CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 10

VII
CSR helps in riskmanagement. Building a genuine culture of doing the right thingwithin a corporation can offset the
risks of losing reputation because of any scandal or environmental accident. It also helps in brand differentiation. It
helps the corporations to have license to operate by avoiding interference through taxation and regulation. CSR
helps in improving financial performance. Financial institutions that demonstrate they are engaging in practices that
satisfy and go beyond regulatory compliance requirements are being given less scrutiny and free reign by both
national and local government entities. It is clear that institutions addressing ethical, social, and environmental
responsibilities have rapidly grown access to capital that might not otherwise have been available.
Report on BusinessMagazine recently noted that “many business leaders now believe that doing good for others
means doing good for shareholders as well.” Corporate social responsibility activities that integrate broader societal
concerns into business strategy and performance are evidence of goodmanagement. In addition to building trust
with the community and giving firms an edge in attracting good customers and employees, acting responsibly
towards workers and others in society can be in the long-term interest of firms and their shareholders.
Businesses are an integral part of the communities inwhich they operate. Their success is based on continued good
relations with awide range of individuals, groups and institutions. AsMichael Sabia, President andChief Executive
Officer of BCE Inc., has said, “Corporations are also social institutions.What they do and how they act and the role
they play in the community they operate in is important. ...We can build better communities, stronger communities
and, frankly, better places to operate business. The opportunity we have is compelling.”
There is noway to avoid paying serious attention to corporate citizenship: the costs of failing are simply too
high. ... There are countless win-win opportunities waiting to be discovered: every activity in a firm’s value chain
overlaps in someway with social factors— everything from how you buy or procure to how you do your research—
yet very few companies have thought about this. The goal is to leverage your company’s unique capabilities in
supporting social causes, and improve your competitive context at the same time. The job of today’s leaders is to
stop being defensive and start thinking systematically about corporate responsibility.
Michael Porter, Professor,
Harvard Business School, at the April 2005 Business and Society Conference onCorporateCitizenship
CSR Survey
In order to ensure that theCSRGuidelines are alignedwith the needs of themarket, we engagedwith theUnion of
Arab Banks (UAB) members to gauge their CSR interest and need. Out of themanymembers, wewere only able to
identify the right person to communicatewith onCSR for 150members and accordingly we engagedwith such
members through variousmeans; namely an online survey, by phone and by email. The total number of financial
institutions that completed the survey were 56 from the following countries:
Results of theCSR Survey will be referenced throughout theCSRGuidelines.
Sudan
Jordan
Syria
Egypt
Iraq
Morocco
Lebanon
Kuwait
Saudi Arabia
Oman
Bahrain
UAE
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