Mongolia's best bank for CSR 2018: Arig Bank
Corporate social responsibility permeates everything Arig does. It is a stable and high-quality institution with roots that date back to 1997, making it one of the country’s oldest lenders, and with branches dotted around the big cities. But it is in the world of CSR that Arig really shines.
Acting chief executive Naranbaatar Radnaa sits on the steering committee of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, a non-profit formed in January 2018 that aims to channel more capital into sustainable firms and projects.
Beyond Arig’s laudable approach to everyday sustainability (it recycles almost everything it consumes, from plastic bottles to the clothing worn by its staff) and its commitment to combating Ulaan Baatar’s woeful air pollution, what stands out is the bank’s proactive approach to improving financial literacy. It runs training programmes on consecutive Saturdays between January 1 and October 31.
Aimed at the young but catering to people of all ages, the weekly sessions offer basic advice (such as how to map out a weekly household budget or open a savings account) right up to complex advice to those hoping to forge a career in banking and finance.
Arig Bank goes out of its way to ensure that it reaches out to people in places that other banks will not or cannot go. Thus, while financial literacy training might take place one week at its main headquarters on Chinggis Avenue in the capital, it is just as likely to be hosted the following Saturday at an Arig branch in Darkhan city in the north, or the remote central region of Bumbugur.
Radnaa and Odon Darjaa, Arig’s head of sustainability, point proudly to the highly specific outreach work the bank does, notably providing financial literacy coaching to more than 60 orphaned teenagers from around the country, in the year to May 2018.