Corporate Social Responsibility

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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, and KBZ Bank’s Social Purpose Pillars:

  • – Climate change mitigation through education
  • – Talent development for the future of Myanmar
  • – An inclusive society and workplace

The current SPIP committee includes a chairperson, Head of Corporate Affairs, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs, Head of Legal, Compliance, and Fraud Risk, Head of Marketing, as well as a representative from Finance and an International Affairs consultant, each with voting power. The Committee also has two Secretaries, representing Corporate Affairs and Marketing, and two liaison officers to work with requesters and potential partners, all of whom do not have voting power. 

We support organisations that embody the Bank’s metta principles and align with their values, and that have a good reputation and track record of implementation. Organisations, businesses and individuals that request donations, grants or funds must complete an online application that is rigorously reviewed by the SPIPC. Such requests are deliberated during bimonthly meetings, with evaluations are conducted in an open forum and all votes recorded for transparency and accountability. 

By 2022, the approach taken by SPIPC in terms of operating principles and governance will apply to other affiliates of the KBZ Group of Companies. This will ensure that the highest standards apply across the Group as well as to all its strategic partners.

To request for SPIP donation, please click here to fill out the application form

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. 

The COVID-19 pandemic that hit Myanmar in March 2020 has temporarily put these plans – initially scheduled for this year – on hold as we focus on the immediate needs of communities. Understanding the seriousness of the virus and its potential impact on the country, the SPIPC has ensured the work under KBZ Bank’s three social purpose pillars contributes towards the country’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and helps its people, while maintaining the highest levels of transparency and accountability. The SPIPC also added two new pillars to address the crisis, including contributing to activities and efforts to strengthen the public health system and assist with economic recovery to keep families and businesses afloat during this time and build for the future of economic growth once the crisis passes. These redefined pillars are meant to help with urgent medical needs and Myanmar’s economic recovery. Once COVID-19 is behind us, we will realign KBZ Bank’s approach to our original pillars, and the need to build a workforce for the future and change the country for the better.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility activities

The projects and initiatives KBZ Bank has supported over the years reflect the areas we believe are important for the future of the nation, and where we could make a difference. Most of our past projects fell under one of our three social pillars, many of which were approved by the SPIPC following its launch in December 2019. For the fiscal year 2019, KBZ Bank spent over US$1 million on charity programmes.

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.

Waste Management Initiative

When it comes to protecting the planet, we believe in walking the talk. Working with RecyGlo, which provides innovative recycling solutions, KBZ Bank conducted a waste audit between February 2019 and January 2020. We were able to identify, quantify and analyse the composition of the waste we generate which allowed us to identify opportunities for improving our approach to waste management and to put into place more responsible practices. These include proper separation of trash, the reduction of waste by implementing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and encouraging our colleagues to go “paperless” where possible..

Humanitarian Support and Emergency Preparedness against Natural Disasters

In Myanmar, natural disasters, including flooding during the torrential monsoon rains, can leave communities vulnerable and affect access to food, clean water, shelter, and basic services. To support disaster preparedness efforts, KBZ Bank made a donation of MMK 56 million last year towards the purchase of 26 boats. These can now be deployed to support humanitarian efforts in five regions: Yangon, Mon, Kayin, Bago, and Tanintharyi. The donation was made to the Department of Disaster Management, which is part of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS). This latest donation followed a donation of MMK 35 million in August 2019 to support those affected by severe flooding and landslides in Mon State. .

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.

Contributions to Parami University

KBZ Bank donated US$1 million to Parami University towards building a 450-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium at its new campus, which will be ready in 2022. The auditorium will serve as a space in which the institution can host conferences, seminars, graduation ceremonies and other large-scale activities for students, the community, and the public. This is one of the largest donations the Parami Liberal Arts & Sciences Foundation has received. KBZ Bank has supported Parami University in a number of ways since it opened its doors in 2017, including through a US$20,000 donation in 2018 that went towards providing scholarships and allowances for 33 students, and another US$20,000 in 2019 towards full scholarships for four students in the Parami Leadership Program.

National Management Degree College Scholarships 

In one of the largest programmes supporting higher education in the country, KBZ Bank has donated MMK 72,000,000 towards providing 90 National Management Degree college students with scholarships for the academic year 2019-2020. The scholarships, each worth MMK 800,000, cover their school registration, hostel, transportation and meal costs, and as long as they continue to deliver good academic results, will see them through to graduation. KBZ Bank has been supporting these students, who come from low-income households and demonstrate outstanding academic performance, since the 2018-2019 academic year. The programme started with 100 students, 10 of whom have since graduated. 

UWCSEA – Making Dreams Come True

Through KBZ Bank, UWC Southeast Asia alumnae Nang Lang Kham (2007), Nang Kham Noung (2009) and Nang Mo Hom (2014), who are sisters, co-created a scholarship programme to support less privileged students from Myanmar in pursuing their education at UWC campuses worldwide. Two students have received scholarships to date.

Model ASEAN Meeting Myanmar 2020

Model ASEAN Meeting Myanmar (MAMM) 2020 was the first official national youth diplomacy programme held in Myanmar, and also the first regionally recognised model ASEAN meeting simulation by the ASEAN Foundation in Myanmar. KBZ Bank made a contribution of US$3,000 to the event, which was hosted at the Park Royal Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw on 15 February, 2020.

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.

Launch of Alley Garden with social enterprise Doh Eain

In March 2020, KBZ Bank donated MMK 30 Million towards the creation of an Alley Garden in Pabedan Township, including the clearing of rubbish and a new drainage pipe, concrete floor and sewerage system to turn the previously dirty alley into a usable space. The project, done in collaboration with social enterprise Doh Eian and the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), incorporated ideas from the community and urban designers. The alley boasts art murals, beautiful greenery, and play facilities, and is expected to draw residents and tourists alike. The Alley Garden is part of a broader initiative to create beautiful and inclusive green spaces in the city. It is one of close to 10 that have already been built

Smile Asia 

Sometimes, all it takes to make life better is a smile – and that is the spirit behind the medical missions KBZ Bank leads across the country with Singapore-based philanthropic group Smile Asia Alliance. Done with the support of Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports, the project provides free cleft lip and palate operations for children and adults. The eighth mission, which took place at the General Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw from 14 to 19 December, saw 73 children receive brand new smiles after corrective surgeries. They came from 12 states and divisions – including Yangon, Mandalay, Shan, and Mon. Smile Medical Missions have helped a total of 678 children in Myanmar, with a 100 percent success rate. Our CEO Mike DeNoma has also supported this mission in his own capacity, running the 240.3-mile (387km) Moab 240 Endurance Run through Utah, one of the longest races in the world, to raise over USD 45,000 in funds for the corrective surgeries in 2018.  

EDGE Certification

As an employer of over 18,000 people across the country, of which more than half are women, KBZ Bank recognises that pro-equality policies and promoting representativeness are not just good for society, but also the economic bottom line. The Bank embraces a number of initiatives to promote gender equality, including the creation of a KBZ Early Childhood Day Care Center and Mother’s Corners (breastfeeding/pumping facilities), as well as policies covering time off for breast feeding and both maternity and paternity leave. Last year, the Bank was among a small group of Myanmar companies awarded Economic Dividends for Gender Equality certification, the leading global assessment and certification standard for gender equality launched by the World Economic Forum in 2011. KBZ Bank is also a founding member of Myanmar’s Business Coalition for Gender Equality Association, a non-profit organisation committed to promoting gender equality in the workplace in Myanmar, of which KBZ Bank is a founding member.

To Our Lives We Want (A video campaign for gender equality)

KBZ Bank pledged MMK 20 million as the main sponsor of the Gender Equality Campaign “To Our Lives We Want”, which ran on Facebook in March this year.  The campaign included an 11-minute animated film, entitled ကျွန်မ မလိုချင်တဲ့ ကျွန်မဘဝ (“My Life I Don’t Want”), capturing the challenges and inequality issues faced by Myanmar’s women. It was created by Nyan Kyal Say, the founder of Pencell Studio and son of cartoonist Aw P Kyal, and has been shown in over 100 international film festivals and has won 39 awards. KBZ hires more than 18,000 people, over half of whom are women, and recognises the strength that organisations gain from driving inclusiveness and supporting initiatives that directly benefit women.

To request for SPIP donation, please click here to fill out the application form