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Our responsibility

Aareal Bank’s sound approach to business, its reliability and sense of responsibility are at the heart of everything we do. Both internally and externally – in our dealings with our employees, shareholders, clients and business partners, and with society as a whole.

For many years now, our Sustainability Report has made a clear declaration of the responsibility we feel for our actions. In that report – as in the Combined Separate Non-financial Report – we disclose information about our sustainability strategy, our related activities, and the non-financial indicators we deem to be material.

"Due to the rapid progress of digital transformation, the Supervisory Board – in its role as a sparring partner for the Management Board – is also facing new challenges. Contents, thinking patterns, and assessment criteria as well as proven procedures and processes must be reviewed, cultural change actively supported. By establishing the Technology and Innovation Committee, we did just this."

Marija Korsch – Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Our sustainability strategy consists of twelve core action areas we identified in a materiality analysis and whose relevance we discuss with our stakeholders on a regular basis. Our over-arching goal, as an international property finance and service provider, is to play our part in the transition to global, sustainable growth – by offering tailored financing structures and creating attractive investment opportunities, and by developing innovative payment/software solutions and digital services for the housing and property industries. Bearing in mind the social, ecological and governance aspects of our business decisions allows us to add value sustainably – for all our stakeholders.

"The bank of the future will be digital. Therefore, it will have to focus its financial services even more strongly on client benefit. The focus must lie on the client, rather than concentrating primarily on the products. Central to this development is a flexible IT architecture, also necessary to meet the challenges presented by FinTechs, i. e. start-ups in the financial sector. The Technology and Innovation Committee, for example, deals with questions, how and where to put the advantages of new technologies to optimum use."

Hans-Dietrich Voigtländer – Member of the Supervisory Board

Our sustainability mission statement

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Innovative technologies secure the sustainability of our business model

We believe that developing and using innovative technology is indispensable for the sustainability of our business model. For this reason, the Supervisory Board established a Technology and Innovation Committee as early as in 2015. The Committee discusses market trends, technological developments and resulting business opportunities. The focus lies on the increasing digitalisation of processes, the realignment of banking systems, the optimal establishment of an innovation-friendly environment, the Group's IT security – as well as on developing the range of digital products and services to our clients.

"Our range of services has already made us a pioneer in digital solutions for our markets. In order to strengthen and further expand this position, we have developed a digital roadmap, equipping our IT landscape to cope with the new challenges – making sure that we have the right tools to continue to be a success story in the digital age."

Hermann J. Merkens – Chairman of the Management Board

Projects which the Committee discussed in detail and expedited in 2018 included the deployment of a credit management platform which provides relevant deal information at the touch of a button, as well as robot process automation.

  • New York-based Aareal Capital Corporation (ACC) is currently in the process of implementing the scalable, cloud-based RealINSIGHT platform, an information management and early warning system which enhances transparency regarding current financing projects, thanks to the centralised availability of the full credit and loan history. Data can be accessed at any time – in addition, the system provides an alert function for changes in financial reporting or shifts in the financing portfolio, thus facilitating swift action. Moreover, the platform facilitates market simulations at portfolio level.
  • Robot process automation refers to software robots which support employees in administrative functions in carrying out different processes. Aareal Bank is already implementing these software robots in, for example, time-consuming routine work, such as the entry and matching of ERP data. However, our clients will also soon be benefiting from this technology; software robots can take over name and address changes, account access authorisations, and perform many other comparatively simple processes – very precisely, and with a low error rate. With their help, we can also mitigate occasional personnel shortages, or process client requirements outside normal working hours.

"We, Aareal Bank Group, see ourselves as a driver of innovation in our business segments in the area of digitalisation. Because we look beyond the scope of traditional banking and IT services, joining forces with our long-standing clients, we are able to reliably assess material developments, opportunities and risks at an early stage and then implement the insights gained particularly quickly."

Thomas Ortmanns – Member of the Management Board

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