Malaysia's best bank for CSR 2017: HSBC
Mukhtar Hussain’s HSBC Malaysia could well qualify for a corporate social responsibility award — with the emphasis on responsibility — because of its prudence in avoiding having anything to do with 1MDB. The toxic state development fund has so poisoned the Malaysian market, as Asiamoney explains elsewhere in this edition.
The anti-corruption messages plastered all over HSBC’s branches and office are a testament to the attention Hussain and the bank have paid.
More conventionally, HSBC Malaysia has been a big proponent of water conservation and quality, particularly in the country’s most populated catchment area, the Klang Valley surrounding Kuala Lumpur. It has partnered with Earthwatch and GEC to train employees to be so-called Citizen Science Leaders to raise water awareness concerns in the area.
GEC is also HSBC’s partner in a programme to help Malaysia’s plantation companies better manage and sustain the existing peat swamp forest habitats, a big deal in a country where industry has found that money does grow on trees in a land blanketed with palm oil.
The programme also aims to help alleviate the annual haze pollution from plantation burns that smothers the region.
The bank has also dedicated resources to KL’s homeless through its Pertiwi soup kitchen project, providing hygienic utensils, food and medicines for the destitute who gather in downtown KL.