Collaboration, support and instruction
We participate in various projects that encourage development and progress in the community. Grants from our Community Fund are awarded to diverse projects and, in addition, we support local initiatives independently and through partnership agreements. We publish diverse content on economic topics and are enthusiastic about financial instruction.
Landsbankinn's Community Fund is key to our support for the community. In 2021, scholarships were awarded in the amount of ISK 6 million and community grants in the amount of ISK 15 million - a total of ISK 21 million. Since 2011, over 400 projects have received grants from the Community Fund in the total amount of over ISK 200 million. The judging panels are to a majority comprised of experts in each field who do not work for the Bank.
Community grants are intended as support for projects, including by humanitarian and charitable organisations, projects in the field of education, research and science, projects connected to culture and the arts, preventative measures and youth activities, and environmental and nature conservation.
Towards the end of 2021, it was decided to establish a new grant fund, the Sustainability Fund. Initial allocation from the Fund will take place in spring 2022. The total amount for allocation will be ISK 10 million and the focus will be on projects linked to the energy transition.
We support the campaign for LGBTQI+ rights and Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of Reykjavík Pride since its inception. Together with Reykjavík Pride, we have also established the Pride Parade Fund, which provides financial support to individuals and smaller groups who participate in the Pride Parade. Tight measures to combat the pandemic sadly led to the cancellation of most educational and celebratory events planned for Reykjavík Pride 2021.
National queer organisation Samtökin '78
In recent years, we have supported the national queer organisation Samtökin '78. One of its aims is to raise the profile of the queer community and ensure equal treatment of its members in Iceland. The organisation offers a wide variety of services, including advisory service and education material. In 2021, Landsbankinn, Samtökin '78 and artists Anna Maggý Grímsdóttir, Ásgeir Skúlason and Helga Páley Friðþjófsdóttir partnered up to create three prints dedicated to Reykjavík Pride. The prints were sold through postprent.is and all proceeds went to Samtökin '78.
We participate in financial instruction to promote financial literacy through extensive coverage and education of economic issues on Umræðan and educational content on our website. We focus on financial instruction at upper secondary school level, with the aim of boosting students’ financial literacy. This instruction is available to all upper secondary schools and is carried out in collaboration with the schools' representatives. Covid-19 put its mark on the year’s educational activity, limiting the number of school visits and relegating instruction to remote meetings for the most part.
We are an active participant in the project Fjármálavit, which produces educational material in financial literacy for older elementary school students. The project is under the auspices of the Icelandic Financial Services Association and the National Association of Pension Funds, in collaboration with members.
The Future Programmers Fund is a social initiative to promote and increase interest in programming and effective use of equipment in Icelandic schools. The Fund provides financial support for schools to provide teachers with programming and technical education, for the purchase of smaller equipment for teaching purposes and donates used computer hardware. Landsbankinn is one of the Fund's patrons.
We are a proud backer of music festival Iceland Airwaves, held in a different format this year due to the pandemic. Landsbankinn has for several years gotten into gear for Iceland Airwaves by creating new videos featuring promising musicians. This year, we worked with Inspector Spacetime, Hipsumhaps and musician Árný Margrét. The resulting videos can be viewed on Landsbankinn’s Airwaves site. Providing support for young musicians allows the Bank to combine social responsibility and its endeavour to actively promote art and culture in Iceland.
Svanni - Women's Loan Guarantee Fund
We support Svanni - Women's Loan Guarantee Fund. Svanni issues guaranteed loans to companies that are majority-owned by women. The purpose of the Fund is to boost industry and encourage innovation. Svanni has for many years partnered with Landsbankinn as a credit institution. Four projects were awarded funds this spring: Fæðingarheimili Reykjavíkur, Justikal, Eylíf and FÓLK.
Gulleggið innovation competition
We sponsor Gulleggið, an annual innovation competition hosted by Icelandic Startups. The key goal of the competition is to create a platform for young entrepreneurs to practice and gain experience of shaping new business ideas and operating a company. As part of the competition, participants are offered courses, advice and specialist assistance with everything from shaping a business idea to budgeting to communication with investors.
Skólahreysti - Fit for School
We are the main sponsor of Skólahreysti, a sports tournament for elementary schools, and an active supporter of the competition. The aim of Skólahreysti is to encourage kids to participate in a comprehensive sports experience based on the tenets of physical education. The competition was held for the 17th time this year, in an altered form due to Covid-19. Around 70 schools participated and all preliminary rounds were broadcast live this year. We got to see four new national records and, in the end, Heiðarskóli emerged victorious after exciting finals.
Chess tournament Friðriksmót
The country’s strongest rapid chess tournament, Landsbankinn’s Friðriksmót – the Icelandic rapid chess tournament – was held in the Bank’s Austurstræti branch in December. This was the 18th annual chess tournament, jointly organised by Landsbankinn and the Icelandic Chess Federation in honour of Friðrik Ólafsson, Iceland’s first Grandmaster.
Football Association of Iceland
We sponsor the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ). Landsbankinn provides financial support for development of Icelandic football country-wide, for all youth national teams and the A-level men's and women's teams.
In recent years, Landsbankinn and KSÍ have presented a new award to players in the junior leagues throughout Iceland, the Politeness Prize. This prize is intended to encourage honourable conduct and decorum in players and others involved in matches.
Support for sport and youth activities
We are an enthusiastic supporter of the Icelandic sports scene. Landsbankinn’s branches reach out to local sports clubs throughout the country, focusing on support for children and youth activities.
Icelandic Student Services and the University of Iceland Student Council
We have collaborated successfully with both Félagsstofnun stúdenta (Icelandic Student Services) and the University of Iceland Student Council. Together, we have worked on various initiatives and hosted joint events.
Reykjavík Cultural Night
We have been an active participant in Reykjavík Cultural Night from the beginning and the Bank is a sponsor of the festival. We have focused on ensuring that financial support directly benefits artists and groups organising events for Reykjavík Cultural Night. Our Reykjavík Culture Night Fund, a collaboration with Höfuðborgarstofa, supports original and special ideas. Sadly, the Reykjavík Culture Night celebrations were cancelled this year because of Covid-19.
Aldrei fór ég suður festival
We are one of the main sponsors of rock festival Aldrei fór ég suður, held in Ísafjörður every Easter. The festival was cancelled this year because of Covid-19. Landsbankinn has supported the festival since 2010 as part of our efforts to actively foster the grassroot music scene in Iceland.
Háskólasjóður Eimskipafélagsins fund
Eight PhD students at the University of Iceland received grants from the Háskólasjóður H/f Eimskipafélags Íslands Fund in 2021. The Fund is managed by Landsbankinn. It was created in memory of Icelanders who emigrated to the USA and Canada and aims to support research students at the University of Iceland.
Iceland Tourism Cluster
We have participated in the Iceland Tourism Cluster initiative since the project was launched in 2012. Key companies in the travel industry, public entities and companies in tourism support branches or collaborative sectors all join forces in the cluster. Its key goal is to boost competitiveness and value-creation in the travel sector.
The Fintech Cluster
We are one of the founding members of the Fintech Cluster, alongside 62 other companies, universities, organisations and other entities. The aim of the Fintech Cluster is to promote innovation in finance and work to improve and facilitate business transactions of all kinds. The Cluster is a community of actors in finance who wish to encourage increased value creation, competition and improve daily life.
In 2021, we made a donation to Ljósið in the name of Exceptional Companies. Ljósið is a cancer rehabilitation and support centre for cancer patients and their next of kin. Ljósið aims to provide specialist rehabilitation and support with the assistant of experts.
We publish varied content on a wide range of economic topics and provide financial instruction through diverse channels.
Sharing knowledge with the public
We publish numerous educational and informative articles on personal finances to our website. In these articles, the Bank’s employees discuss a myriad of topics related to finances and offer good advice. These articles are aimed at various age groups and focus on different life events.
In 2021, we published articles on important points to keep in mind before purchasing stock or investing in funds and on the pros and cons of asset allocation funds.
Anyone in the market for real estate could read about the subject in articles about important points for first-time buyers, whether or not to fix the interest rate on housing loans and a comparison of renting vs. buying.
Savings were also the focus of two articles on achieving return on investment and how savings can contribute to sustainability. Our youngest customers are very important to us and we published content on the whys and hows of saving intended for a younger audience. We also communicated information about data protection and privacy for kids in a dedicated article.
The car purchasing process was reviewed, covering key points and also with an article on electric cars.
In addition to the above and much more, we dedicated a special episode of our podcast to how to begin saving and investing.
The equity market, business and industry, and various facets of the economy are the subject of our accessible podcast. We take a broad view and consider factors such as tourism, the real estate market, climate change etc. in relation to the economy. The podcast is intended to boost interest in and discussion about the equity market and the economy in general.
In 2021, our podcasts included a review of increased public interest in equities, robust economic recovery post-Covid, Economic Research’s macroeconomic forecast, the results of listed companies, rising real estate prices, GOP26, positive developments in fisheries and the travel sector, and the Christmas shopping season.
Wide approach to social concerns
We also publish diverse content about the Bank’s operation and social concerns on our website.
Cybersecurity continued to be front and centre in 2021. The Bank has placed strong emphasis on informing customers and the general community about this issue. We published pointers on cybersecurity and how to detect payment card fraud.
Sustainable finance is a topic we are really engaged in. Publications on the matter included articles on the Bank’s new Sustainable Finance Framework, green financing and responsible investment. We wrote about the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and its work to develop a harmonized approach to assess and disclose emissions for financial undertakings. On the occasion of Landsbankinn becoming the first domestic bank to disclose emissions from its credit portfolio, we published another article on the subject. Other publications focused on the circular economy, climate change and more.
When it was time for Reykjavík Pride, we published an article about the project we initiated with Samtökin '78, to partner with artists to create pieces for sale in support of Samtökin '78. We published an article about Svanni - Women's Loan Guarantee Fund and looked at the companies who received grants from the Fund, which the Bank supports. We also took a closer look at Skólahreysti and published a video featuring interviews with the competition’s founders. Landsbankinn has supported Skólahreysti for several years.
We presented an interview with three of our IT experts, who discussed the importance of diversity in programming and IT and encouraged everybody, not least girls and women, to consider a career in programming and the IT sector.
We reviewed the exhibition of Icelandic abstract art from the Bank’s collection in our Austurstræti branch and published an interview with the managing director of Sky Lagoon about the company, tourism and our partnership.
Economic Research prolific producer of research and analysis
The Bank’s Economic Research department performs robust research and analysis of economic developments which we disseminate through various channels, such as our website, podcast and conferences. The department plays a key role in shaping Landsbankinn's stance on developments and outlook in the economy, both in Iceland and abroad.
Economic Research published numerous articles and analyses in 2021, as in previous years. Their column on our website, Hagsjá, includes several publications per week on such diverse topics as the domestic economy, State finances, the real estate market, inflation outlook, tourism and more. Regular column Icelandic Economic Weekly includes market information, a review of the previous week and calendar for upcoming financial events, publication of statistics, financial statements, etc.
The year’s largest event was the presentation of the Macroeconomic and Inflation Forecast for 2021-2024 at a well-attended meeting in Harpa. The meeting was streamed live and the forecast published simultaneously to our website. At the meeting, Economic Research’s analysts discussed the forecast, the outlook in the real estate market, and Paul Donovan, Chief Economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, spoke of how Covid-19 has accelerated the fourth industrial revolution.
Analysts from Economic Research were as usual visible in the media in 2021, as sought-after expert commentators on the economy.