CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 9

The contribution of the financial sector to sustainable development is paramount, considering the crucial role they
play in financing the economic and developmental activities of theworld. In this context, the urgency for banks to act
as responsible corporate citizens in the society, especially in developing countries, need be hardly overemphasized.
The financial sector in theMENA region is consideredmost effective for its leverage ability within all other industries
and sectors and its considerable fiscal capabilities.
Furthermore, as a result of the unique characteristics and features of the financial industry in general and the
functioning of financial organizations in particular, CSR of these institutions differs fromCSR of other companies.
Banks are accountable for public savings and deposits that ought to bemanaged properly and effectively; they
provide finance for large businesses and small andmedium-sized enterprises, basic financial services to a broad
segment of the population and access to payment systems. All such activities share a common denominator:
representation and services to the local public and stakeholders. Accordingly, financial institutions need to be
managed appropriately while ensuring effective engagement with the community to serve the community and
provide the community with its financial needs, to facilitate the sustainable growth and success of local businesses
generating an impact on national economy through their lending criteria, decisionmaking and investment
All groups in society strive to add value andmake life better; the financial sector is not that different. Businesses rely
on the society withinwhich they operate; they need the infrastructure that society provides, the source of its
employees, not tomention its consumer base. CSR recognizes that inter-dependence and ameans to ensure the
mutual benefit of businesses and the societies withinwhich they are based.
CSR is a strategic business tool – an economic instrument if youmay. CSR represents a holistic approach to business.
EffectiveCSRwill infuse all aspects of operations. The actions corporations take today to incorporateCSR throughout
the organization represent a real point of differentiation and competitivemarket advantage onwhich future success
can hinge.
To achieve its long-term aim of embedding theCSR culture in the financial sector in the Arab region, theUABwith its
largemember base is to encourage and advance the notion, practice and ability to effectively invest inCSR.
TheCSRGuidelines are intended to provideUABmembers with guidance on general CSR principles and practices to
which these banks should be committed as part of a sound banking practice. TheCSRGuidelines are provided for
the benefit of in order to assist in enhancing, improving and implementing effectiveCSR best practices whether or
not such practices are legally required by relevant local laws and regulations.
Furthermore, theCSRGuidelines are intended to correlate all applicableCSR practicesmaking them available in
one resource hence easily accessible.
CSR is specifically of great importance to theMENA region for its highly desired effects in facilitating long-term
development, making good business sense, empowering the private sector to take part in regional development,
helping to achieve political stability, and gaining stakeholder loyalty, trust and support.
The project will significantly impact the development of MENA’s banking industry in addition to help in ensuring that
a safe, sound, and functioning banking industry is in place in the sector: a necessary precursor to effective and
efficient development of the sector.
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