BEST PRIVATE BANK – CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Today, the global financial services sector is aware, in no uncertain terms, that an essential part of its mandate is to deliver positive social impact as well as financial results. But even so, many financial institutions continue to fall short of their corporate and social responsibilities. Indeed, Asian Private Banker is a firm believer that financial performance and corporate and social responsibilities (CSR) are mutually-reinforcing goals, and it is for this reason that we have introduced the award for Best Private Bank – Corporate Social Responsibility.
The industry response has been resounding, with submissions coming in from across the region, including China and the Indian Subcontinent. Ultimately, one private bank proved beyond any doubt that it places the utmost importance in its corporate and social responsibilities and that it is committed to bringing together key stakeholders across society to exact a positive and lasting impact.
Credit Suisse, the winner of this inaugural award, focuses on three pillars to express its CSR vision. First, capacity building both for the social investment ecosystem comprising its partner charities, inclusive businesses and social enterprises through grants and employee engagement, as well as supporting Environmental, Social And Governance (ESG) capacity building through actively supporting peer banks and regulators across ASEAN economies on capacity building for ESG integration; secondly, collective impact through collaboration with non-profit organisations, governments and key funders including its clients; and thirdly, providing its clients with social impact investment opportunities.
A good example of Credit Suisse’s efforts to build an ecosystem for sustainable giving is its four-year technical assistance partnership with Asian Development Bank (ADB), among others. Through its flagship skills-based volunteering Global Citizenship Programme, the Swiss bank placed eight of its employees in ADB and ADB supported inclusive businesses, and also helped facilitate a number of workshops to support the organisation’s inclusive business programme in Asia..
Credit Suisse’s unique partnership model, which leverages strong ties with various stakeholders including governments, private foundations and social enterprises, has resulted in multiple successful collective impact case studies. For example, under the Collective Impact Hong Kong Initiative , Credit Suisse co-funded a Cradle to Classroom pilot programme, which supports parent and child bonding centres. And impressively, the bank is one of seven founding members of the Malaysia Collective Impact Initiative, a collective impact approach to improving education outcomes in Malaysia in literacy development and career aspirations.
Lastly, the private bank demonstrated its commitment to its clients through its various impact investing initiatives including its Asian impact investing fund – a partnership with UOB Venture Management – which provided its ultra high net worth clients and external investors the ability to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises whose businesses address key social challenges.
Accordingly, Credit Suisse’s employee engagement levels in Asia are well above the industry average, with more than 5,400 employees engaged in volunteer activities, clocking 55,830 hours and interacting with over 170 charitable organisations.
“This award is valuable testament to our corporate responsibility efforts in Asia focused around the theme of “Collaborating for Innovation”. Credit Suisse sees itself as an innovator in leading collaborative efforts to build the social investment ecosystem and also to advance sustainable practices in Asia by bringing together multiple actors including specifically leveraging government involvement in our initiatives. Our clients and their capital are also directly involved in these initiatives and benefit from them.”