The Social Responsability of Financial Institutions

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has received special attention in recent years, from both companies and their stakeholders. In fact, 92% of the 250 largest global companies now disclose a CSR or sustainability report that contains extra-financial information, and 80% of investors now consider extra-financial performance as well as the impact on the community of the firms in which they invest. Although regulation plays an important role in corporate reporting, the growing interest of investors for extra-financial information is more likely explained by an increased social awareness. Also, from a more economic perspective, the impact of social responsibility on the value of the firm (Wu and Shen, 2013; Luo and Bhattacharya, 2009; El Goul, Guedhami, Kwok and Mishra, 2011) as well as the effect of corporate irresponsibility on the firm’s risk profile (Sodjahin, Champagne, Coggins and Gillet, 2017; Oikonomou, Brooks and Pavelin, 2012; Lucas-Leclin, 2006) are also increasingly clear. For instance, we now know that social irresponsibility affects the risk profile of the company and can lead to the cessation of activities, significant lawsuit-related costs, complaints and sanctions. It can also increase reputational risk that can, in turn, lead to a reduction in expected returns as well as an increase in expected costs and idiosyncratic risks (Walter and Boatright, 2010).