Corporate Social Responsibility Reports of European Banks – An Empirical Analysis of the Disclosure Quality and its Determinants
112 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 17, 2019
Banks are crucial enablers of financial and economic development. They have an immense corporate social responsibility (CSR) towards society. Bank´s CSR activities are considered increasingly vital for their own success and sustainable growth, especially as they operate in a business environment with multiple stakeholder demands and an increasing awareness of CSR. In 2014, an CSR-Directive was established. The ultimate aim of the Directive is to encourage a more sustainable economy by strengthening both the comparability and relevance of non-financial information disclosure across the European Union (EU). The Directive was required to be adopted by banks and other companies for financial year 2017. This study analyses the quality of the CSR information discloses by 76 banks in the European Monetary Union (EM) in the years 2017 and 2018. To assess the quality of the reported information a disclosure index study was conducted. Furthermore, an OLS regression was performed to test seven hypotheses concerning the relationship between the extend of the banks´ CSR reporting and size, profitability, common equity tier 1 (CET1) ratio, number of pages containing CSR information, ownership type, availability of an external audit, and communication channel used. In addition, the banks´ reported commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) are presented, and the disclosed information on the extent to which climate-change related risks are integrated in the banks´ risk management framework for lending activities are addressed.
Keywords: Bank Accounting, Banks, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Finance, Disclosure, Accounting, Auditing
JEL Classification: G15, G18, G21, G28, K22, K23, M41, M42, M48
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