Socially Responsible Lending in Times of Crisis: An Exploratory Study of Australasian Banking Practice

By Thomas Kern and Nicholas McGuigan.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper provides an exploratory study of how socially responsible Australasian banking corporations are and if recent events, such as the global financial crisis, have enabled them to learn lessons in regards to responsible lending practice. Evidence was gained primarily through an analysis of corporate disclosures of two major Australasian banking corporations operating in New Zealand. The data were analysed to see if a change in lending practice occurred to be more in line with corporate social responsibility (CSR). The findings suggests a strong verbal commitment to CSR by the banking corporations, even through tough economic times. However, only when specific goals, achievements and their relation to the overall sustainability agenda are disclosed in a consistent and continuous manner, will real social and responsible banking practice occur. This paper adds to the limited literature of CSR reporting in the financial sector, informing from a public policy perspective on disclosure of banking corporations’ lending practices, thus contributing to a global dialogue on CSR within the financial industry.

Keywords: Socially Responsible Lending Practice, Banking Institutions, Corporate Social Responsibility, Disclosure Analysis, Ethics

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.107-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 677.573KB).

Thomas Kern

Lecturer, Department of Accountancy and Information Systems, University of Canterbury, University of Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand

Mr. Thomas Kern has lectured in financial accounting since July 2008 at the University of Canterbury. His research interests include financial accounting for financial institutions, sustainable development and disclosures of financial institutions and accounting education.

Nicholas McGuigan

Lecturer, Centre of Accounting, Education and Research, Lincoln University, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand

Nicholas McGuigan Lectures within the Centre of Accounting, Education and Research at Lincoln University. His research interests include corporate social responsibility, socially responsible lending, disclosures of financial institutions, environmental management accounting, financial literacy for non-accountants, student perceptions of accounting, generic learning skills within accounting curriculum, mobile learning technology.

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