Middle East’s best bank for corporate responsibility 2021: National Bank of Bahrain
Corporate responsibility is at the heart of what National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) does. It is hard to find worthy projects, causes and charities that the Manama-based lender is not involved in funding and furthering.
Under the leadership of chief executive Jean-Christophe Durand, NBB helped distribute food coupons to 57 local charities during the pandemic, supporting hundreds of low-income families, and donated 3,000 food baskets to a Covid relief fund run by the Migrant Workers Protection Society, a local non-governmental organization (NGO).
Pandemic relief measures abound, including deferring monthly loans for local citizens for up to six months at zero cost and an early push to allow staff to work from home, with priority for the sick and the at-risk. NBB raised the limit on Tap&Go mobile payments to BD50 ($53.20) from BD20 in the pandemic’s early days to encourage people to switch to digital banking and doubled the daily ATM withdrawal limit to BD2,000.
Many NGOs benefit from its altruism, but two in particular stand out. Injaz Bahrain, a non-profit that helps young people get off the streets and into the workplace, and AlMabarrah Al Khalifia, a foundation that equips young people with the right skills to be leaders. NBB also worked with and funded Al Manar, a centre caring for the elderly, and two institutions, the Bahrain Historical & Archaeological Society and the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture & Research, which help to preserve Bahraini heritage.
In the spring of 2020, National Bank of Bahrain joined forces with StartUp Bahrain to encourage entrepreneurship and sponsored the 12th edition of the annual Young Entrepreneurs competition.