Banks’ desires to step up their efforts in corporate social responsibility were a victim of timing. The rush to prove their good corporate citizen credentials coincided with the fall-out from the global financial crisis. Inevitably, such efforts were greeted with a degree of cynicism.
But the competencies of many leading banks in this area are growing fast, and moving beyond charitable largesse and marketing manoeuvres to become a core strategic concern. And, crucially, the conversation now revolves around not just one-off projects, but also long-term, sustainable initiatives, many of them rooted in finance.
They range from localised efforts to improve educational facilities in Africa, to bringing about changes to central bank regulations in Brazil and leading the charge in developing impact investment.
And the push into CSR is diversifying: you are now as likely to see a small bank in a developing country devoting its resources to sustainable goals as you are one of the big global banks.
To recognize the increasing importance of this area, Euromoney reveals the winners of its inaugural achievement in CSR awards. These 10 winners from around the globe complement the recognition already given to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which won our global award for excellence in CSR for 2015.
Winners in alphabetical order: