Banks' spending on corporate social responsibility (CSR) amounted to Tk967 crore in 2020 – a year marked the coronavirus pandemic and multiple flooding in Bangladesh.
However, the CSR spending decreased in the last six months of 2020 as compared to the first half. Banks spent Tk517 crore in the January-June period while the CSR spending declined to Tk450 crore in July-December.
Tackling the adverse effects of natural disasters was in the centre-point of the CSR spending as banks spent about Tk581 crore on disaster management and health last year.
Besides, the banks spent more than Tk100 crore on education in CSR last year. Apart from this, CSR spending on environmental protection, culture, infrastructure development and other sectors amounted to Tk282 crore.
The information was revealed in a Bangladesh Bank report Wednesday.
According to the central bank report, private banks account for 97% of the total CSR spending as public banks' spending was less than 1%. In the meantime, foreign banks' spending was more than 2%.
According to the report, non-bank financial institutions spent Tk19 crore on corporate social responsibility last year.
The report said CSR programmes aim at reducing adverse environmental effects prompted by businesses. The programmes also targets minimizing poverty and existing social inequalities.
Banks can spend on CSR activities from their net profit after taxation. Thirty percent of the spending goes on education, 20% on health, 10% on climate change and remaining 40% on other sectors.
However, as Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in March last year, the central bank issued new instructions on CSR spending focusing on health.