The financial crisis has demonstrated that a strong financial infrastructure is important for society as a whole. Banks are essential to the economy because they facilitate access to capital, investment, payments and other transactions.
Since 2007, we have addressed the broader aspects of our value creation in what we define as our economic footprint. Our various interactions with stakeholders and the communities where we operate create mutual value. This value can take the form of the sound advice that we give our customers, the knowledge that our employees bring to work, or the skills we help build in our financial literacy programme. The economic stakeholder model shows these interactions and how mutual value is created:
Shareholders provide risk capital for the Group to develop its business and are rewarded through dividends and capital appreciation. Because of our participation in the Danish state guarantee scheme, however, the Group was not allowed to pay dividends or repurchase shares for a period of two years. Therefore, no dividends were paid to shareholders in 2010.
Danske Bank Group's Board of Directors wishes to distribute up to one third of the net profit for the year in dividends. But dividend payments must be made with due consideration for the Group’s capital, and they should not be allowed to cause an increase in the interest payments on the hybrid capital that the Group raised from the Danish state. Because of the uncertainty about macroeconomic developments and future regulation, no dividends was paid to shareholders in 2011 and 2012.
Financial services are vital to our customers’ ability to add value to their businesses and plan their private lives. By developing new products and services, the Group provides customers with financial possibilities and advice to enhance their way of living and gives them the opportunity to pursue their goals. In 2012, Danske Bank Group had 5 million customers and generated DKK 47.7 billion in income.
Danske Bank Group has close, long-term partnerships with its main suppliers. Supplier engagement includes a focus on environmental and social standards. The Group's payments to suppliers in 2012 amounted to DKK 11.8 billion.
The knowledge and productivity of our more than 20,000 employees are essential to the Group's value creation. In 2012, employees received DKK 16.3 billion in salaries (including pensions and social benefits). In addition, the Group's investment in training and education benefits the employees and ensures their employability.
In 2012, the Group's corporation taxes amounted to DKK 3.8 billion. Governments also benefited indirectly from the personal taxes of DKK 4.3 billion paid by Group employees, taxes paid on the financial returns generated for customers and corporation taxes levied on suppliers.
Danske Bank Group has a presence in many local communities in the Nordic region through its branches. The aim of the Group is to be the best local financial partner, and therefore community involvement and an understanding of local conditions are key elements in the way we do business. In 2012, the Group made DKK 15 million in donations.