Malaysia's best bank for CSR 2020: Maybank
Hong Leong Bank
It’s easy to approach Maybank’s stated ‘mission to humanize financial services’ with a sense of cynicism. It sounds like the sort of thing conjured up by a mid-level strategy team to polish an annual report or two. But a look at the bank’s community outreach programmes shows that those are not empty words.
The Maybank Foundation, run by Shahril Azuar Jimin, is focused on six pillars of public service to help fill voids in community empowerment, environmental diversity, arts and culture, education, healthy living and disaster relief.
The bank’s financial literacy programmes seem second to none across southeast Asia. Ditto for its Covid-19 outreach. MaybankHeart, a home-grown crowd-funding platform, is amassing donations to help front-line medical workers and the most at-risk communities.
But what impressed Asiamoney most is how Maybank is linking its gender equality initiatives with a pandemic wreaking havoc in communities that tend to access microcredit. One programme worth spotlighting involves the ancient art of textile weaving, a cultural affinity that cuts across all 10 members of Asean.
Environmental sustainability is another vital element of Maybank’s CSR initiatives. One notable project involves 500 mulberry farmers planting thousands of trees to produce nearly 21,000 kilograms of mulberry leaves for silk production. Farmers can earn between $8 and $20 a month to augment family income. The model has been recommended by Asean.
Maybank is aggressively expanding its CashVille Kidz financial training initiative. It is Malaysia’s first animation-based series designed to teach school children the importance of money and prepare them for future financial challenges. It’s a smart move to put emphasis on the next generation. After all, change doesn’t happen overnight.