Listing and sale of shares set to conclude around mid-year
In the Chairman’s address, Hallgrímur Snorrason said that 2020 had been a difficult year in many respects. It was the year when we grappled with the Covid19 pandemic and saw our country more or less shut down. Hallgrímur said that Íslandsbanki had placed strong emphasis on supporting households and businesses, in keeping with its role of being a force for good in the community. Some 1,500 households and 650 businesses are among the Bank’s customers who benefited from temporary measures such as moratoria on payment and lengthening of loan maturities during the year. In view of the headwinds brought on by the pandemic, Hallgrímur said the Bank’s operating performance must be considered successful and its earnings acceptable. Hallgrímur also discussed the variety of measures and the increased digital services the bank had taken to counteract the COVID-associated bans and that it is quite safe to say that the pandemic accelerated the ongoing shift towards digital banking services. Hallgrímur said that the implementation of the bank’s sustainability policy had been at centre-stage in 2020, with Íslandsbanki being the first bank in Iceland to publish a sustainable financial framework, and the green bond issues launched afterwards were particularly successful. Hallgrímur also discussed the planned listing of the bank's shares. In recent weeks, the Board has worked closely with the board and employees of Icelandic State Financial Investments as they prepare for the listing and sale of a portion of the State’s holding in the Bank, which is set to conclude around mid-year.
Hallgrímur presented proposals to the AGM, including a proposal that ISK 3,4 billion will be paid in dividends to shareholders for the 2020 financial year, a proposal to approve the Bank’s compensation policy and on the election of the Board of Directors and alternates. In closing Hallgrímur thanked his colleagues on the Board for smooth and fruitful collaboration. Furthermore, he thanked the board and staff of Icelandic State Financial Investments for their cooperation during the year. Finally, he thanked the management and staff of Íslandsbanki for their efforts and valuable work during the unusually challenging year that is now behind us.
A memorable year during in which the Bank focused on being available to its customers
Birna Einarsdóttir, the CEO of Íslandsbanki reviewed the Bank’s annual accounts and highlights of operations for 2020. Birna also said that 2020 was a memorable year in which customers faced major challenges. The Bank closed its branches temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic while focusing on servicing customers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers that experienced a temporary reduction in income were offered moratoria or other forbearances measures. Also, the Bank issued support loans with government guarantees during the period. Íslandsbanki’s digital distribution channels grew markedly, and the Bank placed strong emphasis on providing personal service to those who could not use digital products. Birna also mentioned that a big part of the employees had to work from home and that since employees are used to the activity-based working environment the transition to working from home was successful. Sustainability plays a significant role in the Bank’s strategy and Birna reviewed the Bank’s sustainability progress during the year.
Results of the AGM
- Board report on the Bank’s activities in 2020
Hallgrímur Snorrason, Chairman of the Board of Íslandsbanki, delivered the Board report on the Bank’s activities in 2020.
- Approval of the Bank’s annual accounts for 2020
Birna Einarsdóttir, Chief Executive Officer of Íslandsbanki, reviewed the Bank’s annual accounts and spoke briefly about the eventful year and the Bank’s strategy. The AGM then approved the Bank’s audited consolidated annual accounts for 2020.
- Resolution on Bank’s dividends and the disposal of profit in 2020
The AGM approved that ISK 3,4 billion will be paid in dividends to shareholders for the 2020 financial year. The Bank’s dividend payout is approximately 50% of after-tax profits, and in line with the Bank’s long-term dividend payout ratio target of 40-50%. The Board may convene a special shareholder meeting later in the year where a proposal regarding payment of dividends of profit for previous fiscal years could be suggested.
- Election to the Board of Directors and alternates
The following were re-elected to the Board of Directors: Anna Þórðardóttir, Árni Stefánsson, Frosti Ólafsson, Guðrún Þorgeirsdóttir, Heiðrún Jónsdóttir and Hallgrímur Snorrason, who was also elected Chairman of the Board. Jökull H. Úlfsson was elected as a new member of the Board.
Óskar Jósefsson and Herdís Gunnarsdóttir were elected as alternates.
- Election of an audit firm
The AGM approved that Ernst & Young would remain the Bank’s external auditing firm until the next AGM.
- Decision on the remuneration of Board of Directors and alternates for the coming electoral term
The AGM approved the proposal for remuneration to Board members and alternates.
- Proposal to approve the Bank’s compensation policy
The AGM approved the proposed Compensation Policy for the Bank.
- Other business
No other business was lawfully proposed at the meeting.