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The MCB ltd has a full fledged department handling CSR activities in itself. The MCB Ltd assesses the impact of CSR and the application of business ethics within the organisation from a competitive advantage, that is what advantage CSR and the application of business ethics bring into the organisation and how it gives the company a cutting edge as compared to other organisations. The CSR department works in close collaboration with the Board of the MCB. This is ensured through bank wide awareness of its operating ethics. The three main operating business ethics that MCB takes into consideration are:
Integrity and ethical behaviour- The bank adhere and develop codes of conduct for their directors and executives that promotes ethical and responsible decision making.
Disclosure and transparency- The bank clarifies and make publicly known the roles and responsibilities of board of management in order to provide stakeholders with a level of accountability.
Review of CSR activities- The bank regularly review its policies concerning CSR activities and the fund to be allocated.
The Board on CSR at the MCB is managed by the board of directors alongside the head of the CSR department internally. The board approval is used mainly for modifying certain funds for CSR financing activities.
The bank has for decades recognised its social responsibilities within the wider community in which it operates. On a sustainable and ongoing basis it has contributed to the well being of this community by improving the lives of some and realising the dreams of others and the society through a wide range of initiatives.
The Bank's framework on CSR is mainly directed to:
Contribute in a substantial way to community welfare
Bring lifelong benefits to Mauritians
Reflect community values
Show organizational effort rather than individual
These main issues incorporated under the framework of corporate social responsibility incorporates business ethics in itself. And which all promotes an ethically socially driven organisation.
Why does the MCB engages in CSR activities?
The MCB is a "bank with a heart. The bank perceives that as being socially responsible might be rewarded with extra or more satisfied customers. Furthermore the bank is obliged to act upon CSR activities because of various guidelines and requirements imposed by the government. Likewise, by being more ethically socially responsible more employees might be attracted to work for and be more committed to as the bank will be thought to be socially responsible.
Voluntarily committing to social actions can be beneficial in the sense that it tries to build a better society whereby the better educated person and all will be an asset for the community as well as for the bank in the future.
Areas where the MCB dedicate fund for funding of CSR activities:
For the period ended 30 June 2009 RS 30 million was spent on CSR activities, the areas where funds were allocated are as follows:
Arts, Culture & National Heritage - RS 2,240,000 (30%)
Education - Rs 10,906,000 (25%)
Poverty Alleviation - Rs 7,720,000 (15%)
Environment - Rs 3,270,000 (10%)
Sports - Rs 2,707,000 (10%)
Others - Rs 3,157,000 (10%)
The different percentages illustrate the amount of funds allocated on the period ended June 2009 for CSR funding activities.
The MCB has 42 branches spread locally and this also gives a much more social touch of the bank which allows the Bank to keep in touch with various regions around the country and this is what MCB terms as "Le réseau de la proximité". The objective is to react quickly to social needs of the community and to better understand the various requirements of different regions concerning CSR activities.
The MCB keeps around 1% of its profits before tax for CSR funding activities and as for Mauritius MCB is the largest company that dedicates the largest amount of funds for CSR activities.
What activities that the MCB under its terms of CSR funding that it does not support:
The following are the areas that MCB board does not approve under its CSR terms:
Sponsorship at individual title
Projects based on politics and religions
Projects that basically does not have priority aim at the enhancing and welfare of the Mauritian society
International exchanges and educational tours
Any activities that falls under the above mentioned categories will not be approves by the Board of CSR. Therefore all activities under the terms of the CSR that will require funds necessitated board approval first.
Areas where MCB regularly supports through funding under its terms of CSR policy are as follows:
'My Words My World' - launched in September 2008, this national campaign seeks to promote literacy through the distribution of educational packs to around 125,000 primary school students in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega
MCB Education Scheme - comprehensive support to schools located in underprivileged regions.
MCB Scholarships - every year, the MCB offers two scholarships at tertiary level: (i) the MCB Foundation Scholarship to the Mauritian student ranking next in line to the State of Mauritius scholarships on the Economics side at the local Higher School Certificate examinations and (ii) the MCB Rodrigues Scholarship to a student from Rodrigues for study at the University of Mauritius
Rehabilitation of drug addicts
Fight against HIV/AIDS through the help of PILS(Prevention Information lutte contre le SIDA)
Association de Parents d'Enfants Inadaptés de l'Ile Maurice (APEIM) - financial help for the construction of a new building to accommodate children suffering from mental problems
MCB Football Academy (MCBFA) - this innovative project blends sport with pedagogical follow-up to enhance the personal development and, thence, prospects of children (aged between 7 and 11) of underprivileged areas. More than 350 children of St Hilaire, Poste de Flacq and Grand Bay benefit from coaching sessions every Saturday morning while their academic education is monitored by specialists and counselling is provided to their parents when necessary.
MCB Football Academy - presence of MCB staff every Saturday morning at St Hilaire, Poste de Flacq and Grand Bay.
Friends in Hope - participation in the Royal Raid 2009 to raise funds.
Sourire de Noël 2008 - voluntary financial contribution from employees for the benefit of children from underprivileged communities and elderly persons.
Analysis of the current CSR structure at MCB and Recommendations to the Bank about its CSR approaches:
After having interviewed some main people in the CSR department at MCB, we have been able to come to the point that the MCB has a well dedicated staff and department for managing CSR and a proper board structure for overseeing CSR activities within the organisation. The Board is ethically, morally and socially responsible for overseeing the activities of the CSR especially projects approval and funding of various activities under the policy of CSR.
The MCB believes in a strategic approach model in assessing its CSR activities. MCB is one among the rare organisations that develop CSR projects in a very systematic and well organised approach. The key issue for MCB while developing a CSR project is to assess the direct positive impact of the project on the main variable which is defined in the framework such as benefit to the society, communal values amongst others.
The MCB also believes in an Internal CSR. Internal CSR which pertains largely to "people management" is the responsibility of the HR function. MCB derive significant benefits by adopting good "people management" practices in terms of staff morale, productivity and employee retention.
Furthermore following an interview with Miss Cheshmee Bahadoor of the CSR department at MCB, she put forward that for any project there are two board meeting, for ant project at or below Rs 1million it is carried out by a first board then approved but it above Rs 1 million then another board is done. The second board committee even define CSR approach.
Recommendations to the Bank about its CSR approaches:
The first recommendation after the use of secondary date is that MCB should believe in the 3 model CSR. That is where the project consists of the state, the NGO and the Bank itself. The MCB do have a great amount of projects under the underpinning principles of the 3 model approach of CSR. But what would enhance MCB CSR policies would be more strategic performance towards goals, mobilisation of resources, membership & quality of resources, communication, commitment & professionalism and structure & organisation.
Interest in policy and dialogues. MCB should be more interested to participate in policy dialogues initiatives involving NGO/Private Sector/Government. This is critical as it will have an impact on the future state of CSR policies of the MCB. MB should believe that for a successful CSR programme it should be democratization of ideas about how to proceed with and by policy dialogues more ideas will be obtained that would be useful for implementing CSR plans.
There should a be facilitator, e.g. the Joint Economic Council, to promote CSR and to help MCB even other organisations in setting up CSR plans.
The Government should also be more active as a facilitator to ensure coordination of CSR activities, raise the profile of CSR, promote the link between corporate citizenship and productivity, provide education and training in CSR, fund research into CSR amongst others and the government should actively participate in the Bank's proposal for CSR and as well as for other organisations also.
There should be more coordination in CSR activities to rationalise resource unitisation, improve projects' complementarities, reduce intervention overlap and more information sharing among various private and even governmental bodies. That is the MCB should work with other private companies such as MCB also contributes a lot in combating HIV/AIDS but ROGERS is also involved a lot in it. Hence there can be a more strategic partnership between Rogers and MCB as they both are working towards a common goal. Therefore there should be more inter private and inter private and governmental bodies and NGO's collaboration.
The legal reviews that the MCB adopts under its CSR policies and practices:
The CSR policies at the MCB encompasses a variety lo laws, guidelines and codes. Those that the board takes into account before approving a CSR project are:
Fundamental Human Rights - These rights are covered in (i) The Constitution of Mauritius (ii) The Protection of Human Rights Act (iii) Ombudsman Act and (iv) Other legislations (Child Protection Act, Consumer Protection Act)
Labour Rights - Several legislations cater for labour rights in Mauritius namely: Labour Act, Industrial Relations Act, Sex Discrimination Act, The Training and Employment of Disabled Persons Act. It can be argued that labour rights will be reinforced with the imminent introduction of the following acts: (i) Equal Opportunities Act (ii) Employment Rights Act.
Environment - Legislation that caters for the protection and enhancement of our environment include: (i) The Environment Protection Act (ii) Beach Authority Act (iii) Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Act (iv) Chemical Weapons Act and Dangerous Chemicals Control Act amongst others.
These are the main laws that the CSR policies at the MCB adheres to. There are further laws such as the Drugs act, the code of corporate governance amongst others that the MCB adheres to.
Therefore while implementing CSR plans at the MCB various laws are used and all these are done by the CSR department as well as the Board uses the statues in order to assess the feasibility of a proposed project,
What are the ethics and its implications at the MCB Ltd.
At the MCB Ltd, ethics have been basically categorised under two man headings, namely:
Business and Professional Ethics
In terms of business and professional ethics, the MCB LTD main professional and business ethic is Confidentiality and integrity. That is being in the financial services provider, the company believes in the highest degree of confidentially possible to safeguard the interests of its customers, as compared to organisational ethics, the company believes in ethical decision making so as to benefit the company as a whole but sometimes ethics contradict with the issue of making profit but MCB has effectively introduced the concept of making profits and business ethics through one of its products called the Initiative 175 as already discussed.
The MCB while designing its ethical approach takes into account this procedure while determining its ethical behaviour within the organisation.
Furthermore, the ethics that are applied at the company are in reliance with good management practices, laws and regulations as well as ensuring that these ethics are duly applied in the company so as to increase the company's performance as there is inherently a positive link between good business ethics and higher company's performance.
The MCB ltd believes in responsible business conduct. For the company, one of their business ethics is that while carrying out their transactions it should be fair, carried with integrity and it is beneficial for the company as well as for the stakeholders who have a direct or indirect interest in the company.
In creating business ethics, as each company has its own business ethical behaviour, the company takes into account its strengths and weaknesses and then specifically creates appropriate business ethics to cover risk issues as well as governance issues. This can be shown in the following diagram:
While working on ethical issues at the company, both short run and long run weaknesses and strengths of the company are taken into consideration while working on ethical issues of the company.