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CSR

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Corporate Governance
  • Economic Development
  • Community Development
  • Human Development
  • Environmental Protection
Samir Hanna
Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer
We live today in an ever-changing world, and in a region impacted by extreme social and political events, as our company and colleagues continue to evolve to improve the trajectories and lives of the communities around us.

During times of uncertainty, having a clearly defined Purpose matters. At Bank Audi, we are united behind common values that translate into a unique focus: to help our clients thrive and our communities prosper. We remain constant in our belief that how we act is just as important as what we achieve. Our principles-led approach entrenches our values of integrity, accountability and a commitment to diversity and inclusion into the decisions we make every day.

We know we owe our success to the people, businesses, and communities who we have supported and partnered with for almost 190 years. That success brings along a responsibility to make a significant and positive contribution in return.

This is Bank Audi’s seventh CSR Report, detailing our sustainability-related initiatives over the past financial year covering economic, environmental and social issues. It represents another progressive step forward in our journey.

Business exists to serve and as a financial institution, we are first and foremost an enabler creating happiness and social impact. This applies to the activities we have embraced, that revolve around our four-fold commitment: empowering people, serving companies, supporting the economy and creating shareholder value.
  • In our aim to make peoples’ lives better, and enhance their wellbeing, we created programs and solutions for education and green living, including environmental loans and special students facilities…
  • In a similar effort, yet from a different perspective, we strive to give substantial added value to the business world we are part of. 2017 has witnessed a strengthening of our newly created SME business line with dedicated initiatives and programs in remote areas.
  • To be able to cater to individuals and corporations alike, we start from the top, working closely with public authorities that regulate Lebanon’s financial landscape and building a sustainable infrastructure for businesses and entrepreneurship to flourish.
  • Bank Audi is committed to continuously creating shareholder value and providing quality financial information, complete with all key indicators setting best practices in terms of governance, compliance and transparency.

Our work on financial inclusion and education is very dear to me. I am very proud of the achievements our team made possible last year. The contribution towards the education of 413 outstanding students, our pro-family higher education program, the Global Money Week and our renowned Innovation Weekend, to name a few, are testimony to the drive we want to generate when investing into the human potential of our country. This year’s report carries examples of this incredible work in building future generations while providing them with the necessary protection generated from our various financial literacy projects.

At Bank Audi, our motivation is relentless in backing people and businesses, helping them grow beyond their potential, building confidence and supporting communities to shape a more prosperous tomorrow.

I again, take pride in bringing you Bank Audi’s 2017 CSR Report in a new dynamic and interactive format highlighting the humble achievements made by the Bank in this field.
Committed always,


Samir N. Hanna
Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer
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Hasmig G. Khoury
Head of CSR
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US AND WHAT WE EXPECT FROM OURSELVES

“Committed” is a pledge we made decades ago when Bank Audi was founded; a self-imposed commitment to safeguard the community’s best interest; a consignment we made to future generations; an engagement to all our stakeholders; and a devotion to protect the environment as best we can.

Our sustainability framework is based on what we expect from ourselves, with a clear strategy materialised by our voluntary and firm commitment clearly portrayed through our five sustainability pillars: best practice Corporate Governance, amplified Economic Development, balanced Community Development, energised Human Development, and precautionary Environmental Protection.

Our vision of sustainability, as an integral part of day-to-day operations, is achieved by adhering to best practices and giving full priority to the triple bottom line. In addition to abiding by global standards such as the UN Global Compact and its local steering network which we are committee members of, and the ISO 26000 of Social Responsibility, our recent alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a lighthouse have guided us towards tangible and significant actions which are underway, in need of promotion, or initiated and seeking partners.

We have therefore enhanced our CSR strategy by linking corporate action to the universal language of sustainability, quantifying our positive impacts, creating shared value and leading relevant initiatives, engaging our stakeholders through specifically targeted communications, aligning private public partnerships that subscribe to the SDGs, tackling issues that are relevant to our communities, seizing innovative opportunities that contribute to the SDGs, and generally reducing sustainability risks.

Focusing on what you can expect from us, it is worth mentioning that when referring to our influence on stakeholder assessments and the decision taken thereafter to implement a wide scope of initiatives, the SDGs we tender towards span wider than the specific goals we have chosen to champion, taking into consideration that our impact effectively reaches 11 out of the 17 goals. One can also note the inherent interconnectedness of the goals in question, and how actions undertaken to reach a target within a goal may spill over to other targets in different goals. Last but not least, because ambition implies focusing on actions that deliver a long-term outcome with regards to the materiality of our issues and how significant these are to our economic, social and environmental impacts, Bank Audi has chosen to pledge towards 5 of the SDGs, namely Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), and Climate Action (SDG13).

A privilege we are proud of within our practice of CSR is the regional (MENA) benchmark we now represent. The latter is gaged by our case study which has become an efficient tool for mentoring students and companies alike, and by expert benchmark reports we contribute to, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and ArabSustainability.com

It is in this context that our case study, Bank Audi: Leading through Sustainability by MP Dr. Dima Jamali, was submitted to the 2017 EFMD Case Writing Competition by Ivey Publishing, and won the “Corporate Social Responsibility” category sponsored by the prestigious Kedge Business School.

This recognition is all the more valuable since EFMD, the leading international network for management development, has organised, for over 30 years now, this annual case writing competition which aims at encouraging and supporting the writing of new and innovative case material, with a wide selection of categories focusing on specific issues and specific regions of the world.

As a GRI Standards Pioneer, we are among the first to adopt the new GRI Standards: global best practice for sustainability reporting. In doing so, we demonstrate our full support for GRI’s mission to empower decisions that create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone.

This report will further explain how our investors care about Corporate Social Responsibility and how we attract and retain engaged and productive employees. In a word – how “committed” we truly are!
Responsibly,


Hasmig G. Khoury
Head of CSR
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OUR COMMITMENT TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

The Global Goals indicate market gaps, development needs and investment priorities for different countries. Issues addressed in the SDGs provide a road map for businesses to seek opportunities and manage risks. The SDGs also provide vision for sustainable, long-term growth for private companies that balance the economic as well as social and environmental returns.


SDGs are the bedrock of future regulations and policies which inform and channel investment into priority sectors and restrict businesses that have negative social or environmental returns. Aligning with the SDGs also deepens the value and impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts expended by businesses. SDGs allow companies to promote their socially and environmentally responsible operations while opening new consumer and business-to-business channels. They also offer a common language to communicate the company’s commitment to sustainable development with stakeholders. Finally, the SDGs give companies the opportunity to shift to sustainability by providing a framework to align their strategies with the global development agenda.

As a leading financial institution, and although our sphere of influence impacts 11 of the 17 goals, Bank Audi has chosen to champion the following SDGs:
Throughout our report, relevant SDGs have been mapped within our five strategic pillars and our material issues. Our committed sustainability can be traced through our actions, our KPIs and the indicators we have carefully selected to assess and report upon. These SDGs integrate our economic, social and environmental ideals, and allow us to visualise impactful and sustainable progress in the areas of contribution and beyond due to overlaps.

STAKEHOLDER'S PANEL

Open Communication and Constructive Dialogue All the Way
Recognising the value of each stakeholder, Bank Audi made sure to continuously engage its external and internal stakeholders, to seek their critical input, and to monitor their expectations. Therefore, and similar to previous years, it held a special stakeholders’ panel reflecting its corporate values, and aimed at inviting stakeholders to discuss the Bank’s strategy and initiatives, and to identify important gaps and directions for the future. This meeting generated a better understanding of our stakeholders’ concerns and perspectives on key issues, and helped build stronger relationships for more tangible business value creation. The selected stakeholder representatives included employees, Management, clients, suppliers, regulatory bodies, partners and competitors.

The main takeaways revolved around:
  • Furthering inclusiveness for persons with special needs.
  • Furthering communication on our CSR efforts.
  • Perceiving and tackling of human rights.
  • Promoting financial inclusion.
  • Supporting vocational training and human development in rural areas.
  • Furthering public/private collaboration.
  • Promoting education for the benefit of the community.
  • Conducting trainings to raise SMEs’ awareness of Financial Management in times of crisis.
  • Financing and marketing researches and innovations in the university sector.
  • Conducting campaigns to decrease corruption and access to information.
  • Setting clearer KPIs.
  • Promoting Corporate Governance and transparency, and their spillover effect to other companies.
  • Supporting start-ups, social entrepreneurs, MMEs and SMEs.
  • Undertaking environmental initiatives.

Through this initiative, Bank Audi has engaged in an open and constructive dialogue with its stakeholders who were keen to share their concerns, thoughts and perspectives on its strategy and reporting. These valuable insights will be used to identify material issues and refine the Bank’s CSR strategy. Read more

Open communication and constructive dialogue all the way
CSR Committee Members
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Founded in Lebanon in 1830, Bank Audi sal has sustained its solid growth, building a strong legacy of excellence in banking. Headquartered in Lebanon, the Bank is currently present in 10 other countries located across Europe and the MENAT region, namely Switzerland, France, Jordan, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Monaco, Turkey, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Bank Audi is a joint stock company (“société anonyme libanaise”) with a diversified shareholder base that encompasses founding shareholders, large regional investors, supra-national entities, international institutional investors, a large number of private investors, as well as executives and employees.

The Bank offers a full range of products and services in Commercial and Corporate Banking, Retail and Personal Banking, Private Banking and Investment Banking within a wide range of industries including manufacturing, trading, contracting, real estate development, food and beverage, education, media services, health and social services, and retailing among others.

Bank Audi, a leader among Lebanese banking groups, has further reinforced its position among the top 20 Arab banks. Main development pillars for the Group are Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and the Private Banking business line which, together, represent more than 90% of assets and earnings. Our performance stems from a comprehensive range of financial services and a diversified market presence which represent the backbone of our sustained growth in spite of an overall challenging operating environment. The Bank’s recent results faithfully reflect how sustainable strategies translate into long-term financial value. In 2017, Management succeeded in sustaining a high resilience of the Group in its capacity to withstand adverse developments in its markets of presence while reporting favourable growth in activity and net profits, in parallel to the reinforcement of the Bank’s fundamentals and of its financial flexibility. Concomitantly, our Executive Management remains determined to further advance environmental and social goals, and to sustain the financial and business achievements which contribute to socioeconomic growth and financial stability. In the future, we will preserve our will to remain leaders in sustainability, and to balance the healthy financial growth and returns to shareholders with equal commitment, drive and added value to stakeholders, and to society at large.

COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF BANK AUDI SAL
  • Mr. Samir N. Hanna (Chairman of the Board – General Manager, Group CEO)
  • Dr. Marwan M. Ghandour (Vice-Chairman)
  • Dr. Freddie C. Baz (Vice-Chairman)
  • Mr. Marc J. Audi
  • Sheikha Mariam N. Al Sabbah
  • Dr. Imad I. Itani
  • Mr. Abdullah I. Al Hobayb
  • Dr. Khalil M. Bitar
  • Ms. Sherine R. Audi
  • Mr. Carlos A. Obeid
  • Mr. Aristidis I. Vourakis


Changes to the board of directors during the year 2017:
  • Following his resignation, H.E. Mr. Raymond W. Audi was nominated as Honorary Chairman; and
  • Sheikha Suad Hamad Saleh Al Homaizi, Board Member of Bank Audi since 1962 and co-founder of the Bank, passed away in August 2017.
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