Focused on our employees

The goal of making OSB the best workplace it can be was central to all employee activities undertaken throughout 2018. Our employees are our key asset. Their skills, expertise and enthusiasm are fundamental to achieving our strategic goals, and we continue to invest in training, development and employee engagement activities.

In 2017 we established the Talent Acquisition team to better assist the growing business and to provide bespoke support to hiring managers and by the end of 2018 we had four recruitment specialists. Throughout the year, around a quarter of new hires came via the Talent Acquisition team saving the business substantial recruitment fees. The team was shortlisted for the best Newcomer Award at the 2018 In-house Recruitment Awards winning the bronze award.

Our recruitment procedures are fair and inclusive, with shortlisting, interviewing and selection always carried out without regard to gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, colour, race, caste, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, age, pregnancy or maternity leave or trade union membership.

No candidate with a disability is excluded unless it is clear that the candidate is unable to perform a duty that is intrinsic to the role, having taken into account reasonable adjustments. Reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process are made to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged because of their disability and questions asked during the process are not discriminatory or unnecessarily intrusive. This commitment to actively promote an environment where disabled candidates and employees are welcome was further strengthened in July 2018 when the Group achieved Disability Confident Employer (Level Two) status building on our initial success as Disability Confident Committed in 2017.

In 2018, we welcomed 165 new employees in the UK and 147 new employees in India and in August we reached a milestone of 1,000 employees for the Group. The InterBay Asset Finance business, which was launched in 2018 now employs a team of nine and operates from a new office in Fleet.

Training and development

Our employees are our key asset, and our approach to development is focused on encouraging staff to be the best they can be. Our People Development team provide learning and development opportunities for all employees, using a mix of internal and externally sourced content, which are delivered through a range of media, including workshop and digital formats.Highlights in 2018 saw the function deliver bespoke management development programmes, regulatory training, generic skills-based workshops and business change content to support operational and systemic training needs. In 2018, there were 995 attendees of 160 separate workshops or learning events delivered by the People Development Team in the UK and a further 263 OSB attendees at 97 other events delivered by external training providers. The completion rate for our mandatory regulatory training throughout the year was 96%, demonstrating the importance we continue to place on ensuring our employees are suitably aware of key requirements.

At OSBIndia (‘OSBI’), we strive to make all those who join the Group feel welcome and be given as much training as possible to perform to their best ability. In 2018, new joiners undertook on average 120 hours of training. An initiative to improve and develop various managerial competencies and skills was also launched in the year, with a series of management development programmes for all managers in Bangalore.

The Group is also committed to supporting employees undertaking professional development and in 2018, 16 employees received financial support to pursue professional qualifications.

Since launching our Apprenticeship Scheme in late 2017, we have hired six apprentices who work in a number of different functions throughout the business. The scheme runs for two years and we hope it will lead to the start of many successful careers at OSB.

Talent management and leadership programmes

During the year, the Group again undertook a robust mapping exercise to identify the 2018 Primary Talent Group, who were exposed to a programme of talent management activities which aimed to aid their ongoing progression. The range of activities were enhanced from the previous year based on feedback received and the ever-evolving profile of a business leader. The programme provided a group-based stretch assignment, access to a Board level/Executive level mentor, career focused discussions, a psychometric profiling exercise and a bespoke workshop delivered via an external Business School. The Group considers this initiative as an integral part of retaining and developing our emerging talent; either as technical specialists or as potential leaders of the future.

The People Development function also delivered a Management Development programme, recognising the significant role our managers play in the delivery of outstanding customer service, staff engagement and delivery of the Group’s business objectives. Divided into two phases, the first being a detailed and robust programme to support newly promoted or appointed line managers, providing them with the tools needed to become effective line managers; with the second phase being a development centre, designed to allow experienced managers to participate in a variety of exercises, encouraging the individuals to identify their development needs across a range of management behaviours and skills.

While we are still a relatively small business in terms of employee numbers, we advertise vacancies internally on a weekly basis in order to provide career development opportunities for existing employees. In 2018, we filled 22% of vacancies with internal candidates (49 out of 224).

OSB has a genuine desire to retain, support and develop its employee base. During 2018, 44 employees in the UK and 42 employees in India were formally promoted to a more senior grade. Our regretted attrition rate for 2018 was 9% for UK employees and a remarkable 11% for our employees in India, far exceeding industry averages.

Remuneration and benefits

We believe in rewarding our employees fairly and transparently, enabling them to share in the success of the business. Details of the Group’s remuneration policies can be found in the Remuneration Report on pages 99 to 105.

We offer our employees a comprehensive range of benefits, and continue to review these to ensure they are in line with market practice. Although the list is not exhaustive, our standard benefits offering includes pension contributions, permanent health insurance, private medical insurance, life cover, a holiday purchase scheme, interest-free season ticket loan and a cycle purchase scheme. In 2018, we conducted a benchmarking exercise to ensure that core benefits remained aligned with market practice. As a result, we increased standard annual leave allocations and discretionary bonus opportunities for all employees, up to our management. In addition, we launched Total Rewards Statements and a pension salary sacrifice scheme, with 53% of pension scheme members transitioning during the year. A significant number of OSB employees also participate in the Pennies from Heaven scheme, donating the small change from their monthly salary directly to the Bank’s charity.

We also encourage our employees to hold shares in the Bank for the long term, via an annual Sharesave Scheme. The scheme is open to all UK-based employees and allows them to save a fixed amount of between £5 and £500 per month over either three or five years in order to use these savings at the end of the qualifying period to buy the Company’s shares at a fixed option price. The Group first launched its annual Sharesave Scheme in June 2014 and over 50% of employees are members of one of the schemes.

In 2018, 77 employees saw their 2015 Sharesave Scheme mature, with the total value of their respective individual plans increasing by over 80%.

Employee engagement

In October 2018, UK employees were invited, for the fourth time, to participate in the 2019 Sunday Times Best Companies Employee Engagement survey, which saw an outstanding 94% of employees submit their responses.

The results demonstrated an overall score increase of 2.1% and for the second year in a row, OSB achieved the One Star Accreditation Rating, signifying very good levels of workplace engagement. The continuous score improvement has seen the Bank included within The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the first time and the improved results related primarily to proactive local engagement plans being created within all departments and the broader identification and implementation of initiatives by the Engagement Steering Group

In addition, both UK and India employees took part, for the second time, in the Banking Standards Board survey, which aims to influence positive change throughout the banking sector with a participation rate of 81%. The survey provided an insight into employees’ perceptions of the application of their company’s values, potential barriers to challenge and to speak up along with their observations of unethical or inappropriate behaviour. The results from this survey showed an increase in all categories leading to OSB being ranked on average 13th out of 25 participating banks.

OSBI takes part in its own survey, run by the Great Place to Work Institute. In 2018, OSBI was officially certified as a ‘Great place to work’, with a strong performance in all indicators, including organisation trust, credibility of management, respect for people, fairness at the workplace, camaraderie and culture. OSBI’s overall Trust index score improved significantly to 75, up from 66 in 2016/2017, and it received the highest score in Pride, reflecting the strong brand and culture that has been created. 90% of our India colleagues participated in this year’s survey.

In 2018, OSB partnered with specialist external consultants to design and launch the Group’s Mission, Vision and Values. Through engaging employees and the executive team in discussion groups and interviews, the Group defined its mission, vision and the underpinning four core values. These were then launched to all employees via a number of all-day interactive sessions, hosted by the Executive Committee, the first event on this scale ever launched by OSB. The events were followed by a range of related actions that have assisted in embedding the new values and proactively driving positive cultural change throughout the business. 

Employee recognition and awards

In 2018, the significant tenure of 55 employees who reached a 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 year milestone for employment with the Group were recognised through our Long Service Award programme. There were three employees who reached 30 years’ service with the Group and our longest-serving employee has over 31 years’ service to date.

Every quarter, employees are invited to nominate their colleagues as part of OSB’s employee recognition scheme, which has now been aligned with our four values. Throughout 2018 there were 431 nominations made via the scheme from which 13 individual awards were presented.

The expertise of our employees was also recognised by the mortgage industry and in 2018 Adrian Moloney, Darrell Walker and Craig Richardson were recognised by The British Specialist Lending Awards in the categories of Complex Buy-to-Let, Commercial Finance Lender and Underwriter, respectively.

Health and safety

We have a duty of care to all of our employees, and a safe and healthy work environment is paramount at OneSavings Bank. We are committed to fostering and maintaining a working environment in which our employees can flourish, and our customers can safely transact with us.

We operate a Group Health and Safety Policy and we review our employee and customer environment regularly.

In 2018, the annual mandatory health and safety training was completed by all Group employees. This year, we also turned the display screen equipment assessment into a process that is more straightforward for our employees, more cost effective and a single Group-wide procedure. Finally, we undertook a full review of all of the Group’s real estate in partnership with external consultants. The review demonstrated that all sites are compliant with statutory health and safety regulations and provided us with additional best practice improvements and recommendations which will be implemented in the future.

Diversity and inclusion

At OSB, we recognise the benefits that diversity of our people brings to the business and we actively promote and encourage a culture and environment which values and celebrates our differences. In 2018, we continued our journey to become a truly diverse and inclusive organisation, which is committed to providing equal opportunities through the recruitment, training and development of our employees.

Some of our achievements included:

  • Mental Health Awareness sessions were introduced and are available to all employees to help understand how stress symptoms, if left unaddressed, can develop into mental health problems.
  • Attaining Disability Confident Employer (Level Two) status with further commitment from the Group to attract, employ, support and retain those with disabilities. As a holder of this accreditation, OSB is able to evidence that we get the right people for the business despite their considered barriers to employment due to disability, that we are retaining and developing our employees who have individual needs related to disability and that we are ensuring that disabled people, and those with long-term health conditions, have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations within the Group.
  • Each office location with over 100 employees now has a private employee room, which can be used both as a prayer room and a private space for breastfeeding mothers.
  • We partnered with ShawTrust, a charity that specialises in helping people with barriers to secure employment. One of the outcomes of this partnership was a focus group with those with disabilities where we asked for advice on how to better attract and support talented people who may need additional help at work. The valuable insight from this partnership is being implemented by OSB to ensure the Group becomes a truly welcoming employer for those with disabilities.

OSB publishes its gender pay gap data in line with legislation that applies to all UK companies with more than 250 employees. The full publication is available on the Group’s website: www.osb.co.uk.

OSB’s median gender pay gap as at the snapshot date of 5 April 2018 was 44%, with the mean gap of 45.5%, these figures reducing from the 2017 reported figures of 46% and 47%, respectively. Whilst this signifies progression, reducing the gap further remains a long-term commitment for OSB and it will not be until the 2019 data is collated that we can establish the degree to which the specific activities that were identified and implemented in 2018 have helped to close our gap.

Fundamentally, OSB’s gap relates to the structure of our workforce and reflects the fact that we have more men than women in senior roles and more female employees undertaking clerical roles. Whilst progress has been made in 2018 to positively impact both aspects of our workforce structure, we remain confident that our gap will continue to close and the level of attention that we pay to the salaries of male and female incumbents undertaking the same role provides us with comfort that we do not have an issue in respect of the equal pay.

We recognise that we need to focus on improving our gender balance and have a number of initiatives in place to do so:

  • In 2018, we embedded the mandatory recruitment requirement to ensure that we interviewed at least one credible female candidate for senior roles and at least one credible male candidate for roles at junior levels. Our senior external recruitment activity in 2018 saw us hire an equal split in terms of gender and at more junior grades 40% of the vacancies were filled with male candidates. We firmly believe that our approach to seeking to interview credible male and female candidates is making a tangible difference and over the long-term will positively impact our gender pay gap.
  • We made solid progress towards our commitment as a signatory of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter. By the end of 2018, we had 28% of all senior roles being undertaken by female employees, a solid progression towards our target of at least 30% of senior roles occupied by women by 2020.
  • OSB’s Women’s Networking Forum had a very successful year. This group, which is focused on helping to identify and break down the barriers that prevent women from progressing within financial services, provided regular opportunity throughout the year for relevant discussions, guest speakers, development tips and encouragement regarding career progression.

In 2018, over 58% of our UK workforce was female, we had three female Directors (38% of the Board) and two female members of the Executive Committee (20%).

In our office in India, women constitute 41% of the total workforce.

  Male Female
Number of Board of Directors 5 3
Number of Directors of subsidiaries 16 1
Number of senior managers (not directors) 45 23
All other employees1 462 525

1 includes OSBIndia

 

We have 10% of our UK employees working under flexible working arrangements, with the majority of these employees working part-time hours and we will be seeking to further develop this by revising our Flexible Working Policy to provide increased support to those employees with parental and carer responsibilities.

Human rights

We want each member of our workforce and other stakeholders to be treated with dignity and respect. OSB endorses the UN Declaration of Human Rights and supports the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights. The Group adheres to the International Labour Organisation Fundamental Conventions. We seek to engage with stakeholders with fairness, dignity and respect. The Company does not tolerate child labour or forced labour. OSB respects freedom of association and the rights of employees to be represented by trade unions or works councils. The Group is a fair employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, age, caste, disability or ethnicity. Our policy applies throughout the Group and is communicated to our employees during induction training.

The Group’s second annual statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was published on our website in June 2018. We reviewed relevant policies and we worked with an external supplier to increase the monitoring of risks in our supply chain. None of our suppliers are considered to be of higher risk. In addition, 100% of our suppliers received our new Vendor Code of Conduct informing them of our commitment to acting in an ethical and honest way. This year, all employees completed a more detailed module which built on last year’s modern slavery learning, helping to increase awareness and understanding.

OSBIndia

OSBIndia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Group. OSBI operates from an office in Bangalore and currently employs 440 staff of which 41% are women. OSBI supports the Bank across various functions including Support Services, Operations, IT, Finance and Human Resources. We actively promote integration between our colleagues in the UK and India with frequent employee exchanges, transfers, overseas training, staff and management visits.

As part of the Group, OSBI falls under the same Group policies that are in force in the UK offices, most importantly, equal opportunities, non-discrimination and harassment, whistleblowing, information security and clear desk policies. There are only very slight differences in the Group’s main HR policies due to local legislation.

OSBI is a holder of ISO 27001: 2018 certified which demonstrates high standards of information security. To that end, the business continuity site in Hyderabad, which was opened in 2017, became fully operational this year. OSBI prides itself on excellence in customer service and the ISO 9001: 2018 certified is a testament to meeting customer and regulatory requirements by providing outstanding customer service. In 2018, OSBI undertook a benchmarking exercise against industry peers and was noted as Class Leading in Customer Service by an independent consultant.

In compliance with the Modern Slavery Act, we do not support excessive overtime and our employees in India are encouraged to work in accordance with local legislation. Employees in our Bangalore office enjoy a range of benefits which include 22 days of annual leave, 12 days’ sick leave and cafeteria services.

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Women in Finance Charter

Find out how we are working to ensure that there is a higher percentage of women in senior positions within OneSavings Bank