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Strategies for Adopting CSR in the Business of Sonali Bank Limited

Strategies for Adopting CSR in the Business of Sonali Bank Limited

Sonali Bank Limited (SBL) is the largest government commercial bank in
Bangladesh addresses social concerns that threaten the structure of society and
redress social conditions that adversely affect the well-being of people and
society of Bangladesh.
Banking industry in Bangladesh is now a days very prospective and competitive.
To give a competitive edge, CSR is a very strong and helpful tool for any bank.
Sonali Bank took the tool and work with it before anyone does in the banking
industry in Bangladesh..SBL is one of the most successful banks in Bangladesh
and still growing having enough prospects. Other player in the banking industry
should take a part in this field to gain certain competitive edge.
Today, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goes far beyond the old
philanthropy of the past donating money to good causes at the end of the
financial year and is instead an all year round responsibility that companies
accept for the environment around them, for the best working practices, for their
engagement in their local communities and for their recognition that brand
names depend not only quality, price and uniqueness but on how they interact
with companies workforce, community and environment. CSR encourages
companies to look at a wider range of stakeholder interests, which can widen
understanding of the potential risks and opportunities for the business while
offering wider social or environmental gains.
SBL practice thus encompass the professional activities of helping individuals,
families, groups, organizations, and communities to enhance or restore their
capacity for optimal social functioning and of creating societal conditions
favorable to this goal. They see Corporate Social Responsibility as the business
contribution to sustainable development.
Modern banking system plays a vital role for a nations economic development.
Over the last few years the banking world has been undergoing a lot of changes
due to deregulation, technological innovations, globalization etc. These changes
also made revolutionary changes of a countrys economy. Present world is
changing rapidly to face the challenge of competitive free market economy. It is
well recognized that there is an urgent need for better-qualified management
and better-trained staff in the dynamic global financial market. Bangladesh is no
exceptions of this trend. . Banking Sector in Bangladesh is facing challenges from
different angles though its prospect is bright now and in the future.
To meet up the growing needs of skilled and eligible managerial and executive
manpower of in the country, University Of Uttara, has initiated the BBA (Bachelor
Business Administrator) Program which follows the international education
quality standards. The objective of the BBA Program is to prepare individuals to
develop the specific skills and judgment required for effective business

operation. The BBA Program is designed to integrate the whole business

knowledge and ideas to with gather practical knowledge about actual business
environment and activities. For this purpose, our course supervisor has assigned
me to prepare a report on the topic Strategies for adopting CSR in the business:
Sonali Bank Limited.
The primary objective of the study is to meet the partial requirements for the
fulfillment of the BBA Program.
The core objectives of the report in bank are as follows
To gain practical exposures in CSR activities conducted by banks.
To apply theoretical knowledge in the practical field.
To observe and analyze the performance of CSR activities of the bank.
To find out the effect of CSR activities in the country both for the stakeholders
and the organization.
To have some practical exposures that will be helpful for my future; student
as well as a professional in rest of my life.
The report is mainly
The Secondary Sources of data and informations are
Internet was used as a theoretical source of information.
Some article has been used as a source of critics and their analysis.
Daily newspaper and the banks website is used for sourcing related
information about the bank.
Analyzing the critical financial business activities of a Bank is not that easy.
Moreover due to obvious reasons of lack of my expertise we might not make the
report as like as it should be. But we have tried our best to make is as much
better as possible to us.
The following main limitations are apparent in the report
We do not have that much practical knowledge to make the report that much
The availability of information was limited. We could not collect all the
necessary information we needed.
Making the report on the whole banking industry was hardly possible for us.
That is why, with the permission of our instructor, we put a limit on our report
and conduct the report on only SBL.

And of course as students of BBA Program, we might not be able to capture

the whole situation in our report for our lacking of experience in this regard.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility is necessarily an evolving term that does not
have a standard definition or a fully recognized set of specific criteria. With the
understanding that businesses play a key role on job and wealth creation in
society, CSR is generally understood to be the way a company achieves a
balance or integration of economic, environmental, and social imperatives while
at the same time addressing shareholder and stakeholder expectations. CSR is
generally accepted as applying to firms wherever they operate in the domestic
and global economy. The way businesses engage/involve the shareholders,
employees, customers, suppliers, governments, non-governmental organizations,
international organizations, and other stakeholders is usually a key feature of the
concept. While business compliance with laws and regulations on social,
environmental and economic objectives set the official level of CSR performance,
CSR is often understood as involving the private sector commitments and
activities that extend beyond this foundation of compliance with laws.
From a progressive business perspective, CSR usually involves focusing on new
opportunities as a way to respond to interrelated economic, societal and
environmental demands in the marketplace. Many firms believe that this focus
provides a clear competitive advantage and stimulates corporate innovation.
CSR is generally seen as the business contribution to sustainable development
which has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,
and is generally understood as focusing on how to achieve the integration of
economic, environmental, and social imperatives. CSR also overlaps and often is
synonymous with many features of other related concepts such as corporate
sustainability, corporate accountability, corporate responsibility, corporate
citizenship, corporate stewardship, etc..
CSR commitments and activities typically address aspects of a firms behavior
(including its policies and practices) with respect to such key elements as; health
and safety, environmental protection, human rights, human resource
management practices, corporate governance, community development, and
consumer protection, labor protection, supplier relations, business ethics, and
stakeholder rights.
The practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Proponents argue
that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in
multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own
immediate, short-term profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the
fundamental economic role of businesses; others argue that it is nothing more
than superficial window-dressing; still others argue that it is an attempt to preempt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational
The societal marketing concept is an enlightened marketing that holds that a
company should make good marketing decisions by considering consumers

wants, the companys requirements, and societys long-term interests. It is

closely linked with the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility and of
Sustainable Development.
The concept has an emphasis on social responsibility and suggests that for a
company to only focus on exchange relationship with customers might not be in
order to sustain long term success. Rather, marketing strategy should deliver
value to customers in a way that maintains or improves both the consumers and
the societys well-being.
Most companies recognize that socially responsible activities improve their
image among customers, stockholders, the financial community, and other
relevant publics. Ethical and socially responsible practices are simply good
business, resulting not only in favorable image, but ultimately in increased sales.
Societal marketing should not be confused with social marketing. The societal
marketing concept was a forerunner of sustainable marketing in integrating
issues of social responsibility into commercial marketing strategies. In contrast to
that, social marketing uses commercial marketing theories, tools and techniques
to social issues. Social marketing applies a customer orientated approach and
uses the concepts and tools used by commercial marketers in pursuit of social
goals like Anti-Smoking-Campaigns or fund raising for NGOs.
Development of CSR
Business ethics is a form of the art of applied ethics that examines ethical
principles and moral or ethical problems that can arise in a business
environment. In the increasingly conscience-focused marketplaces of the 21st
century, the demand for more ethical business processes and actions (known as
ethicism) is increasing. Simultaneously, pressure is applied on industry to
improve business ethics through new public initiatives and laws.
Business ethics can be both a normative and a descriptive discipline. As a
corporate practice and a career specialization, the field is primarily normative. In
academia, descriptive approaches are also taken. The range and quantity of
business ethical issues reflects the degree to which business is perceived to be
at odds with non-economic social values. Historically, interest in business ethics
accelerated dramatically during the 1980s and 1990s, both within major
corporations and within academia. For example, today most major corporate
websites lay emphasis on commitment to promoting non-economic social values
under a variety of headings (e.g. ethics codes, social responsibility charters). In
some cases, corporations have redefined their core values in the light of
business ethical considerations (e.g. BPs beyond petroleum environmental
The term CSR itself came in to common use in the early 1970s although it was
seldom abbreviated. The term stakeholder, meaning those impacted by an
organizations activities, was used to describe corporate owners beyond
shareholders from around 1989.
Companies interested in advancing corporate social responsibility and in
improving their social and environmental performance as part of their business

have a wide range of tools available for application. Tools can vary widely in
terms of objectives, scope, costs, level of formality, partnerships, extent of
stakeholder involvement, and many other characteristics. Tools can be applied to
one or more of the planning, implementation, checking, and improvement facets
of corporate operations.
Businesses have options in how they can use the tools. For example, companies
can use the tools that have been developed by others or they can develop their
own tools either independently or in partnership with other stakeholders. SBL
develop their own CSR tools and other can follow them at the beginning stage.
On the other hand SBL can follow the best practice around the world.
Approaches of Adopting CSR
Some commentators have identified a difference between the Continental
European and the Anglo-Saxon approaches to CSR. And even within Asia the
discussion about CSR is very heterogeneous.
An approach for CSR that is becoming more widely accepted is community-based
development projects. An often alternative approach to this is the establishment
of education facilities for childrens, as well as HIV/AIDS education program for
adults. The majority of these CSR projects are established in Africa. A more
common approach of CSR is through the giving of aid to local organizations and
impoverished communities in developing countries. Some organizations do not
like this approach as it does not help build on the skills of the local people,
whereas community-based development generally leads to more sustainable
Auditing and reporting
To demonstrate good business citizenship, firms can report in accordance with a
number of CSR reporting guidelines or standards, including:
Accountabilitys AA1000 standard, based on John Elkingtons triple bottom line
(3BL) reporting
Global Reporting Initiatives Sustainability Reporting Guidelines
Veritys Monitoring Guidelines
Social Accountability Internationals SA8000 standard
Green Globe Certification / Standard
The ISO 14000 environmental management standard
The United Nations Global Compact promotes companies reporting in the format
of a Communication on Progress (COP). A COP report describes the companys
implementation of the Compacts ten universal principles.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International
Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) provides voluntary
technical guidance on eco-efficiency indicators, corporate responsibility reporting
and corporate governance disclosure.

Some nations require CSR reporting, though agreement on meaningful

measurements of social and environmental performance is difficult. Many
companies now produce externally audited annual reports that cover Sustainable
Development and CSR issues (Triple Bottom Line Reports), but the reports vary
widely in format, style, and evaluation methodology (even within the same
industry). Critics dismiss these reports as lip service, citing examples such as
Enrons yearly Corporate Responsibility Annual Report and tobacco
corporations social reports.
the SONALI Bank Limited:
Background of SBL
: SBL Profile
Name of the Company

Sonali Bank Limited

Quazi Baharul Islam

CEO and Managing Director

Company Secretary

Zaheed Hossain

Legal Status :

Pradip Kumar Dutta

Public Limited Company

Emerged as Nationalized Commercial Bank in 1972, following
the Bangladesh Bank (Nationalization) Order No. 1972(PO No.26 of 1972)
Date of Incorporation

Date of Vendors Agreement

Registered Office

03 June, 2007

15 November, 2007

35-42, 44 Motijheel Commercial Area, Dhaka,

Authorized Capital :

Taka 2000.00 core

Paid-up Capital

Taka 1125.00 core

Number of Employee


Number of Branches


Phone-PABX :

9550426-31, 33, 34, 9552924

88-02-9561410, 9552007




E-mail :

About Uttara Model Town Branch

Year of establishment: 1985
Name of the Manager: Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Number of Employees: 40.

Address of the branch: Sonali Bank Limited, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka-1230
Way of Contact:

Tel.- 8951211, 8914639


History of Sonali Bank Limited:

Soon after independence of the country Sonali Bank emerged as the largest and
leading Nationalized Commercial Bank by proclamation of the Banks
Nationalization Order 1972 (Presidential Order-26) liquidating the then National
Bank of Pakistan, Premier Bank and Bank of Bhwalpur. As a fully state owned
institution, the bank had been discharging its nation-building responsibilities by
undertaking government entrusted different socio-economic schemes as well as
money market activities of its own volition, covering all spheres of the economy.
The bank has been converted to a Public Limited Company with 100% ownership
of the government and started functioning as Sonali Bank Limited from
November 15 2007 taking over all assets, liabilities and business of Sonali Bank.
After corporatization, the management of the bank has been given required
autonomy to make the bank competitive & to run its business effectively.
Sonali Bank Limited is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of 11(Eleven)
members. The Bank is headed by the Chief Executive Officer & Managing
Director, who is a well-known Banker and a reputed professional. The corporate
head quarter of the bank is located at Motijheel, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the
main commercial center of the capital.
Socially committed leading banking institution with global presence.
Dedicated to extend a whole range of quality products that support divergent
needs of people aiming at enriching their lives, creating value for the
stakeholders and contributing towards socio-economic development of the
Your trusted partner in innovating banking.
Sonali Bank at a glance
SBL is one of the largest public banks in Bangladesh. Recently it is going to
introduce shares. It operates through One Head Office, 30 Main Divisional
Offices, 6 General Managers Office, 42 Principal Offices, 19 Regional Offices and
198 fully computerized branches, ensuring best possible and fastest services to
its valud clients and efficient management.
Management of Sonali Bank

The Board of Directors is the top of Management, which is constituted in terms of

the Bangladesh Banks Nationalization Order 1972. Management hierarchy of
Sonali Bank is given below:

General Meeting In SBL Conference

Functional Structure
Sonali Bank Limited is the largest commercial bank of Bangladesh. It has 1187
branches throughout the country. It has also overseas branches. The Head Office
of the bank is located at the Motijheel Commercial Area, Dhaka. The Divisions are
headed by the DGMs and the departments are by AGMs. There are also many
sections under every department in the Head Office. A DGM is the chief of the
Principal Office and an AGM usually runs a regional office. Principal Offices are
the local points of the banks administrative zone in the districts. The regional
offices are under control and supervision of principal offices. The offices are
situated at Thana level within the districts. The corporate are nearly equivalent
to the GM office and usually headed by the DGMS. They provide all the banking
services such as general banking, loans & advances etc.
Interest Rate
Sonali Bank diversified its rate of Interest on loan and advances in compliance
with the interest rate policy declared by Govt. in 2005. To encourage the
agricultural sector the rate of interest fixed to 2.0-16.0 percent and to increase
the rate of industrial production and services industry, the rate of interest rate is
fixed to 9.0-11.0 percent and 13.0 percent. Rate of interest of Sonali Bank is
given below:

Loan Advance

Savings Account
Short Term Deposit Account
Fixed Deposit Account
Weighted Average Agricultural Sector Industrial Sector
Service Sectors
Weighted Average

2006 3.50






12.00 9.89

2007 4.00






13.00 10.40

2008 5.00






13.00 10.61

2009 5.00






13.00 10.58

2010 5.00





12.00-13.00 13.00 8.16

2011 5.00





12.00-13.00 13.00 8.16

[Source: annual report of Sonali Bank on 2006-2011]


Sonali Bank staff college, Dhaka along with four Training Institutes / Centers at
Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Bogra have been conducting training program
covering total Banking activities in order to impart training to all categories of
officers and staff of Sonali Bank.
In the year 2003 as many as 8430 officers and staff received training in 383
batches of different courses, workshops and seminars conducted by the
aforesaid training institution & Staff College.
Library Facilities
With the objectives of enriching knowledge and working efficiency of the officers
and members of the staff of Sonali Bank, the Bank has a central library. Library is
situated on the 7th floor of its Head Office Building. It has now been turned into a
modern library by extending its facilities. It has been enlarged with the latest
books on Banking, Foreign Exchange, Computer, Management, Accounting,
Agriculture, Industrial Finance, Economics, Economics, Religion, and Literature
and on many other disciplines. Moreover, different international journals covering
world economy, political and other aspects are also being available here to
attract and inspire the readers.
Corporate Social Responsibility of SBL
Activities of SONALI Bank Foundation (SBL)
The ethos of SBL for pursuing its activities in social arena has got further
momentum with your enthusiasm and support. Sonali Bank Foundation (SBL) is
consistently pursuing its objective of being active in those social areas where it is
needed most. The Foundation carries out diverse social and philanthropic
activities in the field of education, health, conservation of nature, creation of
social awareness, rehabilitation of distressed people and such other programs to
redress human sufferings. It also promotes different socio-cultural and sports
activities. Your Board of Directors in order to discharge its corporate social
responsibilities in a greater perspective continued its contribution amounting to
5.00% of Banks profit after charging loan loss provision to Sonali Bank
Foundation (SBL).
It is important that citizens of a society enjoy the full benefits that society offers.
A society, in turn, flourishes when its citizen can contribute their fullest potential.
The well-being of individuals is jeopardizing when normal developmental
processes are interrupted by personal crisis, poverty, unemployment, poor
health and inadequate education. SONALI BANK LIMITED (SBL) is the first
Bangladeshi bank in Bangladesh addresses social concerns that threaten the
structure of society and redress social conditions that adversely affect the wellbeing of people and society. SBL practice thus encompass the professional
activities of helping individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities
to enhance or restore their capacity for optimal social functioning and of
.creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Sonali Bank Limited
Foundation (SBLF) was established on 3rd June, 2001 to perform humanitarian
works like rehabilitation of the destitute and neglected portion of the society
especially grassroots level poor in right track. Aim and objectives of SBLF are as
Aim and objectives of SBLF:

To grant, pay or give, award scholarship, stipends, prizes, rewards, allowance and
other financial assistance or help in cash or kind to students with a view to help
them in prosecuting their study in universities, schools, colleges, educational
institutions, technical institutions, art schools, institutions of teaching
commercial and training, research or educational works in Bangladesh or abroad
subject to such terms and conditions as shall from time to time be prescribed by
the Board of Trustees for advancement and promotion of education.
To foster and encourage education and training in the field of banking among the
persons employed in banking sector or who wishes to partake training with a
view to be engaged in banking service and to establish and found institutions
imparting such education and to establish, maintain, support or .help by
monetary gifts or otherwise, centers and institutions for such education and
To meet traveling, boarding and lodging expenses for students going abroad for
higher commercial and technical education, especially in banking subject(s).
To open, found, establish, promote, set-up, run, maintain, assist, finance, support
and I aid or help in setting up and / or maintaining and / or running hospitals,
clinics, maternity and child care centre, boarding houses, libraries, readingrooms, gymnasium and other training and vocational institutes.
To publish and or publishing books, pamphlets, periodicals, and newspapers in
Bangladesh or outside for the spread and advancement of education and culture.
To establish, promote, set-up, maintain, assist, financial support and / or aid to or
to help in the setting up and / or maintaining and / or running schools and other
institutions, orphanages, widow homes, lunatic, asylums, old homes, poor houses
or other establishments for relief and / or help to the poor, old and infirm people
and / or destitute or to give, provide and / or render help and assistance in cash
or kind to poor and or destitute, widows, etc; or to give, provide and I or render
help and assistance to and / or implement any scheme for providing livelihood
and enlistment of the poor.
To give, provide and I or render food, medicine and other help find assistance in
any shape or form to the poor deserving and needy persons.
To give, provide and I or render monetary and / or other help and assistance for
the relief of persons and animals affected by natural and other calamities such
as flood, fire, famine, cyclone, earth-quake, storm, accident, pestilence, drought,
epidemic, etc.
To open, found, establish, promote, set-up, run, maintain, assist, finance, support
and / or aid or help in the setting up and / or maintaining and / or running
institutions, centre, auditoriums and the like for the running of welfare and other
services to the public and to provide meeting-room for socially useful activities
and functions.
To promote, organize, administer, establish, support, maintain, and / or grant to
any person, institution or society or organization whatsoever having for its
objects or charitable purposes and or incur expenditure in connection therewith.

To promote sports and culture through establishment of Clubs for sports,

recreational and cultural activates and introduce awards, shields, medals etc.
and also organize debates essay and sports competitions to achieve this object.
To organize meetings, seminars, symposia etc. to create awareness among the
people aimed at spreading and upholding the ideals, values and spirit of the
Banking and related products and services.
To work in collaboration with other Trusts, Foundations, Associations and bodies
having activities, programs, and projects aimed at establishing, spreading and
upholding the ideals of Sonali Bank Limited Foundation.
sblFs CSR Programs
Sonali Bank Limited Foundation has adopted various programs to make fruitful
the aims and objectives:
Information Technology
Recognition for SBLs CSR
SBL distributes the Treatment Cards to 50 HIV/AIDS positive patients
As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility, SONALI BANK LIMITED have been
extending medical facilities and other support to 50 HIV positive patients since
2004. In continuation of this program, SBL organized a Treatment Card
distribution program among the HIV positive patients on June11, 2007 in Hotel
Purbani International, Dilkusha, Dhaka. Major General (Rtd.) Dr. ASM Matiur
Rahman, Honorable Advisor, Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, Water Resources
and Religious Affairs, Govt. of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh was present
as the chief guest and distributed the Treatment Cards to 50 HIV/AIDS positive
patients while Mr. Md. Yeasin Ali, Managing Director of the bank presided over
the function. Professor Nazrul Islam, Head of Virology Department, Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and Dr. Md. Shahzahan Biswas,
Director General (Health Services), Health Directorate were present as special
guests. Among others, Mr. K. S. Tabrez, Deputy Managing Director
(Administration), Mr. Ghulam Kabir, Deputy Managing Director (Operation) and
Senior Executives of the bank were also present at the function.
HIV/AIDS Assistance Program
Target group: HIV/AIDS affected women and children.
Description of the program: HIV/AIDS is setting its firm foothold in Asian
countries, Bangladesh is one of them. In Bangladesh HIV/AIDS related activities
are limited to build up awareness but there is a little work for affected person.
SBLF has taken a program of supporting HIV/AIDS positive women and children
by providing medicines, clinical support, food supplement and other essentials.

Under this program treatment cards were already distributed to 23 HIV/AIDS

positive patients among them 03 are children. Tk.17,25,000.00 (Taka seventeen
lac twenty five thousand) only
has already sanctioned for implementation of the program to support 23 HIV
positive patients (HIV/AIDS affected women and children).
Plan for next five years: If this program becomes success then after evaluation it
will be extended for future.
Smile Brighter Program
Target group: Boys and girls suffering from cleft-lip and palate whose parents are
incapable to bear the operation cost of cleft lip.
Description of the program: Cleft-lip is far more a social setback than a health
problem. Boys and girls cursed with cleft-lips face a lot of problems in everyday
life ranging from disruption of formal education, attending social ceremonies and
impediment at the time of getting married. Considering the gravity of the
situation SBLF has taken the initiative to bring back smile on the face of the boys
and girls
with cleft-lip through plastic surgery since 2003. More than 800 numbers of poor
cleft-lipped boys & girls have so far been successfully operated across the
country. Through arrangement of special camps of under this smile brighter
program in Dhaka, Chittagonj, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal, Bogra, Comilla,
Rangpur, Dinajpur etc. As a continuous process, the cleft-lipped boys & girls are
being operated across the country for restoration of hope and dignity in their
SBLF continues with the plastic surgery program at ifs cost throughout the
country for those cleft-lipped boys and girls (age up to 20 years) whose parents
are unable to afford the cost of plastic surgery. So far 700 cleft-lips and / or
palate surgery were done. Cost of each surgery is Tk.8,500.00 (eight thousand
and five hundred) only. In this connection SBL already spent the amount of
Tk.59,50,000.00 (taka fifty nine lac and fifty thousand) only
This is an ongoing program. Around 1500 cleft-lip and/or palate boys and girls
will come under this program in the next 05 years and the expenditure in this
regard will be Tk.l,27,50,000.00 (one crore twenty seven lac fifty thousand) only.
Support to ACID & Dowry Victims
Target group: Women especially from rural areas who are the victims of Dowry
and Acid Violence:
Description of the program: To create social awareness, SBLF is supporting the
acid and dowry victim women of different parts of Bangladesh by one time
donation for their rehabilitation and to maintain small scale business like poultry
rearing, goat farming, fish farming etc. Under this program 400 (four hundred)
helpless dowry victims and 100 (one hundred) acid victims has already received
one time donation of Tk.10,000/- per person in this year (2005) which cost
totaling Tk.50,00,000.00 (taka fifty lac) only. If the victims can utilize the money
properly then SBL will provide them loan in a reduce interest rate (5%) for their
betterment and proper rehabilitation. Another advertisement also has published

in different newspaper on 3rd and 4th of June, 2005 inviting application from the
victims where another 500 victims will get Tk. 10,000.00 (ten thousand) each
and this will cost totaling Tk. 50,00,000.00 (taka fifty lac) only.
Plan for continuing the program: SBLF has planed to extend the program
depending on the situation, analysis and evaluation report of the first phase.
3.5 Information Technology
SONALI BANK LIMITED (SBL) undertakes a project with BASIS (Bangladesh
Association of Software and Information Services) to award the best IT uses by
Bangladeshi companies.
SBL and BASIS organized IT award-giving ceremony in this regard. The award
Ceremony was held on 30th November 2005, which was the day before last day
of BASIS SOFfEXP02005 (November 27-December 01, 2005). This was a gala
evening (with dinner and cultural program) attended by around 700 dignitaries
including government high officials & policy makers, corporate heads,
representatives from development agencies, IT policy makers, academicians and
the IT industry members.
In this regards, SBLs contribution in supporting this event was 50% of the
estimated cost with Tk. 6.25 La
SBL has donated Tk. 25 lakh for the victims of devastating landslides in
Mr. Md. Yeasin Ali, Managing Director of the Bank handed over a Payment Order
of Tk. 25.00 lac (Taka Twenty Five Lac) to the Honorable Adviser Major General
(Rtd.) M. A. Matin at Chittagong Circuit House on June 13, 2007 for victims due to
a devastating landslides following torrential rains lashed down in Chittagong city
and its adjacent areas.
SBL donates 130 bundles of GCI sheets to Noakhali district
SONALI BANK LIMITED (SBL) donated 130 bundles of GCI sheets worth Tk. 5.60
lac for rehabilitating the homeless people affected by river-erosion of Ramgoti
Upazila under Noakhali District on August 14, 2005.
SBL donates 700 bundles of high grade GCI sheets to Gaibandha and Rangpur
SONALI BANK LIMITED donated 700 bundles of high grade GCI sheets worth of
Tk. 29.00 lac for rehabilitating the standard people of the four Upazilas of
Gaibandha and Rangpur districts. Dr. Mozammel Hossain Khan, Co-ordination,
SBL is seen handing over GCI sheets to Mr. Tapan Chandra Mazumdar, Deputy
Commissioner of Gaibandha district.
SBL has distributed blankets among the cold-affected people
Mr. Md. Yeasin Ali, Managing Director, SONALI BANK LIMITED is seen distributing
blankets among the cold-affected people of Angarpota and Dohogram the
enclaves of Bangladesh. Notably, 4,000 blankets were distributed to cover each
of the 4,000 families of the villages waiting for blankets.

SBL Recognition
SBL has received Asian CSR Award-2005
SONALI BANK LIMITED has won Asian CSR Award-2005 for its outstanding
program on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Mr. Yeasin Ali, Managing
Director, SBL is seen receiving Asian CSR Award-2005 from the Chief Guest, Dr.
Juwono Sundarsono, the Honorable Minister for Defense, the Republic of
Indonesia at a ceremony held on September 09, 2005 in Jakarta
SONALI BANK LIMITED has been again nominated for the Asian CSR Awards 2006.
SBL has decided to participate in the category ofEDN- Support and Improvement of Education
POV- Poverty Alleviation
Concern for Health
Business benefits
The scale and nature of the benefits of CSR for an organization can vary
depending on the nature of the enterprise, and are difficult to quantify. SBL is an
organization having a huge number of customers in the local market and very
successfully satisfies its stakeholders. However, businesses may not be looking
at short-run financial returns when developing their CSR strategy and what
exactly SBL follows. SBL has already proved that in Bangladesh. Not only as a
local bank, SBL is the number one bank in Bangladesh with respect to CSR
activities and has achieved ample growth and success in recent years.
While there are different ways to frame the benefits because they are
interrelated, they generally include the following:
stronger financial performance and profitability through operational efficiency
improved relations with the investment community and better access to capital
enhanced employee relations that yield better results respecting recruitment,
motivation, retention, learning and innovation, and productivity
stronger relationships with communities and enhanced licence to operate
improved reputation and branding
CSR as an Investment
Branding Bank and its services.
Stronger Financial Performance and Profitability
Businesses can use CSR and corporate sustainability to produce direct benefits
for the bottom line. Operational efficiencies can be achieved in other facets of
CSR such as streamlining the way that information is provided to the investment
community as well as to other stakeholders that demand increased transparency.
Managing potential risks and liabilities more effectively through CSR tools and

perspectives can also reduce costs. Using corporate responsibility and

sustainability approaches within business decision-making can result not only in
reduced costs but can also lead to recognizing new market opportunities such as
when new branches are opened that can be expanded to other areas, regions or
Improved Relations with the Investment Community and Better Access to Capital
The investment community has been exploring the links between corporate
social responsibility and financial performance of businesses. There is growing
evidence that companies that embrace the essential qualities of CSR generally
outperform their counterparts that do not use features of CSR. This information is
being translated into action within the investment community. An increasing
number of mutual funds are now integrating CSR criteria into their selection
processes to screen in sounder companies and/or screen out businesses that do
not meet certain environmental or social standards. Thus, a CSR approach by a
financial company can improve the stature of the company in the perspective of
the investment community, a companys stock market valuation, and its capacity
to access capital from local market.
Enhanced Employee Relations, Productivity and Innovation
A key potential benefit from CSR initiatives involves establishing the conditions
that can contribute to increasing the commitment and motivation of employees
to become more innovative and productive. Companies that employ CSR related
perspectives and tools tend to be businesses that provide the pre-conditions for
increased loyalty and commitment from employees. These conditions can serve
to help to recruit employees, retain employees, motivate employees to develop
skills, and encourage employees to pursue learning to find innovative ways to
not only reduce costs but to also spot and take advantage of new opportunities
for maximizing benefits, reduce absenteeism, and may also translate into
marginally less demands for higher wages.
Stronger Relations within Communities through Stakeholder Engagement
A key feature of CSR involves the way that a company engages, involves, and
collaborates with its stakeholders including shareholders, employees, debt
holders, suppliers, customers, communities, non-governmental organizations,
and governments. To the extent that stakeholder engagement and collaboration
involve maintaining an open dialogue, being prepared to form effective
partnerships, and demonstrating transparency (through measuring, accounting,
and reporting practices), the relationship between the business and the
community in which it operates is likely to be more credible and trustworthy. This
is a potentially important benefit for companies because it increases their
licence to operate, enhances their prospects to be supported over the longer
term by the community, and improves their capacity to be more sustainable.
Companies can use stakeholder engagement to internalize societys needs,
hopes, circumstances into their corporate views and decision-making. While
there are many questions about how far a companys responsibilities extend into
communities relative to the roles of governments and individual citizens, there is
a strong argument that CSR can effectively improve a companys relations with
communities and thereby produce some key features that will improve business
prospects for its future

Improved Reputation and Branding

A potential benefit of CSR is that it can improve a companys reputation and
branding and this in turn improves the prospects for the company to be more
effective in the way that it manages communications and marketing in efforts to
attract new customers and increase market share. CSR as a concept with various
tools can help a company to position itself in the marketplace as a company that
is more responsible and more sustainable than its competitors.
A Word on CSR as an Investment
CSR can be viewed by businesses as a form of investment that helps to
differentiate a bank and its products and services.
What then is the right way to look at CSR as an investment particularly given
that it frequently involves intangible and less quantifiable domains. The bottom
line is that a prudent business may tend to regard CSR in the same way it treats
most investment decisions. It would be inclined to use the same systematic
approach to assess the anticipated benefits and related revenues relative to the
costs that it employs for investment proposals. A rigorous and systematic
approach to CSR investment is likely to yield the most positive results for both
the business and society as it is likely to demonstrate the most efficient
allocation of resources from the perspective of both the firm and society.
There are many different areas where a bank can invest to develop CSR
attributes (e.g. human resource management, environmental protection, health
and safety, community involvement, etc.). Investment decisions on CSR need to
take account of various factors and parameters as well as the anticipated cost
and benefit stream to be produced by the investment.
Branding Bank and its services:
A brand is nothing but a set of memories
We are directing, managing, dealing and enhancing memories.
SBL is in the business of managing memories of customer through adopting
extra-ordinary innovative CSR activities. For example SBL donated 9.73 core for
establishing a research center in DU campus by the name of Sonali Bank Social
Science research center. With the activities the 50,000 students of DU will
remember it which will create a positive attitude in the minds of them. The
students and researcher of DU and the country will see it as social contribution of
SBL and they will create a buzz marketing and try to campaign SBLs reputation
on effective CSR activities. Buzz marketing later pull customer to SBL and they
will fill good image of CSR activities of SBL which will create later a strong brand
equity. Now a days brand equity is a unique asset for a business. Brand equity is
an unique asset for a business which will be clarified by an example.
A Harley Davidson customer..
I had been married four times.
I have been 8 girl friends
I was fired from 14 jobs

I have moved my home 11 times

-But I have had only one Harley Davidson
So for a brand equity a customer can sacrifice everything even four times higher
price than other brands even a hard long journey to find the brand.
So creating a strong brand by adopting effective CSR activities is indispensable.
We know A brand is a promise, a reassurance of consistent quality. Consumers
face so many decisions each day in the market place that brands are an
essential convenience to navigating the complexity of life. And in a recession,
brands are even more important because we tend to rely even more on trusted,
known quantities rather than experiment with new ideas and new products.
So with the above seen we see that SBL does so by adopting CSR activities which
are fully accorded with their mission and vision. They are doing business in
Bangladesh according to there promise which are stated in their mission and
vision statement.
Critical analysis
CSR is entwined in the strategic planning process of many of our local and
multinational banks. The reasons or drive behind social responsibility towards
human and environmental responsibility whether driven by ulterior motives,
enlightened self-interest, or interests beyond the enterprise, is subject to much
debate and criticism.
Some critics argue that corporations are fundamentally entities responsible for
generating a product and/or service to gain profits to satisfy shareholders. Milton
Friedman and others argue that there is no place for social responsibility as a
business function.These critics point to the rule of corporate law that prohibits a
corporations directors from any activity that would reduce profits.
Other critics argue that the practice cherry-picks the good activities a company is
involved with and ignores the others, thus greenwashing their image as a
socially or environmentally responsible company. Still other critics argue that it
inhibits free markets or seeks to pre-empt the role of governments in controlling
the socially or environmentally damaging effects of corporations pursuit of selfinterest.
Disputed business motives
Some critics believe that CSR programs are often undertaken in an effort to
distract the public from the ethical questions posed by their core operations.
Examples of companies that have been accused of this motivation include
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), which produces major CSR reports, and the
petroleum giant BP, which is well-known for its high-profile advertising
campaigns on environmental aspects of its operations. The global players do
much more CSR activities in the developed world, but comparably do less in
developing countries like Bangladesh.
Some CSR critics argue that the only reason corporations put in place social
projects is for the commercial benefit they see in raising their reputation with the

public or with government. They suggest a number of reasons why selfinterested corporations, solely seeking to maximize profits, are unable to
advance the interests of society as a whole. They point to examples where
companies have spent a lot of time promoting CSR policies and commitment to
Sustainable Development on the one hand, whilst damaging revelations about
business practices emerge on the other.
These critics generally suggest that stronger government and international
regulation, rather than voluntary measures, are necessary to ensure that
companies behave in a socially responsible manner.
Other views from this perspective include:
Corporations really care little for the welfare of workers or the environment, and
given the opportunity will move production to sweatshops in less well-regulated
Companies do not pay the full costs of their impact. For example, the costs of
cleaning pollution often fall on society in general. As a result profits of
corporations are enhanced at the expense of social or ecological welfare.
Hindrance of free trade
These critics are generally supporters of Milton Friedman, who argued that a
corporations principal purpose is to maximize returns to its shareholders, while
obeying the laws of the countries within which it works. Friedman argued that
only people can have responsibilities.Because of this, moderate critics suggest
that CSR activity is most effective in achieving social or environmental outcomes
when there is a direct link to profit. This approach to CSR requires that the
resources applied to CSR activities must have at least as good a return as these
resources could generate if applied anywhere else. This analysis drastically
narrows the possible scope of CSR activities.
Critics who believe that CSR runs against capitalism would go further and say
that improvements in health, longevity or infant mortality have been created by
economic growth attributed to free enterprise. Investment in less developed
countries contributes to the welfare of those societies, notwithstanding that
these countries have fewer protections in place for workers. Failure to invest in
these countries decreases the opportunity to increase social welfare.
Corporate social responsibility is about the integration of social, environmental,
and economic considerations into the decision-making structures and processes
of business. It is about using innovation to find creative and value-added
solutions to societal and environmental challenges. It is about engaging
shareholders and other stakeholders and collaborating with them to more
effectively manage potential risks and build credibility and trust in society. It is
about not only complying with the law in a due diligent way but also about taking
account of societys needs and finding more effective ways to satisfy existing
and anticipated demands in order to build more sustainable businesses.
Ultimately, it is about delivering improved shareholder and debt holder value,
providing enhanced goods and services for customers, building trust and

credibility in the society in which the business operates, and becoming more
sustainable over the longer term.
Despite having debate on CSR as a voluntary social welfare or as a marketing
tool, CSR brings a lot of benefits for a corporation and SBL is a bright example for
the local banks. Banking is a very much related with relationship management
practice with its clients. So when a bank can touch the inner spirit of the people
and can provide standard service, it will more likely to be successful. SBL is no
doubt emotionally attached with its stakeholders and that is a key success factor
for it. However every player in the industry should adopt and follow or go beyond
the current CSR activities.