Banks support culture, health, etc

IN 2014, non-profit activities of banks were dominated by cultural and charity projects. Banks supported hundreds of socially beneficial projects, usually from several life spheres simultaneously.

Hrušov CastleHrušov Castle (Source: Sme)

“Most resources were allotted to cultural and charitable activities,” spokeswoman of the Slovak Banking Association (SBA) Zuzana Murcko told the SITA newswire. “Totally, more than €4.5 million were donated.”

The contribution of the banking sector cannot be illustrated only with money, according to the CEO of SBA Ladislav Unčovský.

“The orientation of non-profit activities of individual banks and their foundations is varied and differentiates from one another, with the joint goal being to contribute to positive changes in society,” he said.

Banks engaged in culture, in support for the arts and protection of cultural heritage. More than one quarter (26.7 percent) went for support of cultural groupings, music or film festivals, visual arts or saving of important monuments. A further 24.5 percent went to projects focused on health, social and humanitarian aid. Banks also help people dependent on others, especially the ill, children and families in need. They also support the functioning of sheltered workshops and inclusion of disabled and disadvantaged groups, Murcko said.

One of the spheres which receives long-term support from banks is education and science: last year, banks invested 22.1 percent of the amount meant for non-profit activities. They support lectures of world-renowned professors and scientific celebrities in Slovakia, including Nobel and Pulitzer prize laureates. They subsidise study courses at schools abroad for talented youth, while also supporting sports talents and physically disabled athletes. Last year, 14.4 percent of the resources going to philanthropy was directed to sports.

The rest “was aimed at key areas of corporate responsibility of the banking sector” – be it through community or employees’ programmes, for environmental and natural protection, which is also a summary theme of responsible enterprising.

Banks also regularly support startups, creative young people with promising business ideas, and also engage in increasing financial literacy, striving to teach clients how to do wise financial decisions; and support the joint project of financial education Viac ako peniaze / More than Money.

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