The issues emerging from engagement are summarised below transversally, and the various stakeholders involved provided input on some of the seven issues identified as material.
The issue of the protection of the Group's soundness and profitability emerges as one of the most important topics in 2015 not only for investors, but also for the community at large, especially in connection with the introduction of the European Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), applicable in Italy from November 2015, which governs the management of banking crises, thereby restricting the possibility of public State interventions.
In this context, Intesa Sanpaolo is perceived as sound, reliable and able to face future challenges. Moreover, E.di.va particularly appreciated the investment made by Intesa Sanpaolo for the introduction of 300 specialists in the proactive credit management.
SRI analysts focused their attention on risk management, in particular reputational risks, thereby issuing a positive opinion on the control system of the Code of Ethics, which ensures the continuous and systematic verification of its implementation. In a context that is increasingly evolving towards the digitization and dematerialisation of information, another area of particular interest, especially for SRI investors, within the scope of business risk management is IT risk management and control and the issue of data security.
In terms of integrity and rigour in corporate conduct, the stakeholders, particularly investors, especially appreciated Intesa Sanpaolo's commitment to the management and prevention of the risk of corruption and the promotion of free competition. In the era of virtualisation of services, SRI investors and customers consider the issue of privacy protection to be of utmost importance and require greater communication by the Group on the subject.
Training is perceived as one of the key areas of the employees' development and enhancement policies. In this context, a request has emerged to strengthen specialised (product) training linked to one's role. The employees perceive a growing commitment on the part of Intesa Sanpaolo in the enhancement of female talent and in its involvement in inclusion actions aimed at people with disabilities. However, the issue of intergenerational enhancement (junior-senior employees) remains an area which requires a more proactive approach by the Group. Given the recent agreements the Group signed with the Trade Unions, welfare is considered a strength, especially as regards the policies in support of the well-being of employees and their families, health and social security, mobility and work-life balance.
After a year on from its launch, the new Banca dei Territori's service model focused on 'commercial local areas' (Personal, Retail and Corporate) is considered by customers an added value that enables to respond more specifically to customer needs. Aspects particularly appreciated by customers were the evolution towards an increasingly advisory approach in customer relations and the Group's commitment towards innovation, which is perceived mainly thanks to the growing integrated multi-channel service. In terms of innovation, service virtualisation is appreciated by younger customers, who are more accustomed to using new technologies. Conversely, older customers find it hard to adjust to new tools, albeit supported.
In a context where the difficulties in the economic recovery remain, the most vulnerable stakeholders such as the elderly, young people and immigrants require more options to access financial services and products geared towards specific features. The elderly who have a greater propensity to save expect an increasing development of investment products for capital protection purposes to support family plans, face future retirement and invest the liquidation. In this sense, this type of customer particularly appreciated the service focus that allows more "targeted" investment advice (including long-term investments). As regards start-ups, young people and/or entrepreneurs with a high rate of "innovation", the main difficulties encountered in the realisation of their business idea are linked to the difficulty in accessing credit-related products and services (soft loans, calls for the granting of funds etc.) and in the continuity of the network with investors (development of ad hoc channels) within the scope of the Intesa Sanpaolo Start-up Initiative. From the in-depth examination of the issue of transparency and correctness in commercial communications it has emerged that the majority of customers has confidence in the Group thanks to the clarity and comprehensibility perceived in commercial relations.
SRI investors have particularly enjoyed the 2015 performance with regard to the reduction in direct environmental impact related to the Group's environmental management policy and systems. Client companies and SRI investors are requesting that more attention be paid to the management of social and environmental risks in the assessment of creditworthiness along with the requirements of net worth, profitability and financial strength in the investment policies. Finally, the E.di.va Association is asking Intesa Sanpaolo to increase its commitment in the “green” Finance sector, thereby promoting social impact investments and guiding investors with new financial instruments geared towards the support of the country's real economy.