Good afternoon. My name is Scott Wambolt, and I'm here in my capacity as senior vice-president of CIBC's national sales and service team. In this role, I lead all national sales leadership and business management activities in support of sales performance and service effectiveness for small business and personal banking on the retail side.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you today about CIBC, our values and culture, and our efforts to put our clients first. At CIBC, we have 43,000 team members who are working hard to build trusted and long-lasting relationships with our 11 million clients. Our number one priority is to put our clients at the centre of everything we do. It's what we want to be known for, and it's the kind of client-first culture we are building. This is true at our bank, regardless of whether you work behind the scenes on our risk team or human resources team, or whether you deal directly with our clients every day. As a bank, our shared purpose is helping our clients to prosper and grow. This means getting to know our clients, understanding their needs, and making sure they get the right advice and solutions to achieve their financial goals.
It also means living our values in our everyday decisions, actions, and interactions with our clients, team members, and communities. To give you some colour on what this means, I'd like to give you a few examples. It means speaking to clients in plain language. Life can be complicated, and it is our job to make sure that financial services are made simple and easy for our clients to understand. It also means taking on our clients' issues as our own and making it right for them by providing a fair and fast resolution. It means having the right escalation processes in place so that clients or employees can raise concerns at any point and have confidence that they will be addressed.
On this note, we should be clear that while the vast majority of client interactions go smoothly and as expected, in an industry with tens of millions of clients and billions of transactions completed each year, issues will arise from time to time. Our commitment is to ensure that we have the proper procedures in place to minimize the risk of issues arising in the first place, and to identify them quickly if they do. If issues do arise, we take them very seriously, investigate them immediately, and take appropriate actions. Our approach to these issues can be captured in three key themes: our people, our processes, and our culture.
Looking at our people, we make an ongoing investment in employee education and mandate that our employees refresh their training annually. In 2016 alone, we invested over $60 million in training. We are continuously coaching our team on best practices, and provide the most current information that will enable them to best serve our clients.
Our code of conduct is also very important. It sets out the principles and standards for our team's behaviour, ensuring that our actions and words reflect our culture. It also sets out expectations and protections for employees to speak up and voice their concerns, including through confidential means. We're also working to ensure that our team is empowered to get to know their clients, understand their goals, and work with their clients to help them meet those goals.
From a process perspective, we are focused on having the right programs, measurement, and incentives in place to ensure that our team models appropriate behaviours and actions. Further, to ensure that these processes and systems are working, we have intelligent monitoring in place. CIBC is absolutely accountable for these processes and monitoring, but we also actively work with various external parties, including our regulators, as they provide oversight to our industry.
Finally, on culture, at the heart of our reputation and culture is a team that puts our clients at the centre of everything we do. For CIBC, this starts with the tone from the top. From the most senior levels, we are committed to reinforcing a culture that puts our clients first and ensuring that this is the lens through which all decisions are made.
We are also committed to building an inclusive and empowered team through a culture of employee engagement. Whether volunteering for one of our community events, participating in learning and development initiatives, or being recognized by peers and management, our culture of engagement helps ensure that we work as one team towards the same goal of putting our clients at the heart of everything we do.
To this end, in 2016 we were recognized as one of Canada's 10 most admired corporate cultures by Waterstone. Our employee survey showed that 86% of employees felt that different points of view were of value in their teams, 89% would recommend CIBC as a place to do business, and 88% were proud to be identified with our bank.
We've also been recognized by Mediacorp as one of Canada's top 100 employers for five years running, and as one of the 50 most-engaged workplaces in Canada by Achievers for the last four years. We've also been awarded “most admired corporate cultures” awards twice in a five-year span.
In closing, I would like to thank the committee members for their time and attention to this topic. We welcome the opportunity for input and discussion here today.