Praise for good causes scheme

LAST Friday I attended the Barclays Regional Chairman’s Awards where employees were recognised for their outstanding contribution to their local communities.

Now I’ve been the first to criticise where I have felt that banks like Barclays have put their profits before their customers, such as closing branches in communities or charging huge fees to people who are struggling to repay their debts.

But credit where credit is due.

Through Barclays employee community investment programme millions of pounds have been raised for thousands of good causes.

Employees take up a local cause and fundraise and these funds are then matched by Barclays themselves.

At the awards ceremony one statistic really struck me: nationally approximately one third of Barclays staff participate in their community investment programme.

In Wales it is nearly two thirds, showing that yet again Welsh communities and businesses in Wales are leading the way in balancing a thriving and successful economy with fairness and social justice.

This is just one example of how businesses can and should contribute to the communities which ultimately benefit them and their shareholders.

It’s not enough to provide a service at a profit – businesses should be socially responsible and sensitive to local needs.

The government is pushing for these sorts of community partnerships to become the standard and not the exception.

It is driving towards fairness with its Company Law Reform Bill that will force companies to recognise the needs of the communities in which they operate.

And well done to all those bank employees who won an award for their voluntary community work.