Banks and social welfare

Only CaixaBank dedicates part of its profits to social welfare projects; a change in attitude from banks could help rebuild public confidence

The few remaining banks have published their accounts for 2016, and they have made a lot of money. I imagine that many readers might be surprised, given the examples of the Banc Popular and Bankia. I have nothing to say against the profits banks make, but I recognise that these appear scandalous at a time of global instability. The shareholders are satisfied, but the majority do not understand the figures.

It comes down to what we think banks should do, As such, it is worth noting that only CaixaBank dedicates part of its profits to funding authentic social welfare projects. While other financial entities spend money on cultural and sporting projects, CaixBank still keeps alive its origens as a savings bank that served the community and not simply answers to shareholders. The fact that in recent years this entity has invested €500 million annually in such projects deserves recognition and should act as an example.

With so much antipathy shown to the sector by the public in general, perhaps the shareholders may complain a little about investing in medical research, environmental projects, educational advances, care fr the elderly or homeless, but I am sure that in a short time they would come to appreciate the benefits both economically and in public perception.

The suicide of Miguel Blesa served to emphasise how distant the financial sector has become from the public in general and even its own clients. Surely involvement in the community and awareness of the needs of society would go a long way to bringing a human face to the sector. There are many real possibilities of building bridges.

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