With its long-term business policy, BCF offers secure jobs in a high-performance company. The Bank motivates its employees through careful management and development measures at all levels. It encourages employees’ entrepreneurial spirit and action by delegating and involving them as much as possible. Through direct and spontaneous dialogue and an idea box managed by young employees, BCF encourages exchanges within the Bank. BCF offers attractive, family-friendly working conditions at all levels of the hierarchy. It offers the possibility of phased retirement or annualized working hours, and unpaid leave for employees to dedicate themselves to personal projects or private activities.

BCF protects the integrity of its employees. It fights against prejudice and all forms of discrimination in the work environment and promotes the diversity of people. In 2023, no cases of discrimination were identified by BCF.

Periodic surveys of employee satisfaction are conducted, particularly in the qualification interview, which evaluates employee satisfaction on three levels: personal, team and Bank. The performance, skills and training needs of all employees are also evaluated.

Following the measures taken in 2023 on soft mobility, the agglomeration of Fribourg confirmed that BCF meets the requirements of a mobility plan. Thanks to this plan, employees receive financial benefits over annual Frimobil subscriptions in order to promote soft mobility and a better quality of life.

All mandates and ancillary activities outside the Bank must be declared in order to avoid any conflict of interest. Periodic reviews are conducted in order to identify possible deviations in the behaviour of employees. In this context, the Bank regularly checks compliance with guidelines and regulations, e.g. on insider trading and unfair competition.

A fair salary policy

BCF’s salary policy is based on the principle of equal pay for equal work. In the fall of 2020, BCF received the SGS «Fair-ON-Pay+» certificate confirming compliance with equal pay for women and men. The certificate is valid for four years. BCF’s job model is the cornerstone of the implementation of equal pay. All functions are evaluated on a uniform scale and using objective criteria. In July 2022, a maintenance analysis of the «Fair-ON-Pay+» certificate confirmed that equal pay for women and men is guaranteed at BCF.

BCF encourages mixed teams (gender and age) able to develop more creative, more viable and higher quality solutions.

By 2023, women represented 54% of the Bank’s workforce. BCF has set itself the goal of increasing the proportion of women in positions of responsibility.

The Bank is firmly committed to equal opportunities and fair employment conditions, and advertises all its positions internally and externally. Whether part-time or full-time, employees benefit from the same working conditions granted by the employer.

BCF takes into account the needs of its employees by offering them tailor-made solutions: in particular, it encourages parttime work by systematically proposing a choice of occupation rates for the positions it advertises.

BCF encourages the reconciliation of family and professional life. It has thus reduced the number of blocked hours during which employees are required to be present, enabling them to better combine working hours with private duties.

Ensuring health and a balanced life

BCF takes preventive measures to promote health and is committed to minimizing the risk of occupational illness. Ergonomics at the workplace is a priority: height-adjustable desks that allow employees to work standing up have been made available and ergonomic advice has been provided by a specialized company. In order to prevent psychological problems, BCF works with the Clinique du travail, which, if necessary, provides personalized follow-up for people who are at risk of overwork or who are victims of mobbing.

Employees benefit from excellent occupational and non-occupational insurance coverage. Training and e-learning modules are offered to teach them the best ways to ensure their safety and health at work. In 2023, a workshop entitled «Balancing for health» was offered to employees.

Employees who are absent for long periods due to illness are monitored individually.

Employees in contact with customers receive regular training on how to deal with any kind of aggression.

Defibrillators are installed on the floors of the headquarters and in the branches to provide first aid in case of emergency. Staff are trained to use these devices and each floor of the Bank’s headquarters has a person in charge.

BCF encourages its staff to practice a sporting activity. For example, it offers registration to the Kerzerslauf. In 2022, BCF was also awarded the label «Performance Sport-Friendly Training Company» by Swiss Olympics.

On a regular basis throughout the year, the Bank organizes leisure events for employees and their families.

The Bank provides 16 weeks of maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave. In 2023, 7 employees took maternity leave and 6 of them returned to work at the end of their leave. Employees have access to BCF-financed places at the University of Fribourg’s daycare center. The possibility of working from home also helps to reconcile family and professional life.

BCF has offered its advisors the possibility of job sharing, which allows them to better reconcile their private and professional lives while continuing to hold a responsible position.

BCF provides employees with the opportunity to work from home one day a week in order to ensure cohesiveness between the teams and a good work-life balance. A directive describes and defines the processes, conditions and organisation of working from home.

When the working conditions allow it, employees can take a long unpaid leave or increase their vacation time by reducing their salary.

In 2023, BCF increased the number of weeks of vacation for apprentices from 5 to 6.

Education as an essential pillar

Training is the foundation of a dynamic company. Therefore, BCF places great importance on both the basic and advanced training of its employees at all levels of the hierarchy. It also trains many apprentices and all-round trainees. In 2023, BCF  employed 20 apprentices and 6 all-round trainees, i.e. 5% of the total workforce. The 6 apprentices and 2 all-round trainees who completed their training in 2023 decided to continue their careers at BCF. This is a real satisfaction for the Bank, which relies on this new generation to ensure its future.

Training to ensure quality

The skills of BCF’s client advisors are regularly reviewed to ensure the high quality of advice and services. In 2023, BCF had 128 advisors certified by the Swiss Association for Quality (SAQ). This certificate is a guarantee of quality: it attests that the holder has the necessary skills and is familiar with the rules of conduct defined by the profession. BCF became a member of the Institut Supérieur de Formation Bancaire (ISFB) in 2022.

BCF supports its employees in various training programs. There are more than 80 training courses on the key skills related to the Bank’s main functions. New employees benefit from a common core of courses and e-learning and, for those who do not come from the sector, from basic banking training. The new heads of organisational units receive the training required to obtain the leadership certificate of the Swiss Association for Leadership Training (SALT).

Continuous progress

By focusing on the ongoing training of its employees, the Bank ensures a high level of competence and professionalism that will enable it not only to operate successfully today, but also to plan for a sustainable future. In 2023, the Bank’s employees attended an average of 4.2 days of training, for a total of 2,221 days, which represents an increase of 5% on the previous year.

In addition to continuing education, BCF also actively supports employees who choose to follow a higher education course. In 2023, 9 people completed their course with a new diploma in their pocket, including : a federal diploma in financial advice, a federal diploma in financial market operations, three Bachelors of Science HES-SO in Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Accounting and Finance, a Master of Science BFH in Business Administration, a HES-SO CAS in mergers, acquisitions and transfers of businesses, and an EMBA in Integrated Management.

As of December 31, 2023, 38 employees were still undergoing postgraduate or higher education.

Developing ESG advice

In addition to the courses on banking techniques, sales, client relations, legal, compliance and security, the focus in 2023 was on ESG training following publication of the Swiss Bankers Association’s (SBA) guidelines on sustainable finance:
– Guidelines for Mortgage Providers on improving the energy efficiency of buildings;
– Guidelines for Financial Service Providers on the integration of ESG preferences and risks in investment advice and asset management.

In order to meet the requirements of these two guidelines and to improve the ESG skills of its advisors, BCF has developed two separate training courses.

More about sustainable buildings

In 2023, BCF trained all private client advisors to recommend mortgage financing solutions in order to best support its clients in preserving their long-term value and improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.

The «ESG-Sustainable real estate» course, run face-to-face by Wüest Partner, featured the following topics:
– sustainability and real estate;
– labels, ratings and certificates;
– energy needs and CO2;
– energy renovation strategies;
– profitability of renovation measures.

The participants then attended face-to-face workshops given by the Centre of Competence in Building Renovation (CCRB). The following topics were discussed:
– overview of energy renovation and building development
– presentation of technical lexicon
– funding contributions (subsidies)
– energy certificates and data

In accordance with the SBA guidelines, the aim of these training courses is to integrate the following specific elements into mortgage financing advisory services for natural persons:
– Dialogue and assessment of the foreseeable need for renovation in order to encourage owners to deal with the question of maintaining the value and energy efficiency of the building in question (long-term value preservation and corresponding measures);
– Transparent presentation of possible financing solutions;
– Information on specialist agencies and services that may provide specific advice on the energy and financial impacts of potential optimisation measures;
– Where appropriate, assistance in the preparation of applications for funding.

Since the beginning of 2024, the Bank has offered its employees online training in the form of e-Learning modules, which cover the topics addressed in the face-to-face training courses.

Learning to advise ESG

All staff have completed the «Sustainable Development» e-learning module created by BCF in 2018. BCF thus wants to enable employees to systematically integrate the concept of sustainability into their thinking and daily practice.

In order to be able to incorporate ESG preferences and risks into investment advice and wealth management, the private client advisors also completed an e-learning module, developed by Fintelligence, which allowed them to acquire the basic principles to understand ESG objectives and their impact on financial performance and the prevention of greenwashing.

After this module, the advisors took part in an internal training course with the following objectives:
– be familiar with BCF’s sustainable investment policy and the range of investment solutions offered;
– be able to present these solutions to clients, meet their expectations and prevent greenwashing.

As regards wealth management advisors, an internal face-to-face training has been implemented, following five online modules dedicated to the following topics:
– «ESG: Introduction and context»;
– «ESG Investments»: Integration of ESG criteria into the investment process, client ESG preferences, ESG approaches in advisory services, ESG solutions for different asset classes;
– «ESG Regulations and Guidelines»: Overview of the international basis and regulation, ESG Guidelines issued by the SBA and FINMA;
– «ESG analysis and data»: ESG assessment, typical ESG indicators, ESG assessment models and ratings, ESG data (assessment, sources and problems);
– «Stewardship and ESG commitment»: definition and content, commitment approaches.

All «ESG» courses have now been incorporated into BCF’s training catalogue in order to train new employees. Corporate advisors are also being trained on how to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the current year.

Support staff development

BCF’s staff development measures are designed to maintain or improve the employability of its employees. To this end, it offers 35 succession plans in the form of programs of measures, job-related and cross-functional training for high-potential individuals under 30 years of age who have completed or are in the process of completing a higher education.

To prepare for retirement, informative and interactive programs are offered to employees aged 55 and over. Courses on financial planning and inheritance law are also offered. From the age of 60, employees are supported in their reflection on their life plans after retirement and are made aware of health issues and the support services available to guide them.

A healthy pension fund

BCF employees are affiliated to the pension fund of the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg, which has a coverage rate of 111%. BCF’s benefits are generous, with average contributions of 2.5 times those of the employees. The performance bonus is also subject to the pension fund.

In 2023, BCF decided to make a platform available to employees so that they can determine retirement conditions and carry out simulations at any time.

Objectives 2024-2027

  • We advertise all vacant positions, both internally and externally;
  • We continue our efforts to increase the proportion of women in positions of responsibility by 5% over the next three years.
  • We are training the next generation, which represents at least 5% of the Bank workforce, through apprenticeships and all-round traineeships.
  • We encourage young people to undergo a higher education funded by the Bank.
  • We encourage our employees to take further training and ensure their employability through the provision of a development plan.
  • We ensure a fair remuneration policy. This principle of equity is regularly reviewed by the external «Fair-On-Pay+» institute, which requires a difference of no more than 5%.
  • Recognizing the importance of health in the workplace, we take measures to reduce the number of days of absence of our employees due to illness or
    accident. The absenteeism rate should not exceed the 5% threshold.
  • We offer modern work models (e.g. job sharing). Flexible working hours, job mobility for advisors and the possibility of working from home help to retain employees. The turnover rate is kept low (< 5%).