Number of entrepreneurs getting help to start up their own company
2 763 2016 3 213 2017 5 061 2018



Helping startups succeed


Norway is completely dependent on the establishment of more companies. Based on projections in a report on future prospects from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance (Perspektivmeldingen) and with the help of the analysis provider Ny Analyse, DNB has found that in order to preserve the welfare model, more than 77 000 new companies must be established each year, on top of the established companies thriving and growing.

Being the best bank for people starting up new businesses is important to us, not only because it is profitable to be an attractive bank for new companies, but also because we consider it part of our corporate responsibility to help ensure that more businesses are established and succeed. We will make sure that companies have a greater chance of success together with DNB.

About 40 per cent of all newly established limited companies choose DNB as their bank, and both these companies and the general population perceive us as “the best bank for people who want to start up a company”.

The measures we implement are related to both the services and meeting places we offer, and to cooperation with other key players. Our work to help start-up companies succeed is founded on our governance principles, and is in accordance with our purpose and values. The Board of Directors and group management team follow the start-up initiatives closely and participate in the social debate about correct and important measures to implement in order to promote innovation and restructuring. Furthermore, the members of the group management are active participants in arenas and events which are relevant for entrepreneurs and for companies in a period of restructuring and growth.


DNB NXT is Norway’s largest meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors. In 2018, we arranged 19 events across the country, allowing ideas, capital and expertise to meet through more than 3 000 encounters between entrepreneurs and investors. This series of events culminated with the main event at DNB’s head office in Oslo, where over 1 000 people attended. The event formed part of Oslo Innovation Week, and this year’s topic was “sustainable growth”. We see that the development of NXT has been a good way for us to help more start-up companies with both competence building and access to capital.
In cooperation with StartupLab, we arranged NXT Accelerator for the second time. This is a three-month accelerator programme for start-up companies within technology. The goals of this programme are to speed up the development of the start-up companies and to explore the possibilities for establishing partnerships that can open up commercial opportunities both for the start-up companies and for DNB. The first two programmes have led to several formalised cooperation agreements. One of the companies from the first programme has delivered our operative chatbot solution on Facebook Messenger. We also established a formal collaboration with the crowdlending company FundingPartner, where we recently became part owner through DNB Venture. From the second programme, we have established a partnership with a company that provides automation of audit tasks, and we are still in dialogue about cooperation with two other companies that were part of this year’s programme.
DNB has five start-up pilots who help start-up and growth companies with any questions or concerns they may have. It is not necessary to be a DNB customer to make use of this service. We receive questions about everything from company structure and taxes and fees, to strategic questions about growth, business models and validation. The start-up pilots are also a part of a specialist environment for all DNB employees working with startups, both within innovation and development teams and also for account officers who want to increase their expertise to be an even better adviser for their customers.
DNB has a number of cooperation agreements with entrepreneur and start-up communities across the country. Examples are MESH and StartupLab in Oslo, FLOW in Tromsø, DIGS in Trondheim, Innovation Dock in Stavanger and StartupLab in Bergen. As a partner, we contribute financially to our partners, but the actual cooperation is even more important as it enables us to be close to this target group in order to better understand their needs. Based on these needs, we can help the companies succeed while at the same time creating new business opportunities for DNB.
In March 2018, the publicly appointed Capital Access Commission published a report called “Capital in a time of change”, in which they discuss Norwegian businesses’ access to capital. The main conclusion was that the Norwegian capital market is well-functioning, but that it is challenging to gain access to growth capital in the range of NOK 5-20 million. Against this backdrop, DNB initiated a pilot project where NOK 200 million was earmarked for loans to innovative growth businesses, preferably within technology. In connection with this, we are testing out an advisory board for growth companies, with participants both from DNB Investment Banking and from credit providers, to give advice and help growth companies obtain optimal capitalisation of their business. The pilot period for growth loans will last until June 2019, and the main purpose is to help more growth companies get access to growth capital.


In 2019, we will continue to work hard to earn the position as “the best bank for people who want to start up a company”. All initiatives from the current year will be reinforced through working even more structured and with an even stronger focus on startups. In addition to the above-mentioned initiatives, we will also offer services such as the automated accounting solution DNB Regnskap and the mobile application DNB Puls, as well-timed responses to some of the specific needs of start-up companies. DNB Regnskap gives businesses a simple accounting solution that is integrated with the bank, and the DNB Puls app works as a pocket-sized, digital financial adviser for those who run small businesses. It provides an easily accessible overview of all accounts, balance forecasts and key figures compared with other industry players and competitors.

Preventing financial crime and corruption


Financial crime, such as corruption, undeclared work and money laundering, is a serious social problem and poses a threat to both individuals and the community, while at the same time undermining a healthy business community.

The principal goal for DNB’s efforts against financial crime is to contribute to a healthy and legal economy and limit the opportunities for illegal acts. Everyone should trust that DNB is working actively to fight financial crime in society in general and against our customers in particular. If we are to succeed, we need to stay ahead. We follow the development in the threat scenario closely and continuously adjust our efforts according to changes in trends and methods.

Banks represent a necessary channel that criminals have to use to launder the proceeds of illegal activity. Combating financial crime is demanding work and reducing the risk of being exploited by criminals requires a high level of expertise and significant resources on the part of banks.

We take the fight against corruption seriously and have zero tolerance for all forms of corruption. Everyone in DNB shall act in an open, transparent and accountable manner. These ambitions are clearly expressed in DNB’s Code of Conduct which describes our ethical standards.

Digital crime and cases of fraud are on the increase, and this trend is expected to continue. Digitalisation and globalisation affect the development, have made it easier to commit mass fraud and cause rapid changes in the threat scenario.

Through good practices, effective training and a high level of expertise, we will ensure that we contribute to a healthy Norwegian business community based on fair competition and legitimate business activities.


In 2018, DNB registered an increase of 9 per cent in the number of customers who were victims of digital fraud. The cases are getting more comprehensive, and in total, the value of attempted fraud increased by 42 per cent. In 2018, the total value of prevented digital fraud attempts against our customers was NOK 266 million. When taking into account all types of fraud, DNB prevented a total of NOK 725 million of the Group’s and our customers’ money from falling into the wrong hands. We work actively to prevent fraud by investigating cases of suspicious activity and reporting serious cases to the police. In 2018, we handled 3 300 cases, 254 of which were reported to the police. We also reported some cases of mass fraud against our customers last year.

In addition, we reported 1 496 cases of suspicious activity to EFE, the Norwegian Financial Intelligence Unit in the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim). These cases involved suspicion of money laundering, attempts at money laundering or terrorist financing.

Raising awareness and building competence are key to preventing crime. DNB contributes actively to this by giving presentations in Norway and internationally, and several of the Group’s employees are sought-after speakers in this context. DNB also has an active media strategy with the objective of contributing to competence building and awareness-raising in society.

DNB’s processes and procedures for the anti-money laundering work were updated in 2018, to comply with the new Norwegian Money Laundering Act. Both employees and managers have received training in the updated procedures and DNB’s Board of Directors completed training in the new Money Laundering Act in the autumn of 2018.

Our efforts to combat corruption were strengthened in 2018 through the launch of a new, mandatory e-learning course on anti-corruption. All employees in Norway and internationally are required to complete this course within the first quarter of 2019. Moreover, the Groups anti-corruption framework was further developed, including an improvement of the method used to make risk assessments. The purpose of risk assessments is to identify corruption risk related to customers, employees, business partners, suppliers and other external players with whom DNB has a relevant relationship. The risk assessments must show how corruption can occur, the likelihood of such incidents and the consequences they may have, and will provide the basis for the establishment of procedures and measures. The framework helps ensure consistent management of the anti-corruption work in DNB, and is a key tool in the Group’s efforts to combat corruption.


DNB’s anti-fraud team is one of the largest and most competent in Norway. We use modern technology to prevent crime and to renew our working methods in step with the changes in the world around us. It is important for DNB to have as much information as possible about the criminal players and how they operate, to be able to prevent crime. In the time ahead, we will continue our efforts to increase the focus on and professionalise this work further. Customers who are subject to fraud, will often not realise that they are being conned, especially the victims of love fraud. We will continue working with our IT systems, to be in an even better position to protect customers who are making payments as a result of fraud. This is important because the revenue generated by such activities is used to finance other serious crime.

Within the field of anti-corruption, we are continuously improving our risk assessments. We will carry out internal seminars and develop dilemma training that will be available to all employees.

DNB’s efforts against financial crime are part of our corporate responsibility and will continue with full force in 2019. We have an interdisciplinary specialist team within financial crime. Our employees in this area have backgrounds from areas such as the police, finance, IT and regulatory authorities. We actively share our knowledge and experience with other banks, on topics such as combating fraud, money laundering, terror financing, sanctions and corruption. In addition, we use our expertise to help our customers be more vigilant so that they avoid becoming the victim of fraud. DNB is an active participant in a Nordic cooperation called the Nordic Financial CERT (NFCERT), which among other things aims to share knowledge in order to strengthen preventive efforts against digital fraud and other digital crime. NFCERT assists all its members by coordinating efforts in cases of digital attacks and by facilitating the exchange of information. We have in recent years prevented major losses for DNB and DNB’s customers based on this collaboration and the sharing of information. Similarly, information from DNB helps prevent crime against customers of other banks. We strongly believe that cooperation between banks is a key instrument to prevent crime and will continue to share our expertise and knowledge in the time ahead, among other things through NFCERT and Nordic KYC Utility (Know your customer).

Efforts to prevent financial crime, secure the digital economy and protect our customers are assessed through frequent external and internal audits, in addition to reviews performed by various supervisory authorities. DNB also measures whether our customers perceive us as a trustworthy player in society. Thus, our work and the management’s approach to this topic will be continuously evaluated, and we believe this to be a good way of following up this work. On the basis of feedback from partners and institutions we cooperate with, we consider our efforts to prevent financial crime and digital fraud as satisfactory, and we see that our subject matter experts are sought-after spokespersons when the topics are addressed in the media.

We work targeted every single day to protect our customers and make sure that we ourselves are not subject to fraud or misused for criminal purposes.


Financial literacy


Having a sound understanding of personal finances enables the individual to make better financial decisions and avoid ending up in financial distress. DNB wants to contribute to raising the financial literacy among the general population. This includes our personal customers, our corporate customers and the public sector. A higher level of competence will make the individual customers more aware of their financial needs, and as a result, they will demand relevant and customised financial services. This applies to a wide range of services within savings, investment, loans, funding and risk management in various financial markets (e.g. the currency, interest rate and commodity markets). An increased need for financial literacy offers a good opportunity to strengthen our market position in various customer segments and to be a responsible player in society.


Our macro analysts, portfolio managers and other subject matter experts actively contribute to competence building through various media. DNB organises a wide range of market-relevant seminars and conferences that serve as valuable meeting places and knowledge venues for private individuals, the business community and the public sector. We arrange events in several geographical locations, covering most parts of the country.

In DNB, we engage in active and ongoing digital dialogue with our customers to raise their financial literacy.

On our analysis web pages, we offer a wide selection of market analyses within economics and securities markets, as well as webcasts produced by DNB Markets (in Norwegian only). We have also conducted a large number of training activities related to the share savings account scheme.

In the course of 2018, a total of 125 670 people established a share savings account in DNB. Measured in terms of total assets, DNB has a market share of 26 per cent.

In 2018, we placed great emphasis on increasing the general level of knowledge regarding long-term financial planning and savings. In the course of the year, we arranged several evening seminars on shares in cooperation with the non-profit foundation AksjeNorge, all with a high attendance rate. In 2018, we focused especially on women and on increasing their interest in financial topics and long-term savings, as we see a significant difference in how men and women handle their personal finances. A DNB report from 2018 shows that the most typical situation is one where men save money for retirement, while women save money for holidays. Some of these differences can be explained structurally. Men still earn more than women, and more women than men work part time. Some of the differences can also be ascribed to career choices and the type of education we choose. In the autumn of 2018, DNB contributed with seed capital to “Femme Forvaltning” (femme fund management), a recently established stock exchange club for women at the Norwegian School of Economics.

As more of our personal customers have started saving money in both shares and mutual funds, the savings app Spare has also gained momentum – by the end of 2018, it had been downloaded 327 113 times. The savings app contains a quick and easy solution for checking the status of your cash balance, shares and mutual funds, and for establishing savings agreements at the desired risk level with just a few keystrokes. By providing more information about savings and investments, we raise our customers’ knowledge in the area and make them interested in trying different investment options.


There is a growing need in the population to save more money, both for retirement purposes and for financing important life events, such as buying a home and starting a family. We will work towards a behavioural change in society, which means that we have a more long-term view on savings and investments. We also plan to launch skills-enhancing initiatives aimed at personal and corporate customers within the area of pension savings. “A valuable lesson”, an online training programme previously aimed at teaching children in primary schools about personal finances, is being further developed to include savings topics for young adults. It is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of 2019.

We will adapt our information and training activities to the population’s varying financial needs and level of professionalism, to ensure that our customers receive more relevant products and services based on their individual needs.

DNB will continue to work for increased financial equality between women and men. In light of this, we will encourage more women to start making investments or to increase their existing investments, and to take greater risks in their savings.


Responsible purchasing

In 2018, DNB purchased goods and services for approximately NOK 11 billion. Our ability to create value for our customers depends on good deliveries from and a successful cooperation with our suppliers. It is important to us that our purchases are of good quality, delivered at a competitive price and produced in a responsible manner in keeping with our requirements and expectations. We are constantly seeking to reduce risk related to corporate responsibility in our supply chain, and also want to help our suppliers improve and become more aware in this area. As service deliveries make up the main part of our purchases, topics related to working conditions are often prioritised, but we also work with matters related to the environment, ethics and the supply chain.

We have around 6 500 suppliers, 150 of which represent approximately 80 per cent of the Group’s procurement costs. Important purchase categories for the bank are the development and operation of IT solutions, marketing and consulting services, as well as goods and services related to properties and office equipment. Most of our suppliers are from the Nordic countries, Western Europe or North America.

In order to ensure a fair and transparent procurement process, purchases in DNB are conducted according to both the Group’s procurement principles and guidelines and a defined procurement process. Assessments and initiatives related to corporate responsibility are an integral part of these processes, both before the choice of supplier is made and during the contract period.

What DNB expects from suppliers should be specified in the tender documents and in the contracts, which also contain the DNB Code of Responsible Business Conduct for Suppliers. The code is based on prevailing regulations and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the UN Global Compact, the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the ILO Core Conventions. The principles set clear requirements with respect to human rights and labour standards, environmental management and ethical business conduct, as well as suppliers’ responsibility vis-à-vis sub-suppliers.

DNB uses the analysis and sharing tool EcoVadis as support in the assessment of how our suppliers handle risks and opportunities related to corporate responsibility. In this work, priority is given to the largest and/or most critical suppliers or suppliers who on account of their industry, geography or history are considered to represent higher risk. At the end of the year, suppliers representing a total of 65 per cent of DNB’s relevant supplier expenses had been analysed using EcoVadis, and received feedback and improvement suggestions regarding their work on corporate responsibility. The analysis results are included in the evaluation of suppliers and discussed in supplier meetings to challenge suppliers to be aware of their corporate responsibility and work for continuous improvement.

We also set requirements for and work with the suppliers on matters that are particularly relevant to the item or service provided. For example, we maintain a regular dialogue with our supplier of cleaning and canteen services about measures for a more environmentally friendly operation, and when new PCs were ordered for all employees in 2017, one of the purchasing requirements was compliance with the sustainability certification TCO Certified. Moreover, in line with our corporate strategy, we also strengthened our focus on diversity and equal opportunities in the procurement process in 2018, especially for service providers from industries where this is considered a major challenge.

In 2018, DNB carried out three on-site supplier audits to verify compliance with the DNB Code of Responsible Business Conduct for Suppliers. Such audits are carried out in collaboration with an external auditor, and the suppliers are selected based on an assessment of risk and criticality. In 2018, we audited two of our major IT partners, as well as a sub-supplier of our supplier of office clothes. We follow up on any findings after the audits, and we see that the audits make important contributions towards improvements and learning both for DNB and for the suppliers.

We have established a Supply Chain Sustainability management team in which key procurement functions are represented. The SCS management team considers which suppliers to audit based on the methodology described above, and evaluates various initiatives to ensure responsible and sustainable procurement practices. The procurement process and suggestions from the SCS management team must subsequently be approved in a SCS steering group consisting of key managers within relevant subject areas. This way, we ensure sound evaluation of the effect of various measures on our procurement practices. This practice will be continued in 2019. We find our efforts within responsible purchasing to be satisfactory, particularly when it comes to the procurement of legal services, where we have stipulated a requirement for an equality strategy from the largest law firms. This has created ripple effects in the financial services industry.

In the time ahead, this work will continue along the same lines as in 2018, with supplier audits, evaluations through EcoVadis and dialogue on priority topics, with the purpose of mitigating risk and contributing to improvements in the supply chain to the benefit of DNB, the suppliers and society at large.


By endorsing the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in 2017, we committed to addressing and reporting on our management of climate-related risks and opportunities. Our purpose is two-fold: to enable investors and shareholders to make more informed decisions about DNB, and to signal to our customers that we seek more information from them.

Our participation in two TCFD pilot projects in 2018 gave us the opportunity to reflect on how we understand and manage climate-related risks and opportunities. Our first substantial TCFD disclosure effort was DNB’s CDP1) report from August 2018, for which DNB – as the only Nordic bank – received the top score A. In addition, we will publish a TCFD report in our sustainability library. Below is an excerpt of DNB’s TCFD-related disclosures for 2018, under the four recommended headings: Governance, Strategy, Risk management, and Metrics and targets.


Corporate responsibility is one of DNB’s four strategic pillars, for which the Board of Directors of DNB is ultimately responsible.

DNB’s governance principles for corporate responsibility, that form the basis of our obligations, processes and measurements of corporate responsibility (including climate-related efforts), were in 2018 lifted to the top level of DNB’s corporate governance hierarchy. The work is regularly endorsed by the Board, and an annual internal control reviews metrics and targets within the integration of corporate responsibility.


In line with the ever-more stringent regulatory requirements for climate reporting and sustainable finance, DNB has started to consider climate-related risks and opportunities at a corporate and portfolio level. One way we do this, is through the use of scenario analysis, as recommended by TCFD as a tool to identify possible outcomes of climate-related risk and opportunity factors. In 2018, DNB participated in two pilot projects under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP FI to develop better reporting standards through the use of scenario analyses.

In UNEP FI’s Banking Pilot, DNB participated in a working group with 15 other international banks. In collaboration with Oliver Wyman and Acclimatise, the working group developed methodologies to stress test own credit portfolios in 1.5, 2 and 4-degree scenarios. Climate scenarios were integrated by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). DNB’s case study in the pilot involved scenario-testing DNB’s upstream oil and gas portfolio. Phase I of UNEP FI’s pilot is complete, but there is still some remaining work to develop models with sufficient accuracy. Among other things, the climate scenarios must be better adapted to financial analysis and must shed more light on consequences in the shorter term. The participants in the pilot published their work in two reports, Extending Our Horizons and Navigating a New Climate, in April and July 2018 respectively. Phase II of UNEP FI’s pilot project will start in the spring of 2019.

In UNEP FI’s Investor Pilot, DNB Asset Management participates actively in the development of a standardised method for aggregated and repeatable reporting of the most significant climate data. The method, developed together with CarbonDelta, uses scenario analysis to provide a more forward-looking picture of climate-related risks and opportunities in companies and portfolios than provided by carbon footprint measurements. (See DNB’s carbon footprint). This is an important consideration to make in the investment process, but it is also very complex. DNB’s case study will be delivered in the spring of 2019.

In the time ahead, we will continue our work with stress tests and scenario analyses, with a broader scope both in terms of industries and scenarios. The purpose is to be able to identify and incorporate long-term climate risks in a more short-term customer commitment.


DNB’s most material climate-related risks and opportunities arise from lending to corporate customers. Accordingly, we assess Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, which include climate-related risk, in every corporate customer case as part of DNB’s credit risk management. This work has been strengthened throughout 2018. Moreover, we engage with our customers to help them become adaptable companies that succeed in the transition to a low-carbon future. DNB’s green bonds and green loans are examples of incentivising financial products that encourage climate-resilient business operations (see Responsible lending and investment.)

DNB’s environmental management system is certified according to ISO 14001, and DNB’s ESG-related risk management forms part of the annual ISO 14001 audit conducted by DNV GL.


DNB reports on Scope 1, Scope 2 and a portion of Scope 32) greenhouse gas emissions in our annual Carbon Accounting report (see DNB’s sustainability library). We follow the Corporate Standard from the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and report according to both the market-based and location-based method. We also report on Scope 3 carbon emissions from employees’ business trips.

To better understand climate impact, DNB is currently working on a number of initiatives to improve transparency around indirect climate exposure in several of our key sectors. For example, DNB Asset Management is working with other Norwegian investors towards Norwegian listed companies to contribute to preferred TCFD reporting for investors. Through better company disclosure we can conduct more reliable scenario analyses at company portfolio level, and ultimately help our portfolio managers achieve better risk-adjusted returns and generate value for our mutual fund customers. Another example is DNB’s participation in the UN Global Compact Business Action Platform for the Ocean, which will provide greater insight into climate-related risks and opportunities, such as concrete initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime sectors.

1) CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a foundation backed by investors whose purpose is to help give businesses and authorities a better overview of their own climate impact.
2) Scope 1: All direct emissions where the organisation has operational control. Mandatory reporting.
Scope 2: All indirect emissions associated with purchased energy, such as electricity or heating/cooling, where the organisation has operational control. Mandatory reporting.
Scope 3: Emissions that are a result of the company’s different activities, but that are not controlled by the organisation, i.e. they are indirect. Voluntary reporting.



DNB’s tax contribution

DNB contributes to society in a number of ways in the countries where the Group is represented. Tax is one of the areas where DNB makes a significant contribution to society, and the country-by-country report shows taxes paid in the countries in which DNB has operations (see the report in the sustainability library). The overview below includes other tax-related contributions in addition to taxes paid. In 2018, the total tax contribution amounted to NOK 11 807 million, of which NOK 7 777 million was paid to the authorities and NOK 4 030 million was tax collected on behalf of the authorities.



Taxes paid constitute a cost for the Group and include:

Income tax
The Group pays tax on income generated in the individual countries in which it has operations based on national tax rules in the country where the respective units are resident for tax purposes. Paid income tax means actual tax paid during the year regardless of which fiscal year the tax is related to.

Non-deductible value added tax (VAT)
DNB pays VAT on purchases of goods and services. The Group is only allowed partial deductions for input VAT, which means that a large part of the VAT constitutes a cost for the Group. The amount includes all non-deductible input VAT on the purchase of goods and services.

Employer’s national insurance contributions
As an employer, DNB is obliged to pay employer’s national insurance contributions and other social security contributions based on the employees’ salary and other remunerations.

Financial activities tax
The financial activities tax was introduced in 2017 and is an additional tax imposed on companies within the financial services sector. This tax consists of two elements: an increased income tax rate for financial institutions (2 percentage points), and an additional tax for employers in the financial services industry, based on the payroll of the companies (5 percentage points).

Other tax
This may be withholding tax on interest and dividends that DNB cannot subtract from other tax.



In addition to taxes paid by the Group itself, DNB collects the following tax on behalf of the authorities through its operations:

Taxes deductions for employees
In many countries, employers are required to withhold taxes and other social security contributions when paying salaries to employees.

VAT paid to the authorities
DNB must report and collect VAT on the purchase and sale of taxable goods and services. In addition, DNB calculates and pays VAT on purchases of goods and services from abroad. Net tax is reported and paid to the local tax authorities in the individual countries.

Other tax
This could be withholding tax deducted from interest and dividend payments collected on behalf of the authorities.

1) Consists of extra income tax amounting to NOK 166 million and additional employer’s national insurance contributions of NOK 381 million.
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