CSR

At B2Holding, we see ourselves as part of the solution and believe our experience and employees’ expertise will make a positive difference – and ultimately benefit the society as a whole.

Excerpt from Annual Report 2018

OUR APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY

B2Holding aims to create value for society through handling non-performing loans and supporting debtors in solving their payment challenges to get “back on track”.

We believe that corporate responsibility will have consequences for B2Holding’s financial performance and long term value creation, and we commit ourselves to acting sustainably in our everyday business.

Our stakeholder groups are varied. In 2018, we revised our stakeholder analysis, adding our lenders as a key stakeholder group given the fundamental impact it has to our business. The four stakeholder groups considered to be of special importance to us are: 

• our customers, the debtors struggling with indebtedness
• our business partners, banks and other vendors trusting us to treat their customers fairly
• our lenders, who support and enable further development
• our employees, our most valuable resource

We consider that all our stakeholders contribute to, and are affected by, the society in one way or another. Through our operations we help manage society’s debt problems and aim to contribute to a stable economy with better capital efficiency. In this regard, we also wish to maintain and build long term relations and be regarded as a trustworthy and qualified partner for dialogue by local authorities. This is an important part of our corporate social responsibility and this report shall reflect what kind of company we strive to be.

We meet our stakeholders in different arenas such as meetings, investor presentations, phone calls and letters.

The assessment of relevant matters is based on what our stakeholders are concerned with and the consequences for B2Holding if we fail to meet our stakeholders’ expectations.

The materiality analysis shown below includes all topics identified, while the topics above the marked line are regarded as most material to both B2Holding and our stakeholders. This report covers both global activities in the B2Holding Group, in our majority-owned subsidiaries and in B2Holding ASA.

B2holding

FAIR TREATMENT OF DEBTORS

Materiality Rationale

Within the B2Holding Group, we refer to the debtors as our customers. We commit ourselves to treat all debtors with dignity and respect in the same way we would meet a customer.

Ethical, sustainable and responsible services for our customers are of key importance for the B2Holding Group. We value the strong partnership with our vendors and their customers and find that fair treatment of debtors
is a prerequisite for building a good and long relationship with vendors.

Our basic approach

We acquire NPL portfolios from banks and financial institutions and service the portfolios using inhouse collection and recovery resources. This gives us the opportunity to be more flexible towards the debtors. It is in the best
interest of both B2Holding and the debtor to find an amicable solution and regain financial creditability. Our local presence is an advantage and each employee has the responsibility to ensure respectful and solution-oriented
approach to support a positive customer experience.

Being flexible also means that decisions are made on an individual basis. Our corporate culture implies that all individual employees perform good judgement and have the integrity necessary to handle difficult situations that
may arise. Along with policies and procedures, our Code of Conduct sets the overall standard on what is and what is not an acceptable behaviour.
Our employees shall not only act in compliance with all laws and regulations. All employees with customer contact also need skills and training to know how to manage the process from an ethical and human perspective. To be
able to deliver on this expectation, it is not enough only to recruit the right people. Setting the standard at the top by involving the senior management at all levels in the Group is also essential.

Main achievements and targets

In our collection and recovery practice as well as in our service development, training of employees and handling of complaints, our focus will be on respecting the debtor and finding amicable solutions.
With the positive experience of new online customer portals and easy payments in some countries, the Group will have access to more effective tools for simplified communication in the future, and this improves our
ability to find amicable solutions. By logging in to an online personal account, the debtor can quickly find the details of his or her debt. This is now available in Poland, Finland and Spain. In Poland, we have also started
a pilot project for chatbots both online and by telephone with the purpose to increase our availability towards debtors.

In 2019, we are working to improve the proportion of amicable solutions.

ENGAGING ON ANTI-CORRUPTION AND OTHER FINANCIAL CRIME

Materiality Rationale

B2Holding defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for illegitimate personal benefits or private gain and has a zero-tolerance policy against corruption. This involves both financial and non-financial benefits. By this
it is understood that employees are not allowed to offer or accept bribes, facilitation payments or gifts that may be considered inappropriate. Our attitude towards corruption is communicated through our Code of Conduct.

Norway is ranked among the ten least corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2018. We acknowledge that countries like Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Romania,
all of them countries in which B2Holding has business operations, are perceived as higher risk countries according to the same ranking.

For B2Holding, the corruption risk will largely be related to acquisition of portfolios or disinvestments of mortgages or loan receivables when these are not sold through regulated channels. Such sales are less frequent and are
remedied by guidelines of an authorisation hierarchy and the rules of the “four-eyes principle”.

Our basic approach

In order to ensure a common set of rules and understanding throughout the Group, the Board of Directors has provided guidelines in the Code of Conduct applicable for all business units in the Group. All local managers
are responsible for establishing adequate and effective procedures in their business units to prevent and uncover irregularities or fraudulent behaviour such as corruption.
In 10 of our 23 countries there is a legal obligation to set up a reporting channel for whistleblowing. In some countries, like Norway, whistleblowing is facilitated through an internal mailbox for reporting all ethics-related
matters. Notifications are dealt with by the compliance or the HR functions and further reported to the local Board of Directors and Group Compliance function if relevant.

Main achievements and targets

We expect and encourage our business units to focuson conducting effective compliance risk assessments to ensure a risk-based approach to combat financial crime.
Several new Group policies will be introduced during 2019, including Group policies on whistleblowing, third-party checks, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. The purpose is to set focus on and to mitigate
the risk of corruption. The implementation will involve dilemma training to raise the awareness and to encourage employees to notify about censurable matters they become aware of.

The Board of Directors in B2Holding ASA has provided a policy saying that all companies within the Group shall give the whistle-blower the same rights and protection, irrespective of whether this is regulated by local law or not.

DEBTOR SATISFACTION

Materiality Rationale

We acknowledge that, in general, the debt collection industry has a reputation hurdle to overcome in many countries. We aim to change that by building positive relations and safeguard the debtors’ integrity and dignity
through constructive and transparent dialogue. Our overall goal is to be a preferred creditor for our debtors. Treating our debtors as customers sets our priorities and how we communicate at all levels of the organisation.
Being a debt collection company with few complaints is part of our success and relevant also for our business partners when considering entering into long-term agreements with us, such as forward flow agreements.

Our basic approach

The debtors’ satisfaction with B2Holding and our individual employees is measured through feedback we receive both orally and in writing. The number of complaints can provide an indication of how well our companies
have performed on B2Holding’s goal of being a preferred creditor and a preferred business partner.
Our local compliance function has access to and monitors the relevant subsidiary’s complaints register to ensure that all complaints are dealt with properly and to address any recurring or systematic problems. In some
circumstances, complaints may develop into a reportable incident. The complaint system in each subsidiary will depend on local regulations.

Main achievements and targets

Our goal for 2018 was to keep the number of complaints on the same minimum level as in 2017. In 2018, the number of complaints represented 0.001 % of total number of claims, which is similar to last year.
We believe our strategy of controlling all parts of the value chain by using inhouse collection and recovery agencies and our own call centres, is a key element for this success and will continue to keep the number of
complaints on a low level.

For further improvement of our collection practice, we also want to hear the voices from those not filing a complaint. In 2019, we will discuss, with selected major subsidiaries, methods for receiving such feedback on a
wider level.

PRIVACY

Materiality Rationale

As privacy is of high importance to our stakeholders, it is also highly prioritised within the Group to be compliant with the privacy regulations and in a professional manner facilitate for the data subjects’ possibility to exercise their
rights according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Our basic approach

Group policies and routines provide detailed guidelines on how we shall process personal data. All our employees are bound by confidentiality statements about all matters related to our debtors.
We do not obtain personal data not necessary to conduct our services, and any access to our debtors’ personal data base shall only be granted to employees who need it in the course of their work tasks. These rules are among our
general privacy principles.

All local Business Units have privacy statements available on their dedicated websites.

Main achievements and targets

During 2018, all our business units have employed new or engaged existing employees as responsible for privacy compliance in their local unit. Where dedicated Data Protection Officers (DPOs) are required, the requirement is
fulfilled. When necessary, they are in contact with the local data protection authorities, and with data subjects who have inquiries related to processing of their personal data.
Throughout the year, all business units have installed IT-solutions which ensure compliance with the requirements for e.g. data subjects’ right to access, storage, backup solution and deletion. Data protection training
has been given to all relevant employees.

The Group’s GDPR project is now an ongoing program with annual audits, reporting and monitoring through operational, IT and Compliance functions internally.

FAIR WAGES AND WORKING CONDITIONS

Materiality Rationale

We aim to take care of our most valuable asset, our people, and ensure that they are paid fairly and have safe and good working conditions. Our industry is known to have a high employee turnover rate, and we believe that to
continuously invest in our employees through training and ensure good working environment and conditions can give us an advantage as an employer. Fair wages and good working conditions may lead to lower sick leave and
increased satisfaction among our employees.

Our basic approach

With a large workforce, comprising people working both full- and part-time, we find the focus on decent labour practices, safe working conditions, freedom of organization and anti-discrimination to be vital for B2Holding.
In order to secure similar conditions throughout the Group, Group procedures for recruitment, onboarding, appraisals, training, future potentials and the exit process are implemented.
In the first quarter of 2019, we have initiated a Group employee satisfaction survey. The target is to get feedback from all our people in the Group and use the results to improve the employee experience in all subsidiaries.

Main achievements and targets

We aim to pay equal salaries for equal work and performance regardless of gender. The Group will continue to pay salaries based on achievements, but will continuously work to eliminate gaps due to gender or other dimensions
of diversity. All subsidiaries shall always make the effort to facilitate for individuals who need adjustable workstations, different tasks or flexible working hours.

DEVELOPING OUR EMPLOYEES

Materiality Rationale

We aim to be a workplace where all employees thrive and are given opportunities for professional development. To give employees the opportunity to use their abilities, develop their skills and be part of a larger group are, in
our point of view, components for success. To invest in our employees could also result in a lower turnover rate in which eventually would impact our performance.
At year-end 2018, the Group had a total of 2,685 employees.

Our basic approach

B2Holding has conducted several activities aimed at developing our employees. In 2018, a wide range of best practice projects were initiated. It has been said that sharing best practice is one of the greatest ways of creating a learning environment in a company.

We have experienced that sharing creative and innovative ideas has also provided our employees with an increased knowledge base in their daily work.
In region Central Europe, we have established a Future Potentials (“FuPo”) programme, an internal talent management program where the main goal is to motivate, develop and invest in young talents in the Group. The first FuPo project started in 2017. Currently, the FuPo program includes talents from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Czech Republic. In the upcoming years, we want to expand the programme to other regions and involve even more
talented employees.

All former FuPo participants have also been invited to the B2 Leadership Academy, a program created to educate and train existing and future managers. The goal is to build strong leaders and a Group culture with skilled managers
who will transfer their knowledge to others.

Main achievements and targets

Through best practice projects, we have developed Group policies, procedures and recommendations within IT, valuations and transactions, compliance and GDPR, and HR.
By introducing our new internal communication platform “B2Gether” in 2018, we have experienced extended collaboration, innovation and knowledge sharing among employees across the Group. We spend less time
arranging meetings and sending e-mails, instead online groups are used to share and discuss ideas, documents and experiences. By the end of 2018, 60 % of our employees had logged into their account on “B2Gether”.

Our future goal is to continue developing B2Holding as a knowledge-based organisation. By sharing knowledge across countries, companies and culture, we aim to improve the total performance of the Group.

DIVERSITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

Materiality Rationale

It is rooted in our common Code of Conduct that we have a zero-tolerance towards discriminatory behaviour inthe Group. We do not tolerate discrimination based on age, gender, race, political opinion religion or any other
characteristics that are not related to people’s merit or the inherent requirements of the position.
Diversity is a strength and is necessary to ensure innovation, to create value and to increase our opportunity to attract the greatest talents. We are a major employer in several cities in Europe and want to stand out as a
good example when it comes to workplace equality and diversity.

Our basic approach

We seek to recruit people with different backgrounds, skill, knowledge and perspective to enrich our organisation’s diversity. Foremost, we have worked to increase awareness among managers, and for them to develop
an understanding of the advantages of diversity.

Main achievements and targets

In the recent years, B2Holding has raised awareness of gender diversity among all our managers.
B2Holding wants to increase the proportion of women within the top management. In 2018, B2Holding ASA participated in “SHE Index”, a survey powered by professional services firm EY. The survey intended to
gather more facts and motivate companies to work on the leadership gender gap. This increased our awareness on gender equality within our top management, and B2Holding was ranked number 15 of 25 listed companies
on Oslo Børs.

Since then, we are happy to announce that Maria Haddad has joined our team as regional director of Western Europe and member of our Group Executive Management (GEM). Today, GEM consists of 12 men and 1 woman.
Among our country managers, approximately 35 % were women by year end. We believe this is a step in achieving a more gender balanced organisation in the future.

Our future goal is to continue to increase the proportion of women on management level in B2Holding ASA.