The paper “ Barclays as a Global Financial Services Provider" is an outstanding example of a case study on finance & accounting. Barclays, a global financial services provider, is engaged in retail and commercial banking, investment services, credit cards, and wealth management services. It has two major divisions – retail banking and corporate and investment banking and wealth management. Each of the two divisions has several business units and jointly they invest in CSR. Barclay’ s wealth is meant to create sustainable and responsible banking. Their first responsibility is towards their customers and hence they develop financial exclusions in both developed and developing countries.
They work ethically and with integrity in all they do. Their responsibility towards the employees is manifest in encouraging the employees and promoting diversity in the workforce. Sound business practices and principles ensure integrity in all they do. Good corporate citizenship is assured if the business is profitable and if it creates jobs and contributes towards economic success. Barclay's CSR model is based on three pillars – banking on brighter futures, looking after local communities and charity begins at work. Banking on Brighter Futures is their flagship program through which they make financial contributions to tackle social issues.
They work with local communities to create sustainable change. The colleagues at Barclays are encouraged to volunteer and devote a certain number of hours towards education, entrepreneurship, and helping people into employment. Barclays has also entered into a US$ 10 million global partnership with UNICEF out of which $1.68mn will be invested in India in a three-year project. The focus in India is to help disadvantaged women in developing sustainable livelihood, a part of financial literacy and leadership skills.
This program will be implemented by Barclay’ s employees where they would also provide technical and financial expertise. Barclays believes in supporting the communities they work in, giving back to them and helping them to achieve their goals. In 2010, Barclays invested in communities an amount of £ 55.3m and through this effort, they could reach more than 1.5 million people all over the world. Their community development goals comprise of encouraging youth entrepreneurship, promoting job readiness, income generation, and financial education, healthcare, and environment.
Their grants to charities are aimed at making disadvantaged people financially independent thereby providing them security in life. They also encourage their employees in charitable giving and fundraising efforts. They have several employees’ schemes towards this effect including volunteering in work time. As a global financial services organization, they feel their responsibility towards the environment. Towards this responsibility, they implement a global environmental management system. They not only establish targets for environmental protection but also monitor the impact of their work. Through the installation of efficient building and IT systems that attempt to reduce the consumption of natural resources.
Besides, they work with the internal and external stakeholders to promote environmental sustainability and share the best prices. Diversity and inclusion is another area on which Barclays focuses. They recognize that diversity is a business imperative and diversity can help achieve continued growth and success. The workforce reflects the communities they work in. They ensure that individual talents are duly recognized; they also do not discriminate against caste, creed, gender, age sexual orientation, disability or nationality. They treat their clients, employees and even the job applicants equally.
They make every employee feel valued and the work environment encourages dignity and respect for one another. They recognize the importance of attracting, retaining and developing a talented workforce. Annually Barclays celebrates Make a Difference Day where they teach their youth how to manage their resources and money. On this day people are off their normal jobs and reach out to the community giving them practical assistance as part of their Corporate Social Investment. Their concern for employees is evident from the fact that they have been named among UK’ s top 10 employers by working families.
This was based on an assessment of nearly 90 private and public sector employers in the UK representing one million employees. Their policies and practices ensure that employees at Barclays experience work-life balance including flexible working, childcare and maternity and paternity leave. They have thus been considered to be employers of choice – one which includes and values diversity. Barclays also has a long-standing commitment to managing the environmental and social risks associated with commercial lending and investment products. Based on the Equator Principles Barclays provides a voluntary framework that banks can use when they address the environmental and social risks when lending for projects. Thus, Barclays ensures all-round development of individuals, societies, and communities including their own employees and clients through their CSR initiatives.
Being in the financial services sector, they ensure that the risks too are addressed efficiently.