The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was considered in the early part of the 20th century but it received enormous impetus in the early 1950s. Primarily CSR starts with the consideration of social implications by any body corporate which is ultimately reflected through its initiatives towards betterment of the disadvantaged peoples of a society. As a stakeholder of the society, the Bank is keen to augment CSR activities gradually in the days to come. As such in broadly defining, CSR refers to the voluntary role of business towards building a better society and cleaner environment beyond its financial commitments and regulatory obligations. Considering importance of CSR, Bangladesh Bank since June 2008 officially started encouraging towards mainstreaming CSR in banks and financial institutions of Bangladesh.
We, at BASIC Bank Limited passionately believe that a better society is fundamental precondition for a better business environment. As such, CSR is viewed as one of the core corporate values of the Bank. As we all know, United Nations set eight goals (popularity known as Millennium Development Goals, such as eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality & empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development) in its millennium summit held at the UN Head Quarters, New York, USA in 2000 and Bangladesh is one of the signatories to achieve those goals by 2015. As such, we have aligned our CSR activities partially with those goals. Some of our CSR activities involved are summarized below:
It is globally accepted that the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) have been performing a laudable role in poverty alleviation across the globe, especially in Bangladesh. With a view to widen the access to finance by the poor and ultra poor community, BASIC Bank Limited has been financing NGOs for quite since 1995 at privileged rates of interest (between 7.00% and 13.00%). So far we have financed 65 NGOs of various categories and capacities from small to large and also from local/regional to national/international. Such activities also contributed to generation of income and employment as well.
As half of our population is woman, a sustainable national progress can’t be attained, if women are left aside. Therefore, they should progressively be brought to the mainstream of our development activities. Considering this reality the bank has been mobilizing credit facilities to the capable women entrepreneurs at a reduced rate of interest. So far we have financed several woman entrepreneurs and it will gain due momentum in the days to come.
Our Concern for the Environment
Today our planet is exposed to a severe environmental catastrophe than ever before. As a humble effort to reduce environmental pollution, we have financed 26 CNG refueling stations. Again, most of our office vehicles have already been converted to CNG fueling system. Use of CNG fuel also helps save hard earned foreign currency. Environmental issues are taken into account while assessing credit proposal for the industrial projects.
Sports and Cultural Activities
During the year 2011, the Bank extended financial support Tk.1.00 crore each to Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra and Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club towards development of games and sports. The Bank also contributed Tk.5.00 lac for making documentary on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, viewing tribute and homage to him. In the year 2011, an amount of Tk.8.00 lac was contributed for making documentary exhibition and archive of scarce footage of our great independence war. The Bank also contributed Tk.10.00 lac to Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation in the year 2011. The Bank has been one of the patrons for the Baishakhi Fair arranged by Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) to encourage the development of small and cottage industries since 2005. In the year 2011, the Bank sponsored Tk.4.00 lac to arrange Baishakhi Fair. The Bank also sponsored 25th to 31st National Junior Chess Championship by contributing Tk.1.00 lac in each year. It was a privilege and honor for the Bank to work with the 11th SA Games held since January 29, 2010 to February 09, 2010 in Dhaka as a co-sponsor by contributing Tk.1.00 crore to Bangladesh Olympic Association.
BASIC has been patronizing the Handball Federation by arranging BASIC Bank Limited Inter-district National Women Handball Tournament. The Bank also sponsored the National & International BASHAAP Championship in 2008. In the year 2010, BASIC Bank Limited donated Tk. 0.50 lac to Kabitalap for holding a program marking its 30 years anniversary. The Bank also donated a fund of Tk.1.00 lac to Krishibid Institution for organizing their national convention. On the other hand, our Bank donated Tk.3.00 lac in 2009 to Dhaka Amar Dhaka (a community based organization) to facilitate its elaborated program for celebration of 400 years of our beloved Dhaka City. In the year 2006 the Bank sponsored Tk.1.00 lac for organizing the SME fair. In the year 2008 and 2009, BASIC Bank Limited patronized the different theater groups to stage the drama festival. Recently, the Bank took part in the drama festival to celebrate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore participated by different renowned theater groups from both Bangladesh and India.
In the year 2011, the Bank donated 25,000 pieces of blankets to Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund. In the previous year the Bank donated an amount Tk.1.00 crore to the same Fund for the rehabilitation of the victims of the Nimtoli Fire Tragedy. In the year 2007, the Bank donated Tk.25.00 lac to the Chief Adviser’s Relief Fund for the flood affected people and Tk.25.00 lac for the SIDR victims.
During 2011, the Bank distributed Tk.5.00 lac among the meritorious students of Gopalganj Zilla Samity. In 2010, BASIC Bank Limited donated a fund of Tk.50.00 lac to the aggrieved families of the two late secretaries of the Government of Bangladesh for maintaining the educational expenditure of their children. Besides, the Bank also contributed a fund of Tk.5.00 lac to the daughters of late Chapa Rani Bhowmik for their education purpose. In 2009 BASIC Bank Limited donated Tk.2.00 lac to Bangladesh Asiatic Society for publishing Bengali version of the largest National encyclopedia of Bangladesh. In publishing the first edition (English version) of the encyclopedia, BASIC Bank Limited donated Tk.5.00 lac as well. ‘BASIC Bank Limited Gold Medal’ was introduced in collaboration with the Banking Department, University of Dhaka for the students of the department with outstanding academic achievements. With a view to provide a smooth interface between student life and professional life, we offer internship facility to the BBA and MBA students of different universities with commendable academic records after completion of all other academic requirements. In the year 2010, a huge numbers of interns were granted the opportunities to groom with us in a truly professional, dynamic and challenging corporate environment.
Promotion of Entrepreneurship
The promoters of the Bank envisaged fostering entrepreneurship amongst the potential, new and small entrepreneurs and generating employment through financing Small and Medium Scale Industries (SMIs) towards industrialization actually needed for economic growth of the country. Keeping the dream in mind, we never ran after the so-called blue chips (the established and larger corporations) towards profit maximize of the Bank. Rather, we always remained stick to the triple bottom line: People, Planet & Profit and focused attention to the SMIs which is ultimately promotion of SMEs. In this way, a lot of entrepreneurs have grown with us through which employment opportunities are created for a large number of people.
Health Care Program
Access to healthcare facilities is one of the fundamental rights of every human being. However, most of our people, especially the underprivileged group has little or no access to health care facilities. As such, BASIC Bank Limited is committed to assist those poor people, who have no way to secure basic treatment. In the year 2011, the Bank distributed about Tk.3.00 lac amongst different disadvantaged individuals. The Bank also paid Tk.1.00 lac to Mr. Md. Kamal Hossain, an employee of Sonali Bank, for his ailing baby suffering from leukemia. In the year 2010, the Bank patronizes some organizations, which work for improvement of public health. Also in 2009 the bank donated SANDHANI & Lions Eye Hospital in organizing their free treatment campaign held at different places across the country. The Bank also extended its assistance to some acid victims directly.
Generation of awareness is a very useful tool to combat social evils, like drug addiction, smoking, pollution, terrorism, population etc. For this purpose, the Bank has continue to display banner, festoon sticker, display board and use such other communication channels for discouraging drug, smoking, pollution, population growth etc. The Bank kept continued such awareness building activities for the year 2011. In 2010, the Bank donated a sum of Tk.0.50 lac to Sundarban Supporters Committee for creating awareness to elect Sundarban as the new eleven Wonders of the World・ Earlier, the Bank published such sticker and display banners and festoon in observance of the National Family Planning Day - 2010, the World Environment Day-2010, the National Tree Plantation Week - 2010 and the National Fisheries Day-2010.
The Bank donated for publishing a souvenir marking the 90 years of anniversary of Bangla Department of Dhaka University in the year 2011. The Bank does not impose any fee to the job applicants for the position of Assistant Manager, Officer and Assistant Officer whereas the Bank is required to make a sizeable expense for this purpose.
The Bank has an active plan to establish a charitable organization in the name of "BASIC Bank Foundation" to augment CSR activities through expanding both nature and magnitude towards implementation of social obligations in an organized manner for a better Bangladesh.