This is revealed in the 2013 corporate social responsibility report recently published by the Cooperative Financial Network. According to the report, the scale of financial assistance offered by local cooperative banks – i.e. donations, sponsorship and income for charitable foundations – rose again to €135 million (2012: €131 million). The amount made available to charitable foundations grew to €208 million (2012: €201 million).
"The wide range of corporate citizenship activities undertaken by the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Financial Network shows that the cooperative banks focus squarely on their customers – and not just in commercial terms," said Uwe Fröhlich, President of the National Association of German Cooperative Banks (BVR).
Regionalism and sustainability are the key reasons why the institutions – 1,078 in all – are committed to corporate social responsibility. The main recipients of financial support are local associations and initiatives, public-sector institutions (e.g. schools) and local churches. A particularly large proportion benefits children and young people. Many employees also play an active part themselves, with around 40 percent of bank staff carrying out voluntary work in their spare time.
The report on the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken Cooperative Financial Network's corporate citizenship activities in 2013 reports the figures for all community-linked activities. The BVR calculated these numbers for the whole of Germany in the second quarter of this year when it conducted a survey of all its member institutions.
As well as presenting the overall figures, the report also highlights special projects undertaken by individual local cooperative banks. The title of the publication is 'Mittendrin' ('At the heart of the community') and it can be downloaded from www.bvr.de/Engagement. Single print versions can be requested as press copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.