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CSR Policy of Westpac Bank of Australia

Individual assessment 

A Critical analysis (60%) Demonstrated: 

• understanding of key concepts and theories. 

• independent analysis of the arguments and concepts in the reference material you cite. 

• understanding of the relationship between important aspects of the topic. 

• understanding and application of the different ethical principles and concepts that are relevant to the topic and sound ethical judgement and reasoning in analysing the topic and the issues it raises. 

• well-developed argument demonstrating a sound understanding of the topic. 

B Research depth (30%) Demonstrated: 

• adequate number of references used for the topic. 

• relevance of references cited. 

• correct and adequate citation using the Harvard system of referencing. 

Choose following Research Report topics: 

1. You are a business consultant who has been engaged by a large, publicly-listed commercial bank to assist it in developing a policy on corporate social responsibility and responsible business practice. The client bank has advised you that one of its key goals in developing this policy is to assure its institutional investors that the bank gives a high priority to serving their financial interests but in a way that also meets their longer term ethical, social and environmental expectations. You do not have to develop the CSR and responsible business practice policy in detail yourself but your report should explain how the policy you propose can meet these key goals. Your report should be based on your own, independent research and critical analysis, refer to appropriate academic literature including journal articles and also relevant industry and government reports, and be supported with Australian or overseas real life examples. 

Answer

Corporate Social Responsibility practices 

Introduction

It can be underpinned that CSR activities and business practices is undoubtedly one of the priority for all financial institutions to meet up their various intermediaries in the society, their financial assets and can obviously manage financial risk amidst the extreme competitive market. Banks being the most profitable financial institution in the global podium, therefore, it has been often found that they incur upon certain initiatives in their corporate responsibility program so that they can effectively satisfy the needs of their investor’s interest and also affect the nudging economy of the respective country (Rodriguez-Fernandez, 2016). This appears to be the most crucial disposition of the bank, as they identify investor’s money to be the oil for their financial engine. But in nowadays, the responsibilities of the bank have been shifted not only in satisfying the interest of the financial stakeholders or shareholders of their institution, but also emancipate a fruitful social, ethical and environmental responsiveness towards the country they have been operating. For a financial institution like Westpac Group thriving across one of the most important banking institutions in Australia has developed many important CSR strategies which can meet up with the demands of their equivalent shareholders and financial investors at a reputable phase. But as a matter of fact, it is important to denote how the bank like Westpac can sternly put on intense practices in all their operational movements so that they can meet up the long term goals of ethicality, social and environmental standards. These three elements presume to be one of the most important priorities of any financial institution as they determine a powerful statement of overall reputation in the cynical business world. Therefore under this connotation, the following report will put on reverent approach about how CSR policy of Westpac Bank of Australia can attain these key goals like ethical, social and environmental goals to create a sustainable business interface. 

Analysis

Meeting the key goal of prioritizing the financial investors through CSR policy 

The CSR activity of Westpac Bank is subjugated towards meeting the requisite demands of their financial shareholders who invest a heavy amount of money in the respective bank for carving out the maximum benefit in the contemporary business foreground. The CSR policy of Westpac Bank is indicated towards maintaining a mutual partnership relation with the financial investors which definitely act as a major source for establishing their reasonable objectives and also meeting up the long term goals (Lentner et al., 2015). For creating a more equitable value for the financial investors of the company, the CSR policy has to be potential of a larger value-creation like any other strategic initiative of the organization, so that they can enact upon a more fruitful planning of their resources to the investors. This can be done through resourcing and monitoring of the firm’s yearly profit distribution and measuring of their current financial as well as non-financial assets which can assert for equal distribution of profit among the financial investors of the firm. It is important to identify that financial investors who spend a lot of money has equal opportunity for attaining equitable financial assets from the firm so that they can satisfy the array of potential financial benefits for a longer period of time. The role of board of directors in enacting a CSR policy indicated towards meeting up the goals of the financial investor’s profit maximization also has to ensure that each of the investment is to be evaluated with the same rigour like planning of the financial assets and resources of the bank so that they can certainly abide by the benefits of the financial shareholder and board stakeholders. The time frame or setting up clear and short-term objectives for long term benefits of the financial investors is crucial for the bank as it can be also demonstrated that financial stability of global economy tends to shift and therefore has to abide by the perquisites and demands of the economy according to the time frame (Rodriguez-Fernandez, 2016). The social aspect of the board of directors of Westpac group is also an important part to be considered upon for effectively supporting the financial investor’s priority. For this, all the board members must have the common objective to meet this goal as through this they can defend their social interest and identifying those to be best fulfilling the demands of the financial investors. But as a matter of fact, it has also to be effectively connoted that fulfilling the demands of the financial investors through their CSR policy, the board members also must not compromise the demands of the investors at a value of “any price” as this can hamper the interest of the other shareholders and stakeholders of the company to fulfil their recurring demands. A vital and novel conclusive remark among the Spanish financial institutions identifies with the CG variable as no investigation had already incorporated the consistence with great government as a segment component in estimating organization CSR. From the positive connection existing between this variable and the proportions ROE and ROA it may be deciphered a reason that the current systems that manage the task of the sheets of chiefs can fill in as a manual for investors and financial specialists in settling on their speculation choices; in like manner, socially mindful ventures in business world will be reinforced by the moral and aware practices complying with the standards delineated by Spanish UCGG (Deegan, & Shelly, 2014). From this report, it can be suggested that social behaviour and governing principles can act as an essential source for denominating a positive co-relation between the CSR agendas of Westpac and their financial investor’s motives.         

Meeting ethical goals through CSR policy

It can be identified that shareholders in financial institutions like Westpac Group in Australia demands to be ethical attitudes and behaviours to be exercised in presence of the board of members and also in the CSR policy. The maintaining of the ethical aptitudes at the corporate level is an important function to adhere upon by the Westpac bank as it determines financial stability of the bank in long term gaol and objectives. The presence of ethical coordination in public awareness and thereby fulfilling their financial expectations goes hand to hand. According to the reports of the corporate social responsibility in different banking sectors of the world, it has been denoted ethical enforcement is a usual way of creating economic welfare alongside putting on such values which can successfully create a valuable disposition in exchanging and lending money from the banks for the financial shareholders (Sethi et al., 2017). It is important for banks like Westpac to abide by the market economy ethicality standards as this determines the obligation of the bank in regards to the customers and other stakeholders of the company. Banks like Westpac for engulfing on a more stern steps for meeting up ethical standards has to keep on transparent and fair deal contracts with the investors so that they do not feel like being cheated by the bank policies and at the same time, the bank can also establish their ethical identity in front of them for longer period of time. The CSR strategy of Westpac aligning to various Sustainability Funds investment for their investors indicates the fact that they can essentially support with their objectives of fulfilling the means of ethicality and other social criteria. Another important step for meeting with this objective can be derived to be training and development programs of the managers and team leaders of the banks working at various dimensions so that they can eradicate unconscious biasness which can help them competing with the ethical standards of Indigenous culture financial interest within the corporate sustainability agenda.  The ethical suppliers of bank is another important perspective to look upon as they vehemently emancipates for managing the risk and opportunities in their supply chain network and thereby establishing a clear ethical responsibility among their suppliers (Lalon, 2015). Moreover the firm also must comply with their CSSR policy maintaining the internal and external mechanism for seeking advice on both lawful and ethical behaviour so that the financial investors become more interested in extending their investment decision over the bank for a longer period of time. 

Meeting social goals through CSR policy

Social goals of a CSR policy for a company enact to be an important exercise which can effectively suggest for a better and cordial relationship with their financial investors with the corporate governance of an organization. Under various financial institution’s CSR policy, it has been indicated that governing body of an organization while projecting their CSR policy when increases more socially responsible behaviour and aptitude, it creates a benefit for the investor’s society to create as a whole. The managers of the company creates an ultimatum of maintaining the social responsibility towards employees and reducing larger corporate social wastages so that they can create a suitable financial get up for the company in regards to the investors (Ulstrup Hoejmose et al., 2013). The board of directors in Westpac while forming a corporate social responsible policy also determines the fact the social expectations of the stakeholders and investors of the company must be created with a hope of co-creating public and private value of the company so that it can equally ascertain the personal satisfaction of the investors creating a major part of the bank’s social atmosphere. The CSR executives of Westpac Bank also has to rely on social initiatives in their CSR policy which may not compulsory with the business goals of the company, but the role is to enact overcoming of challenging situation for the financial investors during the time of economic emergency situation like recession or bankruptcy. For coping up with such situation, the CSR policy of Westpac has to rely on identifying different modes of social problems and depict the remedy to crisis situation so that they can empower such incidents and standards in mere future. It can be adhered that fair and translucent financial accounting standards maintained by the Westpac bank CSR policies can also denote for effective collaboration with investor’s psychological retention strategy with the firm for longer period of time. Moreover the CSR policies can be conducted in a more ethical way, if they are induced to effective use of all the social resources which can benefit for better economic return in the future dynamics. The development of social performing metrics as an integral part of CSR policy can also depict for accurate reflection to the customers as well as the other stakeholders in truly reflecting their missions and vision of the firm (Rice, & Peter, 2015). Westpac bank governance while applying for a fruitful CSR policy can also go for adopting a social responsible investment or SRI for the financial investors of the company so that they can create upon an investment discipline which can consider all the societal criteria of their corporate governance systems for generating long-term competitive benefit and also positive financial returns of their investment. 

Meeting environmental goals through CSR policy

The environmental initiatives within banking institutions like Westpac obviously determine an effective sustainability podium for the governing body. The CSR policies enacted by the Westpac Group frivolously identifies that the involvement of the stakeholders as one of the significant constituent for meeting up their goals of environmental initiatives. The CSR policy of Westpac determines that the company contributes vehemently over its environmental norms and standards. But with growing concern of sustainability issues in global podium, it can definitely be identified that the banking institution has to abide by the ethical standards of business value which can explicitly denote environmental concerns in their business operations (Keating et al., 2008). In this respect, the engagement of environmental community for the employees can act as a useful means for the Westpac bank as it can effectively engage in various training programs for dealing with various environmental issues in mere future. The incorporation of sustainable leadership attitudes by the leaders and managers of the company also must be an integral part of their CSR strategy so that they can met their environmental goals. The CSR policy of Westpac Bank in association with social media exposures can also act as an effective source for removing the barriers which the employees of the organization face in terms of environmental issues in current business dimension and also for future aspects. Focusing more building on green customer community in online portrayal of the bank rather than involving in paper documentation can also take the bank one step ahead of meeting their CSR policy to environmental goals. The initiation of the environmental standards by the bank through their CSR policy framework also has been seen to be fruitful on imbibing positive and environmental awareness initiatives in the minds of the employees and employers of the bank (Dell'Atti et al., 2017). The emancipation of CSR policy ranking by Westpac in this scenario is thought to be fruitful as this will determine to be complying with differed perception of the stakeholders involved in ratifying the environmental perception of the policy. Westpac bank can also incur upon educational development programs which can add value to the customer service support for environmental protection. The amalgamation of decision by board members and other management executives while adhering for a CSR policy is also ascertained to be one of the main criteria for resolving environmental issues and uplifting environmental responsiveness of the bank in business scenario. The development of CSR policies enacting for using more usage of environment-friendly resources for usual operations of the banking activities can also be referred to as important dynamic proposals for meeting up environmental expectations of the investors. It can be see that most of the financial investors in today’s economical background tend to focus more on investing on those institutions which represents sustainably viable results and also predicting of presenting sustainable resources for future (Riabichenko, 2013). Therefore from this perspective, it can be entailed that environmental sustainability programs as a part of Westpac Bank’s CSR policy can enhance upon building interest of more or less every stakeholders of their business starting from customers, investors to investors regarding useful tactics to be applied in their environmental initiatives in future facet. 

Conclusion

From the report, it can be therefore effectively `concluded that CSR policy enacted by Westpac Bank is already extremely focussed at various levels like investor’s profit acquisition, social, environmental and ethical sustainability. But in the long term course of actions, this CSR policy of Westpac Bank implies of the fact there has to be more implicit use of resources and practical application so that the policy can apply for a more integrated framework in fulfilling the corporate responsibility of the bank in future scenario. The transparency of thoughts has been signified in this project as a useful mean for converting the CSR agenda of the firm to become more actionable to their various social, ethical norms and environmental regulations. By complying to methods of adaptation, the social, environmental and ethical dimensions of the CSR policy of Westpac can be enhanced to meet up their requisite demands for future prospective. 

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