Achieving impact”. These two areas for action comprise a total of 10 focus topics on which Raiffeisen concentrates when strengthening its sustainability.

Materiality analysis: developing and validating the 10 focus topics

The focus topics were defined on the basis of a 2018 survey of internal and external stakeholders as well as independent sustainability experts. In this materiality analysis, respondents assessed the extent to which an issue affects Raiffeisen as a sustainable company, and which issues Raiffeisen should focus on to become more sustainable.

The following topics are particularly relevant to Raiffeisen, based on the materiality analysis. This table shows the focus topics in which they are included and processed:

Identified key topicsAssigned focus topic
Active ownershipCreate sustainable products and services
Training and continuing educationPromote employee expertise and diversity
CO2 emissionsMitigate climate change
Anti-corruptionResponsibility in business conduct
Marketing and labelling1Open and fair interaction with clients
Product portfolioCreate sustainable products and services
Protecting client dataOpen and fair interaction with clients
Socioeconomic compliance2Responsibility in business conduct
Diversity and equal opportunityPromote employee expertise and diversity
Economic performanceEnsure long-term economic success
1 The offering of financial products and the provision of financial services are very heavily regulated in Switzerland. This is why this topic is material to Raiffeisen.
2 This refers to complying with financial regulations and regulations in the social and economic area.

In addition to the topics identified as material in the sustainability strategy, the six principles for responsible banking (UN Principles for Responsible Banking, UN PRB) of the United Nations Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) have also been incorporated into the definition of the strategic focus topics.

Materiality matrix

The following materiality matrix presents the result of the survey in diagram form. The materiality analysis is discussed annually as part of a dialogue with interested stakeholders who are important to Raiffeisen. The latter confirmed in the year under review that both the identified topics and the sustainability goals that have been set are still relevant (more on this in section “3 – Involving external stakeholders”).

In the context of signing the Principles for Responsible Banking, Raiffeisen vigorously addressed the positive and negative effects of its business activities on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2022. Based on the methodology provided by UNEP-FI, Raiffeisen conducted a comprehensive impact analysis and published an initial report on it. The results of this impact analysis confirmed, in particular, the sustainability strategy’s focus on Climate. The impact analysis also pointed to other possible fields of action in Resources and waste as well as Soil and biodiversity, which will now be further analysed.

Sustainable Development Goals – the UN’s SDGs

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are primarily intended for states. However, they also call on all players around the world to do their bit for sustainable development. In light of its status as a banking group with a very high market share in real estate financing, Raiffeisen wishes to make its contribution. The portfolio of properties financed by Raiffeisen causes around one-quarter of the CO2 emissions in Switzerland from real estate. Raiffeisen is, therefore, affected in particular by SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and by SDG 13 (climate action), and aims to make a positive contribution in these areas. 

Ten focus topics for sustainability

Sustainability governance

Effective sustainability management requires appropriate organisational structures, processes and responsibilities. The responsibilities for sustainability are spread across the Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen Switzerland has responsibility at Group level for the strategic direction when it comes to sustainability and for disclosing sustainability information. It takes sustainability factors into account in risk management and continues to develop the range of sustainable products and services. Raiffeisen Switzerland also communicates with internal and external stakeholders and the general public with regard to sustainability issues. In addition, it advises and supports the more than 200 Raiffeisen banks on various sustainability-related issues. The Raiffeisen banks put sustainability into practice on a local level and take their own measures in their regional and local context. The Raiffeisen banks can be involved in issues relating to the overarching management of corporate responsibility and sustainability through the respective specialist committees. It is also possible to discuss fundamental strategic issues with the Raiffeisen Bank Council.

The Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland regularly deals with the Group’s sustainability issues, both as a full Board and in its individual committees. The Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland takes account of requirements defined by the Board of Directors.

The Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department is primarily responsible for strategic issues as well as sustainability management at Group level, and is accountable for the Raiffeisen Group’s sustainability reporting. It reports to the Executive Board and the Board of Directors’ Strategy and Innovation Committee at least twice a year, and at least once a year to the full Board of Directors.

From an organisational viewpoint, the department reports to the Chairman of the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland. It acts as an internal and external point of contact. Within the 10 focus topics of the sustainability strategy, it also implements strategic projects that create momentum and boost sustainability performance. It is also responsible for the due diligence check introduced at Raiffeisen Switzerland in 2021 to ensure responsible business conduct (for more information, see “5 – Responsibility in business conduct”).

The sustainability governance described above is also set out in the manual entitled “Managing Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability in the Group (german only)”. This was published in 2021 and is mainly based on the non-certifiable ISO 26000 standard.

Reporting on implementation of the sustainability strategy

Below, Raiffeisen presents the progress made during the year under review on implementing its sustainability strategy in line with the 10 focus topics. Reporting follows the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. Accordingly, Raiffeisen reports on how it deals with and develops the focus topics, what goals it pursues within the topics, what steps were taken in the year under review, and who is responsible within the Group. The various metrics in this chapter and in the separate GRI content index for the Annual Report 2022 provide information on the impact Raiffeisen produces in the relevant sustainability topics.

Supplementary publications

The disclosure of key sustainability information in the annual report and in the separate GRI content index is supplemented by the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)” and the report on the implementation of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (UNEP). These publications are available at report.raiffeisen.ch/downloads and on the Raiffeisen website raiffeisen.ch/nachhaltigkeit-offenlegung (german only).

Area for action "Strengthen sustainability management"

Several requirements must be met for effective sustainability management to be implemented in the Raiffeisen Group. It first needs strategic goals, effective sustainability governance (including processes and accountabilities for implementing responsible business conduct) and stakeholder involvement through membership in relevant sustainability organisations and the commitment to sustainability initiatives. Ultimately, comprehensive disclosure ensures that progress and challenges are reported transparently.

1 – Set strategic goals

Clear goals are a basic requirement for strengthening a company’s sustainability performance in a focused, effective and efficient way. For this reason, Raiffeisen sets itself targets for the 10 focus topics in the sustainability strategy. Responsibility for setting goals is as follows:

The Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department is responsible at Raiffeisen Group level for developing, monitoring and reporting on the sustainability strategy, in line with the current Raiffeisen 2025 strategy. It works closely with the responsible specialist areas in developing and reviewing the goals and measures for each of the focus topics. The specialist areas review the defined goals on an ongoing basis and adapt them if necessary. These goals were selectively enhanced and consolidated in the year under review. The key issues, goals and measures relating to sustainability are reviewed with stakeholders on an annual basis.

A table at the beginning of each section outlines the objectives of the focus topics and provides an overview of the major milestones achieved in the year under review. Explicit impact indicators are additionally provided in the “Achieving impact” action area. Raiffeisen aims to use this approach to track and transparently represent implementation of the sustainability strategy, and enable effective measurement of goal achievement in each of the focus topics.

2 – Strengthen governance

Governance of sustainability management in the Raiffeisen Group was further strengthened during the year under review. The Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland classified the sustainability strategy as a “functional” strategy in July 2022. This decision formally establishes the sustainability strategy in the Raiffeisen Group, further underlining the importance of the topic.

The separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD” has details of risk management governance of climate-related financial risks and other ESG factors, together with the related division of responsibilities between Risk Control and the Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department. In the pension and investment area, cooperation between the Investment & Retirement Centre and the Policy, Sustainability & Cooperative department was institutionalised through the department’s seat in the Positioning and Risk Meeting (PRM) on the topic of impact and in the newly established specialist committee, Sustainable Investing.

The involvement of the Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department in the process of introducing and removing services continued to be formalised and improved in the year under review. This process involves making decisions on the introduction and removal of products and services, or the latter are reviewed for their performance. The Executive Board is also involved in this process.

In addition, a new certification process for the environmental management standard ISO 14001 was initiated. Following the ISO 14000 certification of Raiffeisen Switzerland at the beginning of 2022, the Raiffeisen banks can now also be certified according to ISO 14000, with the support of Raiffeisen Switzerland.

The Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability department was merged with the Policy, History & Cooperative department in mid-2022, to form a new department, Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative. This was placed under the current management of the Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability department. One of the goals that Raiffeisen is pursuing through this organisational measure is greater consideration of aspects relating to corporate responsibility and sustainability within the framework of the company’s positioning on policy issues.

The sustainability strategy also envisages integrating the Raiffeisen banks even more closely into the strategic implementation of sustainability than before, through more intensive dialogue. This should strengthen the shared understanding of sustainability in the Raiffeisen Group and drive forward implementation of the strategy.

3 – Involve external stakeholders

Stakeholders are persons or groups of persons who are affected by Raiffeisen’s business activities, either directly or indirectly. They have expectations, interests or demands regarding Raiffeisen’s responsible business activity and its success over the long term.

Dialogue with stakeholders

Regular and open dialogue with stakeholders is extremely important to Raiffeisen. Thanks to their cooperative independence, the Raiffeisen banks are very close to their clients. Through their local presence, the banks are closely connected to local and regional stakeholders and are in regular dialogue. At the level of Raiffeisen Switzerland, the most important internal and external stakeholders in the sustainability field are invited to participate in dialogue at least once a year. As part of this, the main issues and the strategy were once more reviewed and confirmed in 2022 (see materiality matrix). Raiffeisen’s strategic projects were welcomed, for example the approach to implementing the new disclosure requirements (Art. 964a ff. of the Swiss Code of Obligations), or the implementation of a first-time impact analysis in the context of the Principles for Responsible Banking. With reference to the sustainability strategy, the primary topics of discussion were the priorities set by Raiffeisen and future challenges. Raiffeisen and the various stakeholders continue to see issues such as climate change, biodiversity and human rights as future challenges for the financial centre. Raiffeisen dealt intensively with these topics in 2022. It enhanced the climate strategy (part of the sustainability strategy, more on this in the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD”) and significantly expanded climate reporting during the year under review. The topic of biodiversity is closely linked to the issue of climate change and will be analysed in even greater depth by Raiffeisen. As a retail bank with a cooperative business model that focuses mainly on the Swiss market, Raiffeisen is less exposed to human rights violations, but still has adequate internal regulations (see section entitled “Due diligence check on responsible business conduct”).

Memberships of organisations and initiatives

Raiffeisen has institutionalised its exchange with various stakeholders via memberships in national and international organisations and initiatives, among other measures. Raiffeisen is a member of the following organisations that focus specifically on sustainability:

  • Swiss Sustainable Finance (founding member), since 2014
  • Swiss Sustainable Business Association (öbu), since 2007
  • Swiss Climate Foundation (founding member), since 2008
  • Green and Sustainable Finance Working Group of the European Association of Cooperative Banks, since 2018
  • Swiss Better Gold Association, since 2019
  • Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), since 2021
  • Partnership on Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), since 2021
  • CEO4Climate, since 2021

These memberships also provided Raiffeisen with major impetus in the year under review, reaffirmed the strategic focus and reinforced the directions in which it is heading, especially in terms of climate change and reporting obligations. Raiffeisen also takes into account the recommendations of the TCFD when disclosing climate-related information.

Commitment to business, culture and sport throughout Switzerland

Local roots are a fundamental principle of the Raiffeisen Group and shape its decentralised business model. In addition to Raiffeisen Switzerland’s national commitment, the dialogue with local stakeholders from business, culture and sport, and their local support by the Raiffeisen banks, is accordingly also very important for the Raiffeisen Group. A broadly based commitment to society supports the goal of a sustainable Switzerland and has a positive impact on the daily lives of clients and external stakeholders (such as associations and initiatives).

The decentralised approach is especially apparent in our sponsorship commitments and the donations we make, while also strengthening the Raiffeisen brand across the whole of Switzerland. It can be seen, for example, in the fact that we support some 20,000 young skiers. Raiffeisen is also strongly committed to the Swiss Museum Pass, which grants free access to more than 500 partner museums throughout Switzerland.  The Raiffeisen Group’s sponsorships amount to roughly CHF 23 million per year. Economic, social and cultural contributions and donations additionally amount to more than CHF 6 million.
Since 2017, Raiffeisen has provided a free platform for financing local projects through donations, lokalhelden.ch. By the end of 2022, almost CHF 37 million in donations had been raised through lokalhelden.ch for more than 2,000 projects. The largest amount collected in 2022 was more than CHF 450,000.  This amount enabled the Hochwang ski area to be saved. True to the spirit of the banking group’s cooperative principle, through lokalhelden.ch Raiffeisen takes a local and regional approach to crowdfunding, making an important contribution to a vibrant, athletic, cultural and pro-social Switzerland.
In view of the events in Ukraine, Raiffeisen launched a collection campaign on lokalhelden.ch in aid of those in need in the war zone. More than CHF 3.4 million was collected in a short period and handed over to the Swiss Red Cross.

Raiffeisen also wants to enable its employees to get directly involved in cultural, sporting and social causes. Raiffeisen therefore gives its employees time to participate in public services, even during working hours, in line with the employment regulations and after consulting their line manager.

Support for the political militia system

A functioning political system and dialogue with political stakeholders is important to Raiffeisen as a decentralised cooperative group with a presence throughout Switzerland. As in previous years, Raiffeisen once again contributed to a healthy Swiss political system based on the militia concept through its party financing in the year under review. Raiffeisen contributes a total of CHF 246,000 annually to all parties represented in the Swiss Federal Assembly. This amount is split equally between the National Council and the Council of States and is distributed to the parties according to the number of seats. This takes account of the equivalence of the two chambers as well as the federal/decentralised system of government in Switzerland. The parties have no accountability obligations in relation to the use of the funds. The payment is not linked to any political goodwill or voting behaviour.

4 – Ensure transparency

Transparency is vital for the cooperative Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen’s stakeholders, especially the more than 2 million cooperative members, should be able to get a comprehensive picture of Raiffeisen as a company. Accordingly, Raiffeisen also aims to meet high standards when disclosing its sustainability performance. For this reason, it adheres to the globally recognised GRI standards. In the year under review, Raiffeisen not only switched to the updated GRI standard 2021, but also had its non-financial disclosure undergo an external review with limited assurance by Ernst & Young Switzerland (EY).

Raiffeisen also follows the UN Principles for Responsible Banking and the recommendations of the TCFD. Raiffeisen published its first report on the implementation of these principles in 2022. The disclosure of climate information was also strengthened and published as a separate report. In addition, Raiffeisen participated in the Swiss federal government’s voluntary climate compatibility test, PACTA (Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment), as it did in 2020. Raiffeisen has published a summary of the individual results for the Raiffeisen Group on its website (raiffeisen.ch/nachhaltigkeit-offenlegung (german only)). More on the climate compatibility test in the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD”.

Good marks in ESG ratings

The solid sustainability performance and transparent reporting about it are paying off. Raiffeisen has done well in several relevant sustainability ratings. In the WWF 2020/21 rating of Switzerland’s largest retail banks, Raiffeisen achieved a place in the top group. It also retains its place in the Prime category of the International Shareholder Services (ISS) ESG rating, putting it in the top decile of the “public and regional banks” peer group. The rating is based on information disclosed by Raiffeisen Switzerland for the whole Group. In the year under review, Raiffeisen began to analyse other ESG ratings that are becoming established in the market, along with the specific information needs of each rating agency. A decision has not yet been taken on the extent to which Raiffeisen will prioritise other ESG ratings in addition to the ISS ESG rating.

Non-financial reporting

Art. 964a ff. of the Swiss Code of Obligations (OR) on transparency regarding non-financial matters came into force on 1 January 2022. 964a ff. Bestimmungen im Schweizer Obligationenrecht (OR) zur Transparenz über nichtfinanzielle Belange in Kraft getreten. This requires Swiss companies to disclose non-financial information under certain circumstances. These provisions must be implemented for the 2023 financial year at the latest. The Raiffeisen Group is affected by this requirement. As a result, it must report on environmental, social, employment, corruption and human rights issues under Art. 964b of the Swiss Code of Obligations. 964b OR Rechenschaft zu Belangen in den Bereichen Umwelt, Soziales, Arbeitnehmerrechte, Korruption und Menschenrechte ablegen. The Ordinance on Due Diligence and Transparency in the Sectors of Minerals and Metals from Conflict Areas and Child Labour (VSoTr) elaborates on the disclosure obligations regarding child labour and conflict minerals. The Ordinance on Mandatory Climate Disclosures for Large Companies will enter into force on 1 January 2024. Raiffeisen has already disclosed the relevant information as part of its 2022 annual reporting. The climate information can be found primarily in the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD”. Further information is available in the sections “Sustainability” and “Employees” in this management report.

5 – Responsibility in business conduct

As a company with a cooperative structure, Raiffeisen is committed to conducting its business responsibly. It bases this on the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements (compliance). Raiffeisen takes environmental, social and governance factors into account appropriately as part of risk management. It also complies with business ethics considerations. As a cooperative bank, Raiffeisen focuses on the Swiss retail market. The Swiss legal system and regulatory regime in particular are therefore applicable to Raiffeisen. Raiffeisen’s comprehensive compliance monitoring ensures that national and international requirements are met.

As a financial institution, Raiffeisen places particular emphasis on the relevant regulations relating to anti-corruption measures, combating the financing of terrorism and preventing money laundering. Back in 2018, Raiffeisen had established the principle in its risk policy that environmental, social and governance factors are to be given appropriate consideration in risk management. Raiffeisen Switzerland established a due diligence check in the 2021 financial year to ensure responsible business conduct. The check is particularly relevant to Raiffeisen Switzerland because, compared to the Raiffeisen banks, Raiffeisen Switzerland is more likely to come into contact with severe negative impacts on the environment and society through its business activities (see section entitled “Due diligence check on responsible business conduct”). Raiffeisen’s business activities focus mainly on mortgages and corporate client lending in Switzerland, and on pension and investment solutions for the Swiss population.
Raiffeisen ensures compliance with the legal framework through internal regulations and processes, determines key indicators and discloses them in accordance with GRI (see table entitled “Social compliance and anti-corruption measures”). Raiffeisen views the results for the year under review as positive and so does not believe that there is an urgent need for action regarding this topic.

Ensuring compliance

The banking industry in Switzerland is highly regulated. The Raiffeisen Group adheres to the statutory, regulatory and professional requirements and processes applicable in the financial centre. Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Legal & Compliance department monitors changes in legal risks for the entire Group. It reports the main legal risks every six months to the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland and to the Board of Directors’ Risk Committee at Raiffeisen Switzerland. The department reports to the entire Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland once a year.

Compliance with the relevant regulations is ensured through the three-lines-of-defence model in the Raiffeisen Group. Raiffeisen banks provide the first line of defence through their front office staff and back office functions, and the second line of defence through the specialist officers for compliance issues (anti-money laundering officers, compliance officers and responsible officers). Raiffeisen Switzerland performs further higher-level duties for the second line of defence in the context of system responsibility. In particular, this includes preparing and maintaining the Group-wide compliance regulations, training the Raiffeisen banks’ specialist officers, and safeguarding the reporting line. Internal Auditing forms the third line of defence. Internal Group processes ensure the necessary control and monitoring as well as risk management.

More information on dealing with legal and compliance risks is available in the chapter entitled “Risk report”.

Anti-corruption and preventing money laundering

The regulator ascribes a particularly high level of importance to the fight against corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing. Corruption undermines the rule of law, promotes inefficiency and distorts competition. The Raiffeisen Group stops corruption by taking preventive measures. These include monitoring business relationships and transactions, along with raising employees’ awareness on an ongoing basis. All employees and members of the supervisory bodies of Raiffeisen Switzerland (100%) are required to regularly attend training courses on corruption prevention. The Raiffeisen banks have the option to make these training courses mandatory for their employees. Anti-corruption responsibilities are defined at all levels of the hierarchy, are enshrined in internal policies and assumed within the business areas of the individual Raiffeisen banks. Strict internal policies govern entry into business relationships with politically exposed persons, the combating of money laundering and terrorism financing, and adherence to laws in the area of economic and trade sanctions.

Internal guidelines on conflicts of interest, the acceptance of gifts as well as active and passive bribery are enshrined in the employment regulations. All employees of Raiffeisen Switzerland and the Raiffeisen Pension Fund, as well as all members of supervisory bodies, are issued with the employment regulations and, by signing the employment contract or mandate agreement, confirm that they are aware of the above-mentioned requirements. Employees of the Raiffeisen banks either likewise receive the employment regulations of Raiffeisen Switzerland or an equivalent alternative from the respective Raiffeisen bank. Business partners who supply goods or services to Raiffeisen are sensitised to anti-corruption issues via the Supplier Code. This explicitly stipulates that any form of corruption, bribery, money laundering, extortion, embezzlement or pay-off is prohibited and must be prevented. General standards and the internal anti-corruption guidelines are an integral part of Raiffeisen Switzerland’s internal regulatory system. They are subject to internal audit and, where regulatory aspects are involved, external regulatory audits as well.

In addition to Raiffeisen Switzerland, the Raiffeisen banks are directly responsible for taking action to prevent money laundering. Each Raiffeisen bank has a person in charge of money laundering issues. These individuals receive annual training on specific topics from Raiffeisen Switzerland and are also professionally supported in their work. If money laundering or terrorism financing is suspected, the Raiffeisen banks’ anti-money laundering officers report to the Money Laundering Reporting Office in consultation with Raiffeisen Switzerland. Raiffeisen Switzerland coordinates the further course of action and supports the Raiffeisen banks in implementing the necessary measures.

The Raiffeisen banks regularly conduct analyses of risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing for the Executive Board according to Raiffeisen Switzerland guidelines, and also send their reports to Raiffeisen Switzerland. Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Legal & Compliance department monitors the changes in these risks across the entire Group, and reports material risks to the Risk Committee and the Board of Directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland every quarter. The Board of Directors bears strategic responsibility at the highest level for the adequacy of anti-corruption measures.

ESG factors in risk management

In the context of risk management, Raiffeisen does not regard environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as a separate risk category but as drivers of existing risk categories, i.e. including credit, market and operational risks. ESG factors at Raiffeisen are accordingly integrated into the existing Raiffeisen risk management framework (see chapter entitled “Risk report”, and in the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD”, pages 17–18). They are thus included in the Raiffeisen Group’s risk strategy, risk tolerance and risk policy. Raiffeisen follows and monitors ESG risk drivers, in particular climate-related financial risks, to an appropriate extent and at regular intervals. ESG factors generally have no material impact on Raiffeisen’s existing risk types, based on an internal review of the ESG risk matrix that was subsequently checked externally for plausibility. As a result, ESG factors are now not specifically assessed in lending, for example (but see the due diligence check on responsible business conduct, driven by business ethics considerations). Implicitly, however, ESG factors are taken into account, for example in the valuation of real estate or larger companies. When assessing the general condition of a property, energy efficiency is included in the evaluation, for example. When assessing a company’s strategy and business model, sustainability issues such as climate compatibility are also implicitly taken into account.

In 2020, aided by an external consultancy firm, Raiffeisen subjected the Climate Change factor to an in-depth qualitative analysis of its impact on the existing types of risk. In the following year, Raiffeisen (again with external support) conducted this analysis with regard to all other relevant ESG factors. In the year under review, a second external partner reviewed this analysis, focusing on the impact of climate change. The impact analysis showed that further risk quantification is not necessary for the ESG factors examined. The ESG factors are either already adequately reflected in risk management, or their impact on the existing types of risk is regarded as immaterial for Raiffeisen.

Due diligence check on responsible business conduct

Raiffeisen Switzerland established a due diligence check in 2021 to ensure responsible business conduct. By conducting this due diligence check, Raiffeisen aims to avoid causing, contributing to or being associated with serious human rights violations or environmental damage through its business activities. The due diligence process implements the relevant instructions of the Board of Directors, which is responsible for Raiffeisen’s business ethics positioning. The due diligence process was first introduced at Raiffeisen Switzerland. It covers lending, securities issues, physical precious metal trading, supplier relationships and, since 2022, treasury and markets transactions, especially with foreign banks.

The due diligence consists of an initial check by the unit responsible for the transaction. The aim here is to identify transactions with increased risks and have them undergo a more detailed second check by the Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department. The due diligence check includes clearly defined triggers and risk escalation processes up to the Executive Board. Moreover, companies from certain sectors are generally excluded from credit financing and securities issuance. In some instances, certification or other standards are required for supplier relationships. The due diligence also includes a comprehensive check of the existing business covered by the due diligence (e.g. at portfolio level) by the Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department.

The due diligence process for ensuring responsible business conduct across the business was extended to all treasury and markets transactions in the year under review. Moreover, the process and responsibilities around due diligence in connection with the acceptance of physical precious metals were laid down in detail in a separate specialist directive. Due diligence for procurement was supplemented with a specific check for child labour and forced labour (see section entitled “No child labour and forced labour in the supply chain”).

Along with the due diligence process, Raiffeisen Switzerland introduced a content-based guideline and a review system to manage ESG issues in various business activities, including financing. On the basis of this binding guideline, not only environmental, but all ESG aspects are taken into account when granting loans. It therefore represents a far-reaching lending policy in the area of sustainability. As the focus of Raiffeisen’s business model is on the Swiss retail banking market, clients are almost exclusively domiciled in Switzerland, and as Switzerland is a well-functioning constitutional state with effectively enforced environmental and social laws, Raiffeisen does not consider it necessary to establish separate internal guidelines on more specific topics such as agriculture, deforestation, mining or oil and gas extraction, in addition to this system. All contents of the due diligence check, including business ethics positioning, are an integral part of Raiffeisen Switzerland’s internal regulatory system. They are subject to internal audit and, where regulatory aspects are involved, external regulatory audits as well.

The due diligence check was initially only introduced at Raiffeisen Switzerland because Raiffeisen banks almost exclusively serve Swiss clients with the financial products and services typical of a retail bank. Raiffeisen Switzerland is generally responsible for serving large corporate clients. It also serves the majority of medium-sized to large companies. Only Raiffeisen Switzerland issues securities for corporate clients and is responsible for physical precious metal trading. In addition, Raiffeisen Switzerland also procures most of the goods and services for the entire Group. In line with Raiffeisen’s risk-based approach to due diligence, risks related to serious negative effects on human rights and society in general, and on the environment (ESG risks), are markedly lower at Raiffeisen banks compared to Raiffeisen Switzerland. A dialogue on the inclusion of the Raiffeisen banks in the due diligence check was nevertheless launched within the Group in 2022.

Second checks and escalated cases for ensuring responsible business conduct at Raiffeisen Switzerland1
Total2022
Second checks45
Cases escalated to the Executive Board1
1 These figures have only been collected since 2022.

Minerals and metals from conflict areas

When accepting precious metal ingots and coins, Raiffeisen Switzerland has been focusing on a close network of established partner companies for several years now. Raiffeisen precious metal ingots are produced solely by the Argor-Heraeus refinery in Switzerland. The gold processed in it is produced exclusively from certain mines identified by the refinery together with Raiffeisen based on defined criteria – currently from North and South America.  The mines can be identified by Raiffeisen clients on each ingot, based on the ingot number. Raiffeisen has also been sourcing gold from smaller mines in Colombia since 2021. A new supplier relationship was also established with a small mine in Peru. These mines are part of the Swiss Better Gold Initiative, which is supported by Swiss Better Gold and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Smaller gold producers and their environment are supported by the initiative through environmental and social projects and with regard to economic efficiency. Support was launched for four projects in Colombia during the year under review. The other precious metal ingots traded by Raiffeisen originate exclusively from LBMA or LPPM-accredited production facilities. As part of this accreditation, compliance with the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas is also assessed. Given the discussion in Switzerland on gold of Russian origin during the year under review, Raiffeisen reviewed its holdings as at 31 December 2022 and did not identify any ingots of this type.

No child labour and forced labour in the supply chain

The most important procurement items used to operate the branch network are real estate, IT hardware and software, services, furnishings and vehicles. Due to its business model, Raiffeisen has a comparatively low risk of purchasing products and services that are produced or provided using child or forced labour. Nonetheless, Raiffeisen Switzerland introduced a specific check for child and forced labour in 2022 as part of the due diligence check on responsible business conduct. The check in question involves a list of goods that are often produced using child or forced labour. It is based on a list from the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the US Department of Labor. According to information from this agency, the list has global validity.

Supplier Code

The Raiffeisen Supplier Code is part of the formal internal due diligence check introduced in 2021. Raiffeisen expects that suppliers, their employees and all sub-contractors and their employees will comply with the principles laid down in the Code. This applies to child labour in particular. Suppliers undertake not to employ children and not to accept child labour from their sub-contractors or their suppliers. The Supplier Code was established more firmly in the contract templates during the year under review.

Social compliance and anti-corruption measures 1
GRI indicator2022
Social compliance
Significant fines and non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and/or regulations in the social and economic areaGRI 2-270
Anti-corruption
Total number and percentage of Raiffeisen banks that are assessed for risks related to corruption
implemented mechanisms to detect corruption
GRI 205-1100%
Significant risks related to corruption identified through the risk assessmentGRI 205-10
Total number and nature of confirmed incidents of corruptionGRI 205-30
1 In this context, a zero means that no serious cases are known as at the end of the year under review.

"Achieving impact" action area

6 – Create sustainable products and services

The Raiffeisen Group takes into account environmental and social factors, as well as increasing client demand with regard to sustainability, when designing and developing its financial products and services – both for private and investment clients as well as for corporate clients.  The Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department is systematically involved in the introduction of new products and services, and assesses them from a sustainability viewpoint.

Raise client awareness in the mortgage business

When promoting sustainability in the mortgage business, Raiffeisen sees its role primarily in routinely making its clients aware, at an early stage, of the potential for boosting energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, and presenting appropriate financing solutions. As early as 2015, Raiffeisen was the first bank to integrate the energy efficiency evaluation of properties as standard procedure into the mortgage advice business. Clients can use this to obtain an overview of their property’s energy efficiency. Any investment backlog can also be identified and renovation scenarios simulated. A total of 1,416 energy and renovation-related advisory sessions were carried out in the year under review.  This number is expected to continue rising. The various self-service offers in the field of energy efficiency and renovation are also becoming increasingly important. These offers were increasingly used in the year under review, with more than 20,000 views.

As in previous years, Raiffeisen supported SwissEnergy’s Renewable Heating programme in 2022. This federal programme aims to help private home owners switch to heating systems using renewable energy, by providing neutral and professional advice. As a strategic partner, Raiffeisen provides relevant financial expertise.

Awareness-raising tools and initiatives

202020212022
Energy-efficient renovation and climate compatibility
GEAK® Plus certificates subsidised in the current year1463
Thermal imaging performed in campaigns concluded during the
current year
7,8007,400
E-Valo energy efficiency consultations for real estate21,1231,969
Raiffeisen modernisation planner(RAImo)31,8821,101
Incentive consulting for renewable heating315
Number of visits to self-service heating cost calculator at raiffeisencasa.ch410,426
Number of visits to self-service energy efficiency calculator at raiffeisencasa.ch411'084
1 Programmes to raise home owners' awareness of energy efficiency and climate sustainability are optimised on an ongoing basis. Previous programmes such as thermal imaging campaigns are no longer continued. In some cases, however, these programmes are continued by Raiffeisen banks. Data on individual initiatives of this type is nevertheless not available across the Group.
2 Fewer advisory sessions held in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic. In the year under review, E-Valo was replaced by a self-service product at raiffeisencasa.ch, and a national marketing campaign was added (incentive consulting for renewable heating).
3 The Raiffeisen modernisation planner was launched as a new offering in March 2021.
4 The data on the two self-service products at raiffeisencasa.ch has only been collected since 2022.

Every year since 2011, Raiffeisen has conducted a survey on energy and climate issues, the “Customer Barometer on Renewable Energies”. The aim of the survey is to find out as much as possible about the needs of clients with regard to new products and services, and to raise public awareness about the issue. In the autumn of 2022, this representative survey was once more carried out among the Swiss population together with the University of St. Gallen and SwissEnergy. The main results show that 91% of respondents consider it (rather) likely that the uncertainties surrounding energy supply will lead to increased energy awareness. Accelerated planning procedures for generating renewable electricity are seen as a major help in overcoming this uncertainty in the supply situation.

Raising client awareness in corporate client business

The Raiffeisen Group has around 220,000 corporate clients – mainly SMEs. In total, 99.5% of Raiffeisen’s corporate clients are domiciled in Switzerland (see “Client structure” table). Accordingly, they are regulated relatively efficiently and effectively in environmental, social and governance issues. The risk that the business activities of corporate clients will have a relatively serious negative impact on the environment or society is therefore comparatively low for Raiffeisen.

Nevertheless, Raiffeisen is also raising awareness of sustainability among its corporate clients in certain cases. In addition, a pilot advisory project was carried out in the year under review with the SME Platform for Energy Efficiency (PEIK), which advises SMEs on energy matters.

"Futura" sustainable pension and investment solutions

Since the launch of the first Raiffeisen Futura fund in 2001 and the subsequent development and expansion of the investment solutions, Raiffeisen has been consistently providing sustainable investment opportunities in pension and investment funds for its clients. Since 2013, pension and investment clients have been asked about their sustainability stance and advised accordingly, on request, in advisory meetings and when their situation is regularly reviewed.

Raiffeisen Switzerland conducted a survey on sustainable investing in December 2021. The findings clearly show that the topic of sustainability in pensions and investing is a very common concern for both the general population and Raiffeisen clients. The majority of investors have a great need for sustainable investments and would like more ESG information with more details on the financial instruments used. In the approaches to sustainability, the most frequent mention was made of exclusion criteria and impact investing.

The implementation of sustainability in the pension and investment business has been based on the specific “Sustainability Strategy for Investing & Retirement” since 2020. The strategy was developed by the Competence Centre for Sustainable Investing. As part of the strategy, the Futura approach was developed in the year under review into a uniform and consistent Futura Policy for all sustainable pension and investment solutions provided by Raiffeisen Switzerland.

Sustainable investment universe

The Futura Policy is primarily based on the idea of a more sustainable investment universe, narrowed down by means of exclusions and sustainability appraisals. In addition, direct influence is exerted on companies through the active exercise of voting rights by the Futura investment funds. Active investor dialogue (involvement), which was delegated to Ethos, represents an additional element in exercising active ownership that was introduced in the year under review. Investors are informed about the sustainability of the investments as part of the sustainability reporting newly introduced at the end of November.

In the case of sustainable Raiffeisen pension and investment solutions with the Futura label, the investment universe is determined by exclusion criteria and sustainability appraisals. First, exclusion criteria help to avoid investment risks that are particularly critical from a sustainability viewpoint. Second, they represent a certain value system for ethical principles. Armaments, nuclear energy and gambling are among the sectors excluded. Coal and crude oil were new additions in 2022. These exclusion criteria apply to all Raiffeisen pension and investment solutions that bear the Futura label (100%).

Any financial instrument not excluded on the basis of exclusion criteria undergoes a rigorous sustainability review, in which it is assessed for sustainability. For direct investments, Raiffeisen works with the independent rating agency Inrate, and with Vontobel Asset Management for collective investments. The sustainability assessment reflects the risks and opportunities of companies (and in the case of bonds, also of sovereigns) based on a number of sector-specific ESG criteria (for example, CO2 emissions, employee satisfaction, independence of Board of Directors members).

In the case of recommendations and model portfolios (in the advisory area), Raiffeisen Switzerland only considers financial instruments that meet the defined ESG criteria. The Raiffeisen banks decide independently on implementation of these recommendations.

Active ownership

In addition to the exclusion criteria and the sustainability criteria to be taken into account, the new Raiffeisen Futura Policy also includes active ownership. This includes dialogue with companies and the voluntary exercise of voting rights associated with the investments. Since 2009, all Raiffeisen Futura funds have made active use of voting rights for Swiss equities. This was extended in August 2020 to include the exercise of voting rights for all shares in the Futura funds, i.e. also covering shares in international companies. For Swiss equities within the actively managed Futura funds, the voting rights are exercised by Ethos, Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development. For all other stocks the funds follow the recommendations of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).

Since May 2022, Ethos has also conducted active investor dialogue (involvement) for Swiss and international companies selected by Raiffeisen Switzerland. Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Sustainability Competence Centre monitors this investor dialogue and the relevant guidelines, while also involving the Sustainability, Policy & Cooperative department. Together with Ethos, Raiffeisen defines the environmental, social or governance issues on which dialogue is to be conducted and thus on which influence is to be exerted. The focus is on climate change, labour and human rights, and digital responsibility. Raiffeisen Switzerland also has the opportunity to engage via Ethos with other institutional investors, such as asset managers and pension funds, to improve ESG aspects through collective involvement. Raiffeisen Switzerland made use of this option twice in the year under review. The “Investor Statement on Ethical AI” and the “Valuing Water Finance Initiative” were supported.

Sustainability reporting on pension and investment products

At the end of the year under review, sustainability reporting was added to a number of client reports, such as the schedule of assets and the investment proposal. The sustainability reporting gives investors an overview of how sustainably their capital is invested on the basis of three dimensions at present. Direct investments (shares and bonds) as well as collective investments are taken into account. These three dimensions are: 1. Sustainability ratings, 2. Greenhouse gas emissions (in absolute terms and using the Footprint and Intensity indicators) and 3. Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the case of the Raiffeisen Futura and Raiffeisen Futura II funds, specific sustainability reporting will now be integrated into the respective factsheets. It should also be mentioned that clients are not only shown this sustainability information at the reporting stage, but also in the investment proposal.

Expanded range of Futura funds

Since 2019, all pillar 3 pension funds at Raiffeisen have been sustainable. Almost the entire range of investment funds was aligned with sustainability in July 2021 (as part of the Sustainability Strategy for Investing & Retirement). Previously non-sustainable funds were merged with existing Futura funds or, in the case of the strategy funds, repositioned with a changed name and sustainable investment policy (Global Invest became Futura Strategy Invest). On 1 March 2022, the range of products was expanded to include the following index-tracking investment funds: two equity funds, two bond funds and four investment target or pension funds (with the allocations Yield, Balanced, Growth and Equity). These are offered under the name Futura Systematic.

As a result, the proportion of sustainable Futura funds in the total volume of all Raiffeisen funds has grown in recent years to 94.3% as at the end of 2022. The net inflow into Futura pension and investment funds amounted to CHF 887.3 million in the year under review. For performance reasons, however, the total volume fell by 11.3% to CHF 12 billion, due to the general stock market losses in the year under review.

New Futura asset management mandates

As in the case of the pension and investment funds, ESG criteria have also been taken into account in the majority of Raiffeisen asset management mandates since the end of November 2022, in accordance with the Futura Policy. To do this, the previous Futura and Global mandates were changed into Futura-Global, and Swissness into Futura Swissness. The Futura Impact asset management mandate was introduced. Raiffeisen is the first national retail bank to make a solution of this type available to its clients. Futura Impact invests in collective investments that feature a clear and transparent intention to achieve a purposeful ecological or social effect (impact) through their investments, in addition to a financial return. These include various sustainable funds as referred to in Art. 9 of the EU Disclosure Regulation (SFDR; Regulation 2019/2088), and impact-aligned collective investment schemes that are based on international climate targets (Paris-Aligned Benchmark; Carbon Transition Benchmark – Regulation EU 2019/2089). Less liquid financial instruments that have a direct impact (impact-generating), such as microfinance funds, are also used selectively.

Due to this restructuring, the volume of the Futura asset management mandates grew by 77.9 percentage points to CHF 7.2 billion over the period under review.  

In April 2021 the option was added to the digital asset management app Raiffeisen Rio to invest in a portfolio with an entirely sustainable focus. The focus topics Green Energy and, since February 2022, Sustainable Nutrition, allow Raiffeisen Rio clients to set a further sustainability focus in their Rio mandate.

Raiffeisen Sustainability and Green Bonds

In April 2019, Raiffeisen Switzerland placed the very first sustainability bond on the Swiss capital market for investors. Investors can use it to invest in energy-efficient, low-emission and social housing. The sustainability bond thus also complies with the guidelines of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) for a social bond and a green bond.

Based on the experience gained through the issuance of the sustainability bond, Raiffeisen Switzerland established a green bond programme in 2021. This also focuses on the refinancing of mortgages granted to finance energy-efficient, low-emission buildings in Switzerland. Due to the low financing needs of the Raiffeisen Group in the year under review, Raiffeisen has not yet issued a similar bond.

Responsible and traceable gold

Raiffeisen offers its clients precious metals. In 2021, a “Responsibly Sourced & Traceable” approach was adopted for procuring gold for all Raiffeisen gold ingots. This makes it possible to precisely trace the source of the gold and attaches importance to companies in the supply chain being environmentally and socially responsible. Another objective of the approach is to source an average of around 15% of gold from smaller gold producers. The small producers and their environment are supported by the Swiss Better Gold Initiative with regard to environmental and social compatibility and economic efficiency. For every gram of gold sold, a few centimes are donated to this programme. A total of around USD 675,000 has been transferred to Swiss Better Gold, from introduction of the initiative to the end of the year under review. Clients can also access the supply chain information for Raiffeisen gold ingots online.

Since 2021, investors have had the opportunity to invest responsibly in the asset class gold through the “Raiffeisen ETF – Solid Gold Responsibly Sourced & Traceable”. In this case, too, gold is sourced transparently and traceably based on the “Responsibly Sourced & Traceable” approach. “Raiffeisen ETF – Solid Gold Responsibly Sourced & Traceable” won the Swiss ETF Award 2023 in the category “Newcomer of the Year” during the year under review. The investment volume was CHF 108 million as at 31 December 2022.

Products with specific social and ecological benefits

GRI FS6, FS7, FS8, FS10, FS11Unit31.12.202031.12.202131.12.2022
Investment products
Sustainable funds CHF million8,72613,54612,017
Share of volume of all Raiffeisen funds percent71.694.794.3
Share of custody account volume (including structured products)percent21.927.927.3
Development funds1 CHF million195172
Share of custody account volumepercent0.70.4
Structured products with a sustainability focusCHF million15.440.584.7
Raiffeisen Asset management
Volume of sustainable Futura asset management mandatesCHF million1,4287,236
Shares of all asset management mandatespercent22.321.999.8
Volume of Futura asset management mandates Impact2CHF million6.2
Number of Futura asset management mandates Impact2Number58
Leasing business3
Subsidised leasing in the case of replacement investments for Euro 6 emission standard-compliant lorries CHF million5.8
Share of total leasing volume for lorriespercent7.5
new business volume of leasing for passenger cars and commercial vehicles with alternative drive systemsCHF million16.510.6
Proportion of new business volumepercent1.57.59
New business volume of leasing for photovoltaicsCHF million1.13.94.5
Raiffeisen Bonds
Raiffeisen Sustainability Bond4CHF million100.0100.0100.0
Active Ownership5
number of companies held in the institution's portfolio with which the organisation has interacted on environmental or social issuesNumber20
1 Raiffeisen Switzerland sold all its shares in responsAbility Investments AG in the year under review.
2 The Futura asset management mandate Impact was launched at the end of November 2022. 
3 New national vendor partnerships focused particularly on self-sufficient power supply solutions including alternative drive and storage components in 2022. This was especially the case for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
4 0.125% sustainability bond; repaid at par on 7 May 2024.
5 Active investor dialogue as part of active ownership was introduced as an additional sustainability approach on 1 May 2022.

7 – Ensure long-term economic success

The cooperative Raiffeisen Group operates on the principle of targeting long-term, sustainable results and is not focused on maximising profit and growth at all cost. Raiffeisen thus strives to be a reliable, long-term partner for its stakeholders.

Cooperative members benefit from fair interest on their cooperative capital. Members can also secure particularly favourable conditions for certain banking transactions and benefit from additional member advantages.

The Raiffeisen Group makes contributions to the public purse in the form of taxes throughout Switzerland at the local, cantonal and federal levels. In contrast, Raiffeisen does not receive any public funds and does not benefit from government guarantees. Ultimately, the continuous profit retention or self-financing through profits generated is important for long-term success.

Distribution of added value

The Raiffeisen Group’s cooperative business model results in economic performance being decentralised throughout Switzerland. This means that the Group can contribute to added value locally, regionally and nationally. And not only through its core business of mortgage financing, but also through other financing and banking services, and through procurement, tax levies and its support for charitable organisations and initiatives.

The statement of net added value shows that the Raiffeisen Group’s economic performance should be viewed positively again in the year under review. It can thus build on the previous years. Cooperative members, clients and society benefit from this. This focus on the long term is also reflected in very solid results in the relevant financial ratings (S&P “Long term”: A+, Fitch “Long Term”: A+), which Raiffeisen was able to maintain in the year under review.

Statement of net added value

CHF millionpercent
2021202220212022
Creation of added value
Corporate performance (= operating result)3,3833,529100.0100.0
General and administrative expenses-503-54314.915.4
Extraordinary income9340.31.0
Extraordinary expenses-1-10-0.0-0.3
Gross added value2,8883,01085.485.3
Value adjustments on participations and depreciation and amortisation of tangible fixed assets and intangible assets-217-1896.45.4
Changes to provisions and other value adjustments
and losses
-3-140.10.4
Net added value2,6682,80778.979.5
Distribution of added value
Personnel (salaries and employee benefits)1,3921,42952.250.9
Cooperative members (paym. of interest on certif.: proposal to AGM)67792.52.8
Government1831966.97.0
Capital and income taxes1441765.46.3
Formation/release of provisions for
deferred taxes
39201.50.7
Bolstering of reserves (self-financing)1,0261,10338.539.3
Distributed added value2,6682,807100.0100.0
Statement of net added value – key figures
unit20212022
Gross added value per personnel unit11,000 CHF301307
Net added value per personnel unit11,000 CHF278286
Personnel units (average)number9,6109,815
1 Calculated based on the average number of employees. Data basis: key figures in the financial report. For the calculation method, also refer to
footnote 1 of the table with the key figures of the Raiffeisen Group in the "Employees" section of the management report.

Fair salary and pension fund benefits

Raiffeisen’s more than 11,000 employees are paid fairly and in line with the market, and benefit from above-average social and fringe benefits. The pension fund benefits exceed the mandatory requirements to a very great extent. The occupational pension funds are managed by an independent legal entity, the Raiffeisen Pension Fund. It manages the pension assets of around 13,000 actively insured persons and pension recipients in a fiduciary capacity, taking sustainable aspects into account. The technical parameters are defined in such a way as to prevent systematic redistribution between generations and to ensure long-term financial stability. Through the profit participation model, the pension fund allows its insured persons to participate in the investment success. The coverage ratio of the Raiffeisen Pension Fund was 107.1% at the end of 2022 (2021: 118.5%; 2020: 117.8%).

Sustainability is not only important for the stable financing of benefit assurances, free of any reallocation. The Raiffeisen Pension Fund is aware of its economic, environmental and social responsibility (ESG). In its role as an institutional investor, it manages pension assets carefully and considers ESG factors when selecting its investments.

Further information on the Raiffeisen Pension Fund and its annual report for 2022 is available at  raiffeisen.ch/pensionskasse (german only)

8 – Mitigate climate change

Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions increase global warming with serious, irreversible consequences for humanity and the environment. Raiffeisen supports the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and is pursuing the goal of net zero by 2050. Raiffeisen sees itself as having a special responsibility in this respect, as the largest provider of mortgages in Switzerland. Greenhouse gas emissions also play a role in the sustainability assessment of pension and investment solutions.

Raiffeisen aims to achieve the net zero target as early as 2030 for operational emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2). The Raiffeisen Group itself causes CO2 emissions by operating its 800 or so branches and due to business travel, transportation and the upstream and downstream processes.

More detailed information as well as facts and figures are included in the separate supplement to the Annual Report 2022 entitled “Disclosure of climate information in accordance with the recommendations of the TCFD”. This publication is available at  report.raiffeisen.ch/downloads and on the Raiffeisen website  raiffeisen.ch/nachhaltigkeit-offenlegung (german only).

9 – Maintain open and fair interaction with clients

In line with its mission statement, the Raiffeisen Group sets store by fairness, reliability and transparency in business relations with its clients. The focus is always on the satisfaction of the almost 3.64 million clients. Raiffeisen therefore maintains a competent, open and fair interaction with them. This includes the facts that Raiffeisen solutions are simple and straightforward, offer value for money and that prices are transparently communicated. This is the only way to ensure that clients can reach well-informed decisions. The introduction of sustainability reporting (see also “6 – Sustainable products and services”) should also be seen in this context.

Moreover, Raiffeisen is committed to the AA-plus quality label for e-banking introduced by the “Access for All” foundation as well as the European Transparency Code for sustainability funds, which provides specific standards and transparency guidelines in the area of sustainability.

Transparency and fairness

The provision of financial services and the offering of financial instruments in Switzerland is regulated by the relevant laws and ordinances. Investor protection is at the heart of this. Raiffeisen implements all legal requirements in all its products and services (100%). It thus promotes fairness and transparency in the provision of financial services and in the offering of financial instruments. Raiffeisen additionally applies self-regulatory measures. Foreign regulations are taken into account as needed.

Clients can contact their Raiffeisen bank if they have any grievances or complaints. In addition, clients can refer to the neutral office of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman with any questions and complaints about banking and financial services.

A total of 97.6% of Raiffeisen’s clients are domiciled in Switzerland (see “Client structure” table). Raiffeisen Switzerland recommends a specific target product portfolio for each client segment to the Raiffeisen banks. Any financial services and instruments not included in the portfolio will only be offered to segment clients at their express request. Thanks to all these efforts, Raiffeisen has managed to provide a straightforward product range with fair prices in line with the market and a high level of transparency. This promotes client focus, mutual trust and long-term client relationships.
With regard to fairness and transparency, various innovations were implemented in the year under review, e.g. the investment proposal in the investment business, sustainability reporting (see “6 – Sustainable products and services”), and simplification of pricing in investment transactions. Raiffeisen clients will also be informed earlier and more comprehensively than before about fee adjustments from this year onwards.

Client structure (by domicile, segment, sector)

31.12.2022Number in thousandsPercentage
Number of clients3,637.5100.0
Private and investment clients3,421.194.1
Of which domiciled in
Switzerland3,340.197.6
Countries bordering Switzerland67.92.0
Rest13.10.4
Of which segment
Private clients3,031.188.6
Investment clients390.011.4
Corporate clients216.45.9
Of which domiciled in
Switzerland215.499.5
Countries bordering Switzerland0.80.4
Rest0.10.1
Of which segment
Self-employed individuals69.131.9
Small enterprises118.554.7
Medium-sized and medium-large enterprises3.11.4
Real estate companies17.27.9
Public-sector entities8.64.0

High level of client satisfaction

Since 2020, Raiffeisen has conducted regular surveys among clients to check whether adequate fairness and transparency are ensured and are perceived as such by respondents. Specifically, this involves asking whether Raiffeisen deals fairly with clients and provides them with information that is transparent and clear, and whether Raiffeisen is perceived as a sustainable and responsible company. The results show that, once again in 2022, Raiffeisen is perceived as being a financial company that is better than average compared to the competition when it comes to sustainability and responsibility. This statement applies not only to our own clients, but to the Swiss population as a whole. In addition, Raiffeisen continues to achieve very good results in comparison with its competitors, holding a top position for general client satisfaction. The goal is to continue achieving a high level of satisfaction, and to maintain and enhance the positive perception in society.

Increasing the financial knowledge of clients

For years, Raiffeisen has been committed to Money Mix as a way of improving young people’s financial skills. And in cooperation with the learning platform “evulpo”, it has been supporting school children as they move towards financial independence. These two platforms and the learning content provided on them are free of charge and accessible by anyone. As a result, they can also be used by other social groups.

Raiffeisen also works with several financial education providers to increase the financial literacy of its clients. One example is the collaboration with Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), which conducts and publishes an annual external study on financial retirement provision on behalf of Raiffeisen. Another example is the bank’s work with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) on studies relating to digitalisation in the financial sector. Raiffeisen has integrated the topic of financial literacy into the advisory process for its client advisors. They convey this knowledge in meetings with their clients and in other ways.

Protection against debt accumulation by private individuals

Raiffeisen chiefly grants mortgage loans. To protect clients and prevent possible over-indebtedness, an affordability calculation with an imputed interest rate is carried out when granting a mortgage loan. To calculate affordability, housing costs are set in relation to income, with housing costs consisting of imputed interest expenses, repayments of principal, and expenses for maintaining the property. The loan will only be approved if the finance is affordable.

Raiffeisen took over the credit card business for its clients from Viseca in the year under review. There is a certain risk of personal debt in this type of loan. In the spirit of responsible business activity, Raiffeisen complies with the requirements of the associated Consumer Credit Act. Card limits are set within the card applicant’s borrowing capacity, and the situation is monitored on an ongoing basis.

Protection of client data

Special mention must be made of client privacy when dealing with clients openly and fairly. Due to their business activity, banks hold particularly sensitive client data. Clients trust their bank to comply with statutory and regulatory requirements, handle their data responsibly and safeguard it as effectively as possible.

The protection of client data is an absolute priority at Raiffeisen. Since it has overall responsibility for the compliance system, Raiffeisen Switzerland is tasked with centrally protecting client data within the Raiffeisen Group and operates an information security management system (ISMS) based on the ISO 27001 standard. The purpose of the system is to ensure information integrity, availability and confidentiality at all times.

Information security is also constantly monitored and enhanced where necessary. Technical security solutions and systems are checked annually by Internal Auditing at Raiffeisen Switzerland. Information security policies are also reviewed internally on an annual basis and, if necessary, adapted to reflect changing conditions.

Both proactive and reactive measures are in place with regard to data breaches. Raiffeisen Switzerland also has an incident response plan for this scenario. In addition, Raiffeisen Switzerland conducts several projects each year to strengthen its ability to withstand cyber attacks. Raiffeisen Switzerland also has a data protection officer who oversees the entire Group. This specialist position ensures that Raiffeisen meets the criteria set down in the Swiss Data Protection Act. The Executive Board of Raiffeisen Switzerland is responsible at the highest level for data protection and data security.

Rules on data protection and data security are implemented through internal directives and must be complied with not only by employees, but also by Raiffeisen suppliers and business partners. In addition, Raiffeisen conducts mandatory training sessions on awareness of information security every year and revises them on a regular basis. This training is completed by all employees and by independent contractors who have access to Raiffeisen’s IT systems. Client data requirements conform to the Data Protection Act as well as FINMA stipulations. Accordingly, Raiffeisen grants individuals all applicable rights with respect to control of their data. This concerns access to personal data and its correction and deletion. As a matter of principle, Raiffeisen minimises the collection and storage of data, and undertakes to delete data after a certain period of time in line with legal requirements. Raiffeisen also integrates information security measures into the development of products and services. It also designs the systems used for data processing in such a way that data protection regulations are complied with (data protection by design and default).

The Raiffeisen Group constantly adapts its measures to protect client data in a continuous improvement process, depending on the current situation and challenges. Operations were optimised in the year under review, especially in the filter criteria, channel monitoring and in the data leakage prevention blocking (DLBP) of e-mails. In addition, the requirements of the revised Data Protection Act and the revised Data Protection Ordinance were incorporated into internal regulations, while the staff and resources of the Data Protection unit were expanded.

Metrics on client privacy and marketing

The survey data on client satisfaction, the client complaint process and the number of breaches of the relevant provisions point to any deficiencies in the processes. Specific metrics are used for this purpose (see table below ). They currently show no acute need for action in the area of fairness and transparency in client relations.

Marketing and labelling and protecting client data 1
GRI indicator20212022
Marketing and labelling
Total number of incidents of non-compliance with regulations and/or
voluntary codes concerning product
and service information and labelling
GRI 417-200
Total number of breaches in connection with marketingGRI 417-300
Customer privacy
Complaints from outside parties and regulatory bodiesGRI 418-110
Serious incidents registered through internal data leakage prevention (DLP)GRI 418-100
Alarms registered by the internal data leakage prevention system2GRI 418-15,939,25310,350,597
1 In this context, a zero means that no serious cases are known as at the end of the year under review.
2 The increase in 2022 compared to the 2021 financial year is due to extended filter criteria. DLP alarms are triggered in response to rules based on a scoring system. An alarm does not automatically mean that a regulation has been violated.

10 – Promote employee expertise and diversity

Change is a major part of the Raiffeisen 2025 strategy. Promoting employee expertise and diversity is also a significant goal of the sustainability strategy. In the year under review, various measures were taken to foster a corporate culture in which diversity and equal opportunities are practised.

For more detail see the chapter on “Employees”.