Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


US bank takes world view on CSR policies

December 2006

Bank of America is to extend its CSR programmes to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The bank is creating a new senior post of CSR project officer to cover the three regions. The appointee, who will be based in London, will establish socially responsible programmes 'under the broader framework set out by the US', where the bank concentrates its efforts on charitable giving, community regeneration, volunteering and the environment.

The work will begin in the UK, followed by the rest of Europe, Africa and then Asia. Bank of America's European division has its headquarters in London and employs about 2600 people across the continent. Much of its work is in investment banking and equity financing.

The bank hopes to introduce some of its programmes, such as its Community Excellence Project, under which it works with local agencies to regenerate run-down areas, in other parts of the world. However, it acknowledges it will need to 'translate' American strategies in a sympathetic way in different countries and find 'local applications' for most of them.

Phillip Rudolph, vice president of the Ethical Leadership Group, described the bank's work as 'a very positive trend by global companies to integrate their CSR efforts throughout their multinational operations.

'This means more than simply bolting on local philanthropic activity to their local operations around the world: it also means taking care not simply to assume that US initiatives will have resonance and relevance in Europe, Middle East and African operations and culture,' he added.

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