By Daniel Hunter
New research reveals that despite the financial crisis, rate-rigging and tax-avoidance scandals the financial sector gives far more to charity than any other industry sector.
Findings revealed in the first ever Company Giving Almanac, published this month by the charity Directory of Social Change, show the UK financial sector provides the lion’s share of money given by companies to UK charities and voluntary groups.
The Almanac analyses a sample of over 400 companies which support UK charitable causes. The report provides the most comprehensive picture of company giving to charitable causes in the UK to date.
Despite the recent economic upheaval, the financial sector still dominates the top UK corporate giving figures, both in terms of cash (£245 million) and total support, including in-kind (£319 million). The total provided by all companies in the UK is estimated to be between £700 — £800 million.
For those companies analysed in the Almanac, total contributions as a proportion of company pre-tax profits stand at around 0.4% overall (including ‘in-kind’ contributions) with cash at 0.3%. This is well below the 1% standard advocated by many as a benchmark. However the financial sector performs better than other industries, giving 0.7% of pre-tax profits.
Several high-profile banking names are examined in the report, including Goldman Sachs and the part-publicly owned Lloyds Banking Group, which itself provides 25% of all the giving from the financial services sector.
"The fallout from the financial crash continues, with more scandals shredding the reputation and integrity of the financial sector. Ironically, these same institutions give more to charity than corporate counterparts in other industries," Author Dr Catherine Walker said.
"Clearly bankers and financiers need not just to re-establish moral values within their business culture but to shout about it too. They could give more to social causes, but other businesses sectors should look at the example set by the banks and financial institutions in terms of charitable giving and take note."
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