Corporate Social Responsibility
At KBZ Bank, Metta, Thet Ti, and Virya – loving-kindness, courage, and perseverance – permeate all aspects of our business, including our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
KBZ is committed to improving lives through inspired and well-structured social, community and environmental programmes. We have the highest expectations of ourselves, and work with partners who share the same values and concerns.
Ultimately, we imagine a Myanmar in which every single person can access opportunities and achieve a better quality of life, and where growth is both responsible and sustainable. As bankers and corporate citizens, we do everything possible to push towards that goal. KBZ Bank is transforming the way we do Corporate Social Responsibility, ensuring the utmost professionalism and transparency in line with international standards.
Our Social Purpose and Impact Partnership Committee (SPIPC), an independent committee formed in December 2019, closely oversees all our CSR activities and brings their governance onto a single platform. In the past, we have provided unconditional assistance to requests for humanitarian and emergency relief to Myanmar’s most vulnerable communities. We remain committed to meeting those needs while also applying international best practices and due diligence to all charitable and philanthropic activities.
The SPIPC is guided by stringent policies and standard operating procedures, and takes into account the voice, standpoint, and concerns of the Myanmar government, the Central Bank of Myanmar, investors, customers, and the international community, as well as KBZ’s financial interests, and ensures compliance with local and global regulatory regimes.
This independent committee oversees the bank’s charitable giving through a well-governed due diligence process, where philanthropic activities are evaluated in an open forum and all votes are transparently recorded.
During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, SPIP facilitated charitable donations amounting to MMK 5.2 billion for over 50 projects which positively impacted people across Myanmar.
As of 2022, the SPIP Committee focuses its efforts around the following three key pillars to ensure that the committee is delivering impact to the areas of need in an effective manner.
Education (virtual, classroom, scholarships), Digital skills , Entrepreneurs/ SME promotion/ incubation/ technical assistance.
Empowering underrepresented communities
Uplifting livelihoods of displaced and marginalized populations (Uplifting livelihoods of women and children in poverty, i.e. supporting projects in the areas of health, nutrition, vaccination (infants and children), clean water, etc.
Supporting projects, initiatives that foster sustainable lifestyle, education programs that address pollutants and excessive waste.
Our Social Purpose Pillars
These pillars are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP) to ensure compliance and adherence to the highest global and national causes and standards.
As part of KBZ’s desire to move towards strategic philanthropy rather than ad hoc charitable donations, we are creating long-term partnerships with charities and other organisations that allow us to consistently deliver on all three fronts.
Pandemic Responses 2020 — 2021
As COVID-19 hit Myanmar, the SPIP Committee focused its resources on relief efforts for vulnerable communities, having contributed more than MMK 4.8 billion (USD 3.4 million) towards healthcare infrastructure, medical equipment, food, and other forms of aid throughout the country.
During the height of COVID-19 outbreak, KBZ Bank joined forces with other private sector responders to increase the capacity for quarantine facilities. Such efforts include the establishment of Inya Centre in September 2020, a temporary quarantine facility operated by an independent management committee. The facility housed 516 patients beds, including 104 oxygen therapy beds for patients in critical condition. In early 2021, management of Inya Centre was assumed by the Ministry of Health.
To strengthen the governance of fund usage, a KBZ Bank trust was appointed as an Escrow Agent by Inya Centre to take custodianship of the donation and hold them separate with full oversight. This is the first time the SPIP Committee has employed escrow services as part of its continuous improvement.
The full report on our COVID-19 response can be found here.
In 2021, to better support the underprivileged in a COVID-stricken and uncertain landscape, the SPIP Committee has joined hands with other private sector players and nonprofit organizations for meaningful and scalable impact.
In July last year, KBZ Bank contributed to a coordinated COVID-19 response launched by the French Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The American Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar, and MCRB (Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business) to provide emergency medical aid to Myanmar. During that period, the number of new cases reached a maximum of 40,000 cases/week, and the number of deaths a maximum of 2,600 deaths/week (close to 400 per day).
To support the aim of the organizers in raising 100,000 USD to provide oxygen concentrators, treatment, medicine, and other medical equipment urgently needed in the country during the third wave of covid-19, KBZ Bank contributed 50,000 USD. Through this joint effort, a total of $250,000 was raised, 180 oxygen tanks and oxygen regulators were delivered to Medical Action Myanmar (MAM) and Community Partners International Myanmar (CPI) to help the Myanmar population during the Covid crisis.
Donated oxygen concentrators. Photo by CCI France Myanmar
Canta oxygen concentrators installed in on the clinics managed by MAM
In addition to COVID-19 relief efforts, the SPIP Committee also supported programs for improving maternal and child healthcare services. The Committee has committed USD 120,000 to its NGO partners, which provide these essential services to the most vulnerable communities in rural areas, including single mothers.
As the SPIP Committee looks ahead to 2022, it will continue to focus on uplifting the livelihoods of the people in Myanmar and creating a lasting impact with trusted partners that have shown a great track record in philanthropy and governance, so that together we can make our communities a better place.
Asiamoney – Best Bank for CSR Myanmar
ABF Retail Banking Awards — COVID Management Initiative of the year – Myanmar
World Business Outlook Awards — Best CSR Bank Myanmar
AMCHAM CSR Excellence (ACE) Recognition— SPIP Committee Formation
Asiamoney Banking Awards — Best CSR Bank Myanmar
Pwint Thit Sa (Transparency in Myanmar Enterprises assessment by MCRB)
Top 3 bank
Top 2 for Corporate Governance disclosure
AMCHAM CSR Excellence (ACE) Recognition— Smile Asia Project
Past and ongoing projects
Pillar 1: Climate change mitigation through education
KBZ Bank supports projects that rally the community around climate change mitigation, and educate them on the dos and don’ts, as well as the roles the community can play. Over the next two years, we will only support environmental disaster relief efforts if funds are matched, dollar for dollar, in investment in education around preventing similar disasters from recurring. From 1 November 2022, our focus will shift to education to build capacity to prevent disasters in the future and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Pillar 2: Talent development for the future economy
KBZ Bank supports projects and programmes that develop and harness the skills of Myanmar’s workforce, allowing them to contribute more effectively to the country’s economic growth. We also give to projects that target youth, since they will drive Myanmar’s future growth.
Pillar 3: An inclusive society & workplace
KBZ Bank supports projects and programmes that promote and propel financial inclusion, the advancement of women in the private sector, and non-discriminatory, equal opportunity employment.