Malaysia's best bank for CSR 2019: CIMB
In 2017, CIMB’s then chairman Nazir Razak declared the bank would be sending 1% of its profits to its CSR-enabling agency, the CIMB Foundation, for philanthropic and charitable initiatives, a bold gesture that would triple CIMB’s annual CSR spend over the subsequent years to between RM65 million and RM75 million ($15.6 million to $18 million).
Malaysia was different then. Nazir’s brother, Najib Razak, was Malaysia’s prime minister and few could imagine his UMNO party would ever be out of power. But six months later, Najib was toppled, and is now on trial for corruption. Nazir also stepped away from his job, after 29 years at the bank.
But CIMB’s pledge remains, the most generous of CSR initiatives among Malaysian banks. A scroll through the CIMB Foundation’s website shows 18 separate CIMB-sponsored projects on community development and 10 with sport since May 2018. Cross-cultural – important in a masala Malaysia – these initiatives range from feeding the poor, often at CIMB ‘open house’ branches, to sponsoring Malaysia’s rising stars in cycling, squash and gymnastics.
Over the last decade, the CIMB Foundation has distributed about RM100 million to more than 900 projects across its Asean markets, benefitting about 700,000 people.