Asia's best bank for CSR 2017: State Bank of India
Awards for Excellence 2017
Few banks in the world have made greater efforts to reach those in poverty than State Bank of India (SBI). As chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya told Euromoney last year: “I have customers in the bank who have to be led by the hand to give their left thumb impression. When you dispense the money, you have to tell them the amount orally, because they can neither read nor write.”
Mandated by the state, SBI will not abandon these people just because it might be commercially expedient to do so, and in fact it has made it a stated mission to enable them through digital financial inclusion. Bhattacharya says she and State Bank of India are “proud torchbearers of a glorious tradition of social service.”
SBI’s award as best bank for corporate and social responsibility partly reflects the work of the SBI Foundation to improve the lot of the poor. In the 2015/16 financial year, it committed the equivalent of $21.6 million to priority areas, including healthcare and the improvement of childhood mortality rates, providing education more widely, empowering women, caring for senior citizens and improving sanitation.