Ethics and Corporate Governance

BCF is the leading bank in its canton, with a balance sheet total of CHF 27.3 billion. Its financial capacity has been growing for some 20 years. The bank’s health and the skills of its staff give it major advantages in meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

By relying on efficient and sustainable corporate management, BCF contributes to the autonomous development of the canton of Fribourg and to the preservation of its resources. BCF’s corporate governance principles are set out in the Annual Report.

Transparency and dialogue with stakeholders

Through regular and in-depth exchanges with its stakeholders, BCF is able to identify the requirements it must meet, observe trends and define strengths and potential for improvement. By stakeholders, BCF understands all economic actors who play a significant role in the creation of value or in the activities of BCF.


The personal relationship with the bank’s contact persons and close contacts throughout the bank’s business area are of paramount importance.

The intensity and frequency of contact is adapted to the needs of the client and the extent of the client relationship. Customers have a choice of access channels for services.

BCF organises events to promote dialogue with its regional stakeholders. Market or satisfaction studies concerning the services offered are carried out regularly.


Employee satisfaction surveys are conducted. BCF also has an institutionalized idea management tool that allows employees to suggest improvements. In this way, BCF encourages employees to be entrepreneurial and promotes their entrepreneurial activity. BCF’s personnel regulations provide for the existence of a Personnel Commission (COPE), which defends the interests of employees in relation to the bank’s management bodies. A separate regulation governs this Personnel Commission.

The way in which BCF involves its employees in change processes is described on page 30 ofthe Sustainability Report 2022.

State of Fribourg

A regular and institutionalized dialogue on economic, ecological and social issues is conducted with the State of Fribourg.

Supplirs and partners

Suppliers and partners are integrated in the framework of tenders and bids or in institutionalized bodies for exchange and partnership steering.


The various authorities and the media are informed primarily through press releases, publications and regulatory reports. In addition, requests can be forwarded to the bank via the press office. All information on this subject can be found on the BCF website.

Standards of behavior

BCF recognizes international human rights standards and identifies with the values and aspirations they convey. BCF’s personnel guidelines regulate the protection of employees’ integrity: employees may not be discriminated against directly or indirectly. Managers are responsible for ensuring that the working environment is conducive to work and free from any form of harassment.

Employees have internal channels for reporting personal attacks or irregularities such as violations of laws, regulations and directives.

The Personnel Regulations and the Personnel Guidelines are an integral part of the employment contracts. They include rules of conduct relating in particular to corruption and money laundering. Employees confirm in writing that they have received these guidelines and undertake to comply with them. These topics are discussed at the induction day for new employees and during various training courses.

More generally, BCF invests considerable resources to effectively combat money laundering and terrorist financing. It also complies with tax requirements. Clients are responsible for complying with the legal and regulatory provisions applicable to them, which include, among other things, the obligation to file tax returns and pay taxes. Clients release the Bank from any liability in this regard.

BCF has established internal processes for monitoring business relationships and transactions, as well as for the application of economic sanctions. In addition, BCF has ensured optimal communication between the front line and compliance specialists in order to achieve its compliance objectives as efficiently as possible.

Structure and autority

The procedures for electing the Board of Directors and the terms of office of its members, as well as the related powers, are defined in the Law of 22 November 1988 on the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg (LBCF). The composition of the Board of Directors as well as the education, professional background and other mandates of its members and its Chairman are published on the BCF website and in the Annual Report. The competencies of the Board of Directors are defined and published, as well as the various Board committees and their members. The process for the nomination and selection of members of the highest governance body is defined and published.

The strategy is developed by the Executive Board in collaboration with the Board of Directors. It is approved by the Board of Directors. An annual seminar of the Board of Directors is organised to discuss key elements of BCF’s development. The strategy is part of this seminar. A self-assessment of the performance of the highest governance body is carried out each year.

The Audit and Risk Committee regularly monitors risk management. Major concerns are submitted to the Executive Board and the Board of Directors.

The economic, environmental and social commitments are made explicit. Stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, representatives of the State and of civil society) are informed about the reporting processes.

ESG Governance

Sustainable development management


Sustainability is fully integrated into BCF’s vision. All of BCF’s activities are based on the principles of sustainable development based on ecological, societal and economic criteria. The principles of good governance are applied.

The corporate governance guidelines, the risk policy principles, the credit policy, the service standards, the Sustainability Charter, the staff regulations and the staff guidelines are pillars of the sustainable development management.


The mission of the BCF is included in the Law of 22 November 1988 on the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg (LBCF). According to art. 2 of the LBCF, the BCF pursues three goals in carrying out its tasks:

  • Contribute to the development of the economy of the canton of Fribourg;
  • Provide for the financial needs of companies and individuals; to offer them the possibility of secure investments for their savings and capital;
  • Provide financial resources to the canton of Fribourg.

Our values


The client is at the heart of our business. BCF responds to the needs of its clients and is a trusted partner. Relationships are transparent, direct and constructive.


BCF relies on qualified and committed employees. It encourages their ongoing training so that they can constantly develop their skills.


BCF places great importance on efficiency, whether in its relations with clients, its products, its processes or its organisation. The bank’s management structure and operational processes allow for rapid decision-making.

ESG commitment

BCF’s activities are based on the principles of sustainable development based on ecological, societal and economic criteria. The principles of good governance are applied.


BCF creates a climate of trust and meets the needs of its clients in a responsible manner in accordance with ESG principles. This means:

  • Sharing its values with its clients;
  • Systematically integrating ESG criteria into its activities;
  • Intensifying the role of ambassador of its brand by its employees.

Business models

BCF builds its strategy by developing its business models. In particular, it follows the “New Generation Business Model” method.

By applying this methodology, the added value for clients is always at the center of BCF’s concerns, activities and innovations. Thus, the ESG expectations of clients are an integral part of the business models implemented by BCF.

Contributing projects

Declining business models, the Board of Directors decides on the investment budget for future achievements and thus fully supports the ESG efforts proposed by BCF’s Executive Board.

In this way, the loop from the implementation of the vision to the contributory projects is ensured in an approach that is conducted and consistent throughout the company’s.

ESG Organisation


In the governance of BCF, ESG responsibility is declined and ensured by :

  • The Board of Directors, which defines and implements the strategy;
  • BCF’s Executive Board, which proposes strategy, develops business models and implements action plans;
  • In 2022, under delegation from the Executive Board, the ESG working group defined the ESG objectives of the Sustainable Development Charter, developed ESG action plans and implemented them.

The ESG working group

BCF conducts ESG activities with an ESG working group (WG ESG) that is cross-functional to its organisation and made up of the various stakeholders.

The ESG WG is led by the Head of Strategy / ESG / Transformation, who is a member of the extended Executive Board.

The members of the GSS WG are representatives from the following areas:

  • Board of Directors Assistants;
  • Human Resources ;
  • Legal, Risk and Compliance;
  • Credit Management ;
  • Finance ;
  • Products and Services ;
  • Marketing and social commitment;
  • Real Estate and Logistics;
  • IT and digital channels.

Each member is included in the subgroups of the areas reported in the Sustainability Report:

  • Sustainable Products and Services;
  • BCF as an employer;
  • Social commitment;
  • Corporate ecology and climate protection.

External collaborations

BCF actively collaborates with the cantonal banks in French-speaking Switzerland and neighboring regions: BEKB, BCVs, BCGe, BCN and BCJ. As a founding member of Carbon Fri, BCF has been involved with the Foundation since its creation. It is also attentive to the strategy of the Cantonal Climate Plan of the State of Fribourg.

Timing of the meetings

The ESG WG holds regular meetings according to the bank’s requirements, but at least once a month. For specific issues, ad hoc working groups are convened by the Head of ESG, who organises them at short notice.

If necessary, projects are conducted in parallel (e.g. mobility plan, SBA guidelines) in order to ensure an efficient pace for the achievement of the set objectives. In these cases, an appropriate organisation is defined according to the required competences, involving all necessary internal and external stakeholders.

The ESG manager ensures that priorities are well coordinated and that potential conflicts of interest do not hinder the achievement of ESG actions. The coordination of priorities for the implementation of the bank’s strategy and transformation is the responsibility of the Executive Board. Assumptions of a lasting conflict of interest are therefore immediately addressed within the Executive Board.