Hong Kong's best bank for CSR 2020: Bank of China (Hong Kong)
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
A bank’s corporate and social responsibility effort should start from within.
This was evident in the way Bank of China (Hong Kong) tackled the spread of Covid-19 in the special administrative region this year.
It quickly closed a handful of its branches, implemented work-from-home measures for its staff, gave them special subsidies for travel and virus prevention and boosted their medical coverage. It also promised not to lay off any employees or freeze their salaries in order to help them pull through the economic slump hitting Hong Kong.
BoCHK took an equally rapid approach to helping its customers – both personal and commercial – ride out the challenges posed by the pandemic.
It launched numerous financial support initiatives, including a principal moratorium for mortgage loans, fee concessions and waivers, fully guaranteed loans to local enterprises impacted by Covid-19 and a new loan scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The response was immediate. BoCHK, led by chief executive Gao Yingxin, received about 14,000 enquiries by early May for its offerings. It approved 2,200 applications, of which half were from customers seeking a moratorium on their mortgage principal.
BoCHK’s CSR efforts during the crisis were not limited to its staff and clients. It donated HK$15 million ($1.9 million) to local non-governmental organizations, including a hospital group, while also sending medical protection gear to southeast Asian countries.
Away from Covid-19 relief measures, BoCHK has continued to emphasize environmental protection through paperless services and use of renewable energy. In 2019, the bank received a green loan certification from Hong Kong’s Quality Assurance Agency.
BoCHK’s proportion of green and sustainability linked loans rose 7.8 times last year versus 2018.