Consecuencias de la reestructuración bancaria en la responsabilidad social corporativa de las cajas de ahorros españolas
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AuthorAlonso Olaiz, Alfonso
ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the impact of the recent financial crisis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within the Spanish savings banks sector from 2007 to 2012. These financial institutions first began as pawn shops in Spain back in the 16th century and have been closely linked and committed to their economic and social environment. Therefore, throughout their history, the mission and activities of these entities have been closely linked to a much more modern and rapidly developing concept: CSR. Savings banks came to represent over half the financial system in Spain. They became the largest network of bank offices and the main source of Spanish private resources with social purposes. The financial crisis had an extremely harsh impact on the savings bank sector which led to a deep transformation. By the end of 2012, twelve financial institutions had inherited most of the activity developed by the original 45 institutions. Its CSR is divided into two large dimensions: the one arising from its financial activity, and the Social Welfare Programmes, the latter being considered as a unique feature of savings banks. This paper proposes the analysis of these two dimensions individually, considering that the impact of the financial crisis may have affected each dimension in different ways and assuming the hypothesis that CSR could have been defended as a distinguishing and strategic value. This study is based on the analysis of information drawn from the CSR reports of the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks from 2007 to 2012. The results of this study suggest that, indeed, there was a gradual reduction of the Social Welfare Programmes until 2012 when they became less than half what they had been in 2007. As for the other dimension, derived from the CSR from the financial activity, the data analysis also points to a deterioration of its activity, which made it impossible to offset the shrinking trend of Social Welfare Programmes. Therefore, the savings bank sector has generally pushed its CSR to the background until the economic scenario improves. This decision endangers the unique and historical bonds of this sector with CSR, regardless of the consequences that may arise in view of the current importance of CSR in the financial sector.