Human resources

We aim to create a positive and motivational working environment and to support our employees. We endeavour to attract and retain outstanding employees and help them develop professionally and personally. We create equal opportunities and place importance on improving people’s skills in a performance-driven culture. Together we aspire to understand and meet the needs and expectations of our customers because their experience is at the heart of what we do.

Our Human Resources Policy

Our Remuneration Policy

According to the remuneration policy approved at the Bank’s AGM in 2022, Arion Bank strives to offer competitive salaries so that the Bank can attract and retain outstanding employees and to ensure that jobs at the Bank are sought after by qualified individuals. It must be ensured when implementing a remuneration policy that the policy does not encourage excessive risk taking but rather supports the Bank’s long-term goals and the healthy operation of the business. The policy is an integral part of the Bank's strategy to protect the long-term interests of the Bank’s owners, its employees, customers and other stakeholders in an organized and transparent manner.

Our Remuneration Policy

Positive corporate culture

"The year 2022 was challenging, rewarding and instructive, all at the same time. At the beginning of the year we welcomed a team of employees relocating from Vörður to Arion Bank and we have spent time this year adapting to each other’s corporate cultures. The integration process has gone well and we can see that our employees possess an abundance of energy and ambition. In mid-year we introduced Workplace, a forum where we can share information, ideas and success stories. Having a shared communications platform in a large place of work is integral to developing and maintaining a constructive atmosphere and a positive culture.

We placed a special emphasis on learning and development this year and launched programmes aimed at mentoring, new employees and leadership training. We began to work more closely with Gallup during the year and have made changes to the way we conduct the Arion Index, work place analyses and other smaller surveys. Statistical analyses and the use of data in human resources is becoming increasingly important and we have strived to give management greater access to HR data and to use the data to support the decision-making process.

Finally, we were able to hold our annual dinner, Christmas celebration and other gatherings where the employees could meet up and let their hair down. After the restrictions we have lived under in the past couple of years, we saw how important it was to get together and have fun. We look forward to the challenges facing us over the coming years and will tackle them with the aim of doing better today than we did yesterday. This is the key to success." 

Helga Halldórsdóttir, Head of Human Resources

Our people

Arion Bank employs a dedicated team of employees from a diverse range of backgrounds. The average age of employees is 42 and the average length of employment at Arion Bank is 10 years. The Group had 700 full-time equivalent positions at the end of the year compared with 619 at the end of 2021. The increase is mainly due to the relocation of employees from Vörður to Arion Bank at the beginning of 2022. The gender ratio is 58% women and 42% men. Other genders number fewer than five individuals.

Age of employees
Gender ratio


Employees are free to choose whether to join a trade union and which union they wish to join and most are members of the Confederation of Icelandic Bank and Finance Employees (SSF). The vast majority are also members of the Bank’s employees’ association, Skjöldur.

As stated in our human resources policy, we seek to attract outstanding employees and to help them develop professionally and personally. During the year we began to risk assess the competitiveness of the workplace and ways of ensuring our employees have the necessary skills and knowledge. The results of the risk assessment indicate that risk is insignificant.


We have adopted a clear policy on equality and human rights and the CEO is responsible for implementing this policy area at the Bank. The CEO serves on the Equality Committee alongside representatives of the employees. We continued to work towards the goals set out in the equality action plan in 2021.

The objective of the policy and action plan is to create an environment where people of similar education, work experience and responsibility have equal opportunities and terms, irrespective of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, origin, nationality, skin colour, age, disability or religion or other factor. The Bank’s new action plan places greater emphasis on balancing gender ratios at the Bank, not just at management level but throughout different job families, committees and business units.

Vacancies at the Bank were advertised and close record is kept of equality related statistics in the hiring process. Regular analyses and audits are made of the gender ratio in each business unit and job family, the aim of which is to have a positive impact on gender ratios. The hiring process for management also takes into account the current succession plan which is updated on a regular basis. The aim of such a plan is to gain an overview of people within the company who have the potential to develop into key positions.

Gender ratio – management


Arion Bank is a signatory to UN Women and UN Global Compact. These are international declarations and treaties under the auspices of the United Nations which companies and institutions can use as guidelines when implementing responsible working practices, irrespective of geographic location or sector and which primarily concern advancing gender equality. The Bank is also a signatory to the UN Global Compact initiative on corporate sustainability and is committed to working in accordance with the UN’s 10 principles on sustainability, including human rights. Arion Bank’s focus on equality supports the UN’s fifth sustainable development goal which concerns gender equality. 

Equality Scale

We have also signed a declaration of intent concerning the Equality Scale, an initiative created by the Association of Icelandic Businesswomen (FKA). Organizations awarded the Equality Scale have all achieved gender balance at the top level of management, and the goal is to have a gender balance of 40/60 at this level. During the year we also participated in the campaign Vertonet to recruit more women to information technology.

Regular surveys are conducted of our employee’s perception of the work/life balance. The results show that on the whole employees are able to maintain a healthy balance between their work and the personal commitments and the results exceeded our targets on an annual basis. The policy on working from home and greater flexibility in our working environment are thought have played a key role here.

Work-life balance
On the scale 1-5

Equal pay certification

Since 2015 the Bank has had an equal pay system and equal pay certification. The aim is to eliminate the gender pay gap and promote equality. In 2018 we became the first Icelandic bank to get the Ministry of Welfare’s equal pay symbol and a pay equity analysis indicated that the unexplained gender pay gap was 2.4%. In 2022 we sharpened our focus on this issue and introduced monthly pay analyses in addition to the review performed annually.

The review carried out in 2022 revealed an unexplained gender pay gap of 0.4% (women higher) compared with 0.1% in 2021 (men higher). Our target is for this figure to be below 1% and we are therefore extremely proud of what has been achieved in this area. In addition, the Bank has set the target in the 2021-24 action plan that the median value of total salary payments to men compared with the median value of total salary payments to women will fall to below 1.3. In 2022, this figure was 1.29 compared with 1.43 in 2021. We also measure the ratio in different job families at the Bank.

Median value of men’s annual salaries compared with median value of women’s annual salaries

Arion Index and work place audit

The Arion Index is a survey which is sent regularly to all employees of the Bank. The purpose of the Arion Index is threefold:

  • To measure how employees experience their own work, working environment and well-being at work
  • To serve as the voice of employees to communicate ideas quickly and easily
  • To identify opportunities for improvements and to respond to problems quickly and securely.

The results of the Arion Index this year indicated that our employees are generally happy at work and satisfied with their working environment. The average Arion Index score during the year was 4.36 on a scale of 1-5. 

Net promoter score (eNPS)

The net promoter score was also high during the year and there is a high level of employee engagement. This indicator states whether employees would recommend the Bank as a place of work to their friends and family on a scale of -100 to 100. The results of the work place analysis revealed that 93% of employees are satisfied with their place of work and employee engagement scored 4.23 on a scale from 1-5.

A healthy workplace

We endeavour to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Permanent employees are given the opportunity to undergo regular health checks, get the annual flu jab and the Bank also partners professionals who can advise employees on how to improve their health. Another way in which the Bank promotes good health is to provide grants, such as sports grants, grants for eye tests and for seeing a psychologist.

The Bank has adopted a health and safety policy, the goal of which is to improve the quality of life and the working environment of employees and to ensure full compliance with health and safety legislation.

Health and safety policy 



Health Index


Percentage of employees using
the sports grant


Percentage of employees using
the travel allowance


Main events
of the year were


Percentage of people who accepted offer to have health check


Zero tolerance of bullying and violence

Communication at the work place should be based on mutual respect and it should be ensured that employees feel comfortable. There is zero tolerance of bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment or other types of violence. The Bank has an anti-bullying team which is responsible for overseeing the Bank’s policy, procedures and training in connection with tackling bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment or violence. November was dedicated to learning on the theme of recognizing and dealing with bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment or violence.

Management and employees had to complete mandatory courses on tackling bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment or violence in order to raise awareness of the subject and to engender shared understanding of the concepts and processes involved. We also conducted a survey on this issue among employees, and incidents of bullying, gender-based or sexual harassment or violence proved to be very limited.

Anti-bullying, harassment, and violence policy

Learning and development

Our learning and development policy provides us with a clear vision on learning and development (L&D) and our L&D goals support the Bank’s overall strategy. The need to educate and inform changes over time and therefore policies and goals need to change to match the current zeitgeist.

Read more about our Learning and Development Policy

During the year there was a strong focus on learning and development and our L&D activities underwent considerable change. Online learning was stepped up throughout every division and regular learning events were held where employees were able to share their expertise with co-workers.



Improvements were made to L&D for new employees and we introduced regular online L&D for new employees in their first 90 days on the job. We also launched a leadership training programme which our management team will undergo over the next few years. At the same time we initiated a mentor programme, the goal of which is to develop an atmosphere which supports and nurtures our employees and to create a platform where employees can share knowledge and experience. Highly experienced employees who have assumed the mentoring role share their expertise and provide support to employees dealing with professional challenges.

Employees are also encouraged to attended conferences, courses and lectures outside the Bank and the Bank is a member of various professional organizations such as Dokkan and Stjórnvísi.


Learning and development
events available in 2022


Number of events attended by each person on average in 2022


Digital lectures in the bank's learning and development programme


Number of digital lectures each employee listened to on average