Thailand's best bank for CSR 2017: Bank of Ayudhya
Bank of Ayudhya
Few Thai lenders – indeed, few regional financial institutions – can claim to have given as much back to the community over the years as Bank of Ayudhya. Since its formation 68 years ago, and long before the concept was given a name and an acronym, Bank of Ayudhya has remained resolutely committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Sometimes that means donating directly to public and private charities that focus on education, culture and the arts, young people and humanitarian activities. Or it can mean forming its own charitable interests, most notably Earth Care, an NGO founded by the bank in 2013 with the aim of cutting pollution, improving the environment and slashing energy use.
Its CSR pillars, which include providing financial support, creating sustainability value and giving back to the community, bleed into everything the bank does, informing its Sustainable Development Goals 2030 programme, an overarching plan that tackles the most complex issues of them all, including combating climate change, strengthening social institutions, and eradicating poverty.
Perhaps the most noble of all of its ambitions involves the lender’s hope of bringing financial literacy to the poorer reaches of southeast Asia, including remote regions of Thailand and Laos. In 2016 alone, Bank of Ayudhya provided financial literacy lessons to more than 5,000 students attending 94 schools scattered across 27 provinces in those two countries.
It has won prizes galore from across the spectrum of finance and society for its efforts to make Thailand – and the wider region – a fairer and more equal place, and it richly deserves this award.