Investing in the community, partners in sustainability

Social responsibility is not just a side programme for BBK – it is an integral part of the Bank’s philosophy and vision. It is woven into the very fabric of the corporate culture and drives the organisation’s sustainable success.

Since inception, BBK has remained steadfast in its commitment to support the economic and societal growth of the communities in which it operates. BBK honours this commitment through continued backing of community related projects and worthwhile societal causes.

The Bank’s community investment activities are designed to address the needs of different sectors of society, support sustainable economic growth, and encourage the advancement of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development – a series of 17 ambitious goals designed to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

The Bank’s community investment programme focuses on 13 main areas. These include support for the more vulnerable members of our society, in particular orphans and those with special needs; empowering our youth through education and the availability of career opportunities; enhancing access to quality healthcare for all members of society; protecting and promoting Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage; encouraging a national culture of sport and a healthy lifestyle; honouring the elderly; promoting national pride and prosperity; and, encouraging global environmental sustainability.

In 2019, the Bank underscored its unwavering commitment to remain a regional benchmark for social responsibility through various community investment initiatives.

Investing in economic sustainability

The Bank is a key player in driving the sustainable growth of Bahrain’s banking sector while cementing the Kingdom’s position as a prominent regional financial centre and FinTech hub. In particular and aligned with government directives to transform the Kingdom to a digital economy, the Bank is facilitating the creation of a FinTech ecosystem by supporting the development of a world-class pool of FinTech-enabled local talent. The Bank’s pioneering FinTech-focused Management Trainee Development Programme is the first of its kind in Bahrain and is equipping young Bahrainis with the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy.

Also aligned with preparing the Kingdom to succeed in the digital age, and following the national roadmap to digitalising economic activities, BBK staged the Digital Economy Forum and Expo under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and in collaboration with the Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance.

The forum showcased the importance of digital transformation and the opportunities it brings to revolutionise Bahrain’s economy as a whole.

Further commitment to economic sustainability was demonstrated by the Bank’s early response to official directives to support Bahrain’s economy and national growth by becoming involved in the new Liquidity Support Fund. The initiative, led by the Crown Prince, HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, is designed to stimulate entrepreneurship and economic diversification.

Investing in local talent

BBK believes in Bahraini talent. We attract and nurture the country’s brightest and best, providing a challenging and encouraging work environment and a positive corporate culture.

BBK invests heavily in its people, providing training and career development opportunities to equip employees with the skills they need to reach their full creative potential. The Bank has one of the highest Bahrainisation levels in the Kingdom and is committed to empowering our people and our youth to succeed.

In 2019, the Bank provided its employees with myriad training and development opportunities in collaboration with local and international educational partners.

At BBK, we reward and recognise our staff achievements and honour their loyalty through various incentives. This commitment to gratitude, as well our BBK Alumni Programme, nurtures the BBK ‘Family’ culture and is key to our future success and positioning as an employer of choice.

Investing in education

As a learning organisation, BBK values the power of education to enable our youth and change the future. The Bank actively invests in initiatives that enhance the accessibility and quality of education in Bahrain and beyond. A substantial percentage of the donation budget was allocated to education in 2019, in addition to continuing programmes that bridge the gap between education and the workforce.

The Bank is a long-standing Platinum Sponsor of the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Programme, an initiative that enables Bahrain’s most outstanding young people to study at top international universities and colleges. BBK’s backing of the Isa bin Salman Education Charitable Trust, also contributes to helping Bahraini students pursue their studies.

The Bank also equipped a complete laboratory in cooperation with the University of Bahrain, with the latest equipment and technologies on digital engineering, which helps to establish and prepare students for integration into digital education.

Investing in gender equality

BBK has a rich history and a proven record as an advocate for diversity and equal opportunity. As an equal opportunity employer, the Bank highly values the contributions of its large contingent of female employees, and with an active Women’s Empowerment Committee ensures BBK women are supported to reach their full potential, achieve their career goals, and maintain a work/life balance.

This commitment to reaching gender equality is replicated in our community initiatives where we encourage and applaud women’s contributions in society through the backing of women-owned ventures, including small businesses and entrepreneurs, and generally supporting women’s economic independence.

Investing in independence

BBK is a pioneer in providing innovative services that support the financial independence of customers with special needs. The Bank continues to invest in better accessibility to bank facilities and provides special exemptions from fees and charges and minimum account balances. Underscoring the importance the Bank places on addressing the requirements of the special needs community, BBK allocated more than 15 percent of its total donation budget to special needs societies and associations in 2019.

Other philanthropic support

The Bank renewed its commitment to society with its continued financial support for the community, making numerous charitable donations during 2019. These included our ongoing support of various funds and initiatives such as the Ministry of Social Development NGO Fund and schemes to elevate the care of our elderly citizens and orphan community, as well as other philanthropic societies.

Investing in wellbeing

The Bank believes that every citizen has the right to quality healthcare, accordingly making contributions that emphasise the health and well-being of the Bahraini community. From the establishment of the BBK Health Centre and the BBK Rehabilitation Centre to extending financial support to medical entities and research institutes and promoting national awareness campaigns, BBK is an avid supporter of elevating the health and wellbeing of the citizens in the communities where we operate.

Currently, the Bank is in the process of establishing a health center in the Galali region, in coordination with the Ministry of Health, which in turn will serve a large segment of the population of the northern part of the Kingdom, which includes residents of Amwaj Island, the Galali region, Al Dair, and Samaheej.

Investing in a healthy lifestyle

BBK nurtures a corporate culture that encourages sport activities and a healthy lifestyle, extending this principle to our community involvement where we encourage sport at a national level. In 2019, BBK participated in the National Sports Day and continued its proud record of donations and sponsorships that benefit a range of national sports, such as the Kingdom’s football team.

2019 was a golden year, during which our team won the 24th Gulf Cup. The Bank provided BD 100,000 as part of the national campaign to support the team.

Investing in our rich heritage and making our cities safe and sustainable

BBK is proud of Bahrain’s rich culture and encourages the promotion and continuation of our heritage by supporting arts, culture, and literature. The Bank contributes to various initiatives for cultural preservation and the restoration of historical facilities through the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, for example restoring the minaret of Al-Fadhil Mosque and Manamat Al Gosaibi, and the Sheikh Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research.

Investing in a greener future

The Bank’s sustainability push not only incorporates a sustainable business, economy and society. It encompasses the preservation of our natural environment where the Bank has planted and equipped Al-Eker Park in cooperation with the Capital Governorate, which will benefit children and visitors to the park. BBK continues to take action towards reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring a greener environment for generations to come. The Bank’s digitalisation is a key part in this process as we move towards a paperless office, while supporting local conservation work is fundamental to our mission for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.