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Myanmar's best bank for CSR 2018: KBZ Bank

KBZ Bank

KBZ is an exceptional lender with a storied history and matchless connections in the capital Naypyidaw. Its domestic clout and strength means that its CSR credentials are often overlooked. Yet KBZ is the undoubted domestic leader in this field, its commitment to corporate and social responsibility stemming from a terrible and destructive moment in the country’s modern history. In 2008, a massive cyclone crashed into Myanmar’s long coastline, killing 138,000 people, displacing millions, and causing at least $10 billion worth of damage. That calamity compelled the bank to set up its social initiative division, KBZ Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation, and to get to work.

The foundation has since disbursed $103 million in financial aid to a host of projects, including disaster-relief programmes, women’s health and empowerment schemes, and environmental conservation projects.

In one initiative, the bank put $7 million to work in a project aimed at distributing clean water to thousands of villages in southern Shan state.

Education is another key focus, with the foundation dispensing micro-loans to more than 12,000 people in rural areas around the Yangon, and college grants to thousands of the country’s best but poorest students.