Citibank Korea employees pump their fists during “Global Community Day”, one of the lender's well-entrenched corporate social responsibility programs. Photo courtesy of Citibank Korea

Seoul-based lender tries to become responsible corporate citizen

As far as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are concerned, Citibank Korea is one of South Korea’s trailblazers, as shown by its multiple programs with a history of longer than 10 years.

And the Seoul-based lender continues to come up with new CSR activities, which are carried out under three principles of “employee participation,” “long-term commitment,” and “leading activity.”

Citibank Korea joined hands with Habitat for Humanity Korea in 1998 to sponsor a house-building project over the past two decades for low-income people with no home ownership.

The Korean franchise of Citigroup has constructed more than 30 houses at small-sized cities across the country _ its executives and employees work together two nights and three days at a time.

In 2006, Citibank Korea started “Think Money,” a program designed to offer financial education to the youth, along with the National YWCA of Korea. Up until now, the initiative benefited 560,000 students.

Also included in the outfit’s long-term activities are its “Global Finance Academy” for nurturing financial talents, and “NGO Internship Program” aimed at fostering the young leaders of civil society.

For the former, Citibank Korea teamed up with Ewha Womans University in 2001 while it formed a partnership with Kyunghee University in 2006 for the latter.

Another well-entrenched CSR program is “Global Community Day” when Citibank Korea’s employees, their families, and customers meet to contribute to building a sustainable society.

Since 2006, the bank has observed the day by offering education to reduce illiteracy, preserving the environment, and providing disaster relief services.

Fresh agendas

It seems to be quite difficult to go through the above-mentioned CSR activities every year. But the bank strives to move a step further by coming up with new agendas.

For instance, it introduced the “Korea Social Enterprise Award” in 2017 to encourage various social enterprises like ones devoted to creating jobs for the socially vulnerable.

In the next year, it launched a youth hiring support program dubbed “Impact Career Y (Youth)” geared toward supporting young talents’ job landing and their career management.

Under the “Change Now for Tomorrow” program, the bank also vies to raise the general public’s awareness of climate change so as to prompt companies to change their behaviors.

Instead of one-off supports, we have tried to make our employees join themselves and feel empathy,” a Citibank Korea official said.

We will continue to put forth such efforts to offer helping hands to the needy so that they will be able to practically improve their lives.”