The 2008 financial crisis brought many banks to their knees. RBS, for one, could barely find the cash to stock its ATMs, never mind pour money back into the community.
Three years after the crash most banks are well on the way to finding their feet again, unfortunately they keep tripping up on annoyances like LIBOR, miss-selling of PPI and excessive bonuses.
But the direct charitable donations at half of the UK’s big banks have not returned to the pre-crisis levels they once were.
Lloyds, a bank that was hard-hit by the financial crisis, has been shown to be far and above the most charitable when it comes to direct donations. Of all the UK banks Lloyds donated the largest portion of its yearly revenue directly to charity.
Not only that, but Lloyds has nearly doubled the contribution it was making to charity before the credit crunch.
The biggest offender in cutting its direct charitable donations is the people’s champion, The Co-op Bank. While before the crash the Co-op was the most generous bank in the UK, since 2008 it’s direct giving has slowed to a trickle, a third of what it was at pre-crash levels.
Further, the Co-op Bank was relatively unaffected by the crash.
Other banks which have cut their direct hand outs to good causes are government owned RBS, Barclays and the largest UK building society, Nationwide.
These banks have opted for a less direct approach to charity work, having staff spend mandatory days out of the office doing charity work and organising donation drives, encouraging staff and customers to give generously.
Lloyds is not the only bank to increase the donations it makes to charity, HSBC, Santander and Australian based Clydesdale all have given a higher portion of their yearly earnings to good causes.
Many people and communities around the UK are still suffering as a result of the bank induced financial crisis. The donations that big banks can afford and are morally obliged to make would make the world of difference to many.