HSBC sees CSR spends more than doubling to Rs. 22 cr in FY17

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MUMBAI: With the Government making it mandatory for the companies to spend 2 per cent of their annual profits in the social sector, foreign lender HSBC has said its corporate social responsibility (CSR) spends will more than double to Rs. 22 crore in the fiscal 2017.

“Naturally, with the new CSR law in place, we are aware that our spending here is going to go up significantly in the coming years,” the lender’s head for corporate sustainability Aloka Majumdar told PTI.

The bank estimates its spends will go up to Rs. 22 crore in social sector programmes spread across its focus areas of environment and education during the financial year 2017, up from Rs. 9.15 crore last year.

The lender also announced a five-year programme for skilling people under which, it will be spending Rs. 50 crore.

Majumdar said typically, the spends between environment and education are split equally, but she declined to say if a similar amount will be spent on green causes over the five-year period.

Majumdar, however, stressed the community spends also include a large component of the money flowing in from its London office, which is excluded in the above figures.

In FY15, it spent a total of Rs. 22.4 crore here, including Rs. 9.1 crore from its India balance sheet and the rest from the parent, which includes efforts for cleaning the river Ganga.

In FY16, the total spend (including both from the country balance sheet and foreign ones) is estimated to be Rs. 27.6 crore.

This figure includes inflows from the foreign operations only up to December, which will go up in the first quarter of calendar 2016.

Majumdar said HSBC prefers partnering with local NGOs for implementation of the programmes on a milestone—based approach.

For the first phase of the newly—announced ‘Skills for Life’ programme, it has tied up with the Swades Foundation promoted by entertainment entrepreneur Ronnie Screwwala, she said adding its management philosophy and aspirations of upscaling its work to a national level drew HSBC to the NGO.

On the environment side, it has got programmes running with bodies like WWF for varied causes, including river dolphins, ghariyals (crocodiles) and Olive Ridley turtles, Majumdar said.

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