NLB with additional measures to help all those affected by the floods
August 25, 2023
To help alleviate the effects of recent floods that have devastated large parts of Slovenia and in addition to the already introduced systemic steps and the EUR 4 million donation to the 20 affected municipalities, NLB proposes additional measures and commitments. At yesterday’s session, the Supervisory Board of NLB d.d. therefore discussed and confirmed the Management Board’s proposal of a one-time payment of EUR 15 million to the Reconstruction Fund that is being established. Furthermore, NLB Group plans to allocate the same amount, therefore EUR 15 million, every year for the next decade for sponsorships and donations in our home region.
Immediately after the first dimensions of the floods became known, NLB started preparing systemic measures to help alleviate its consequences. Not unlike during the period of covid crisis, we have prepared our own measures to help with the recovery and revival of the economy, including moratoria without additional fees, a more favourable lending line totalling EUR 100 million for corporate clients, a more favourable loans for households, and a possibility of early release of deposits without fees.
We advise all our clients who will face problems in loan repayments to contact the bank as soon as possible, talk to their personal banker or our banking advisors from the Contact Centre. We will listen to them as much as possible and together we will try to find the most suitable solution, taking into the account clients’ options and be as humane and pragmatic as reasonably possible in procedures and pricing of services.
Starting September 1, NLB will offer its clients new, significantly increased interest rates for households, with which we will encourage them to invest in solutions that potentially bring higher return, such as the NLB Savings Account or the NLB Investment Pair Combined Product. With such measures, NLB responsibly demonstrates its systemic role on the financial market.
Commitment for the future: EUR 150 million in the next decade for sponsorships and donations in our home region
Furthermore, NLB has recently already donated a total of EUR 4 million to the heavily afflicted municipalities for sustainable reconstruction and investments that are needed, especially in the regulation of waterways and protection against floods, which are meant to mitigate the consequences of similar disasters and consequently downscale a tragedy of similar proportions in the future. We have also appealed to other Slovenian banks and companies that were not significantly disadvantaged by the floods to contribute according to their capabilities.
We were especially humbled and proud with the show of solidarity with Slovenia when colleagues from the NLB Group also offered their help. NLB Banka Skopje donated EUR 60.000 to Red Cross of Slovenia and other organizations helping with the flood relief.
We also came to the aid of our employees – several dozens of them were affected by this natural disaster – including, among other things, with EUR 500.000 in solidarity aid for reconstruction provided by the bank, and additional funds, which our employees are collecting on their own initiative for their colleagues in the company.
All this came on top of additional sponsorships and donations to humanitarian, public health, cultural, sports, and other organizations that NLB Group has been providing in the region for decades. This year alone, the Group allocated more than EUR 7 million for such sustainable projects, including, for instance, an EUR 1,35 million one off special donation to various recipients in support of people in need, ones with social, health or other handicaps that was paid out in June. In Slovenia alone, 10 organizations received donations in the total amount of EUR 500.000.
This type of financial support remains one of the pillars of NLB’s sustainable actions in the future. In the coming decade, the Group will consequently allocate EUR 15 million each year for sponsorships and donations, with which it will continue to support materially underprivileged humanitarian, public health, sports, cultural and other organizations from key social subsystems for sustainable development and well-being of the regional society.
In addition, NLB is ready to voluntarily allocate additional EUR 15 million already this year to the Reconstruction Fund, which is being established, for support in more effective rehabilitation of the consequences of the last and especially possible future natural disasters, whereby in case of eventual adoption of any extraordinary taxes and levies for banks, this amount would be included in fulfilment of such obligation.
The dividend policy remains unchanged
Despite all of the above, NLB does not alter the latest guidance and intends to maintain annual dividend pay-outs in accordance with thus far communicated guidelines, i.e. EUR 500 million of total capital return through cash dividends between 2022 and 2025, including already paid amounts. Thusly, NLB shares its success with its esteemed clients, owners, and other stakeholders, as well as the entire Slovenian society, and responsibly fulfills its role, and at the same time once again appeals to other banks and successful companies from other industries that were less affected by the floods to join forces and address these and any future challenges of our homeland with suitable and sufficiently decisive measures – for whatever may come.