How to find a bank with strong corporate social responsibility

Yes, we’re well aware that this may sound like an oxymoron to some! But cheeky jokes aside, this is a question we’ve been increasingly receiving. So today we thought we’d look into what good corporate social responsibility means, and how you can find it in a bank.

What do you look for when pairing with a bank?

An attractive rate? Convenience? Low fees? High transparency?

What about good corporate social responsibility?

In the wake of the Banking Royal Commission, it’s a question we’re seeing pop up more and more.

In fact, even before the royal commission a report found that 4 in 5 Australians would consider moving their investments to another provider if their current provider engaged in activities not consistent with their values.

So, as property is likely one of your biggest investments, today we thought we’d take a look at what exactly corporate social responsibility means and how you can find out if your bank embraces it.

What is corporate social responsibility?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is generally understood to mean that corporations have a degree of responsibility not only for the economic consequences of their activities, but also for the social and environmental implications, according to the Australian Human Right’s Commission.

Some lenders sponsor rescue helicopters, many provide community grants, while others throw their support behind social causes.

If you’d like to know what type of CSR work your bank does, simply google your bank’s name + CSR. The more recent the result the better, especially in the wake of the banking royal commission.

That said, as Dr Stephanie Schleimer from the Griffith Business School points out to the ABC, “CSR reports are not meant to be glossy brochures that look like advertising.”

In other words: it’s one thing for banks to make a snazzy list of their CSR activities, it’s entirely another for them to make a meaningful impact.

So how do I find a bank with strong CSR principles?

Well, you see, if you google “banks ranked corporate social responsibility” you’ll find…

Huh, not much. Basically banks tooting their own horn in their own reports.

Not to worry.

Maybe, if you try googling “best bank CSR” you’ll find… Nevermind…

You see, this is where it gets a bit tricky.

What you consider ethical, or to be a bank displaying strong CSR principles, will be completely different from the next person.

It’s a bit of a case of horses for courses, if you will.

Hmmm. So are there any other ways to identify strong CSR lenders?

Absolutely! Come and have a chat with us.

Everyone’s ethical compass points a slightly different way, so we can give you a pretty good idea of lenders on our panel that are making efforts in the areas of CSR that you may identify with.

It’s definitely a topic we’re seeing come up more frequently, so rest assured we’re watching this space closely.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.