Thailand's best bank for CSR 2020: Bank of Ayudhya
Bank of Ayudhya
Bank of Ayudhya, or Krungsri as it is known locally, is Thailand’s fifth-largest bank measured by assets. But many analysts still regard the Bangkok lender, which is 72% owned by Japan’s MUFJ, as a rising star in the industry and a potential long-term rival to the big local players such as KasikornBank, Bangkok Bank or Siam Commercial Bank.
In one respect it is already ahead of its peers. The bank, under chief executive Seiichiro Akita, has gone out of its way to prioritize social and environmental responsibility, incorporating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into every aspect of its business operations. This is particularly the case when it comes to serving the under-privileged or focusing on vital but frequently overlooked sectors such as the female SME and retail segments.
Examples of Krungsri’s leadership in this area are varied. In 2019, the lender became the first private‐sector entity in the Asia-Pacific region to issue Bt6.64 billion ($211 million) in gender bonds.
The pioneering deal not only expanded Krungsri’s ability to channel capital to female entrepreneurs in the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, but positively contributed to job creation and sustainable development.
Another good example of Krungsri’s approach to CSR is its focus on green financing by providing loans or other financial products based on the ‘sustainable lending’ guidelines.
As Krungsri celebrates 75 years of business in Thailand, the bank stepped up to the plate once again with a goal to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5 million kilogrammes of CO2e in support of climate action. That’s an ambitious target by any standards, but a laudable one.
To raise awareness of the urgent need for the reduction of single‐use plastic waste in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia, Krungsri has also provided refillable bottles together with reusable cloth bags to over 30,000 of its staff nationwide.