27th April, 2019 - the Bank of East Asia (China) Limited (“BEA China”) has today released its “2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report” at BEA’s 100th anniversary celebration. The report offers a full account of BEA China’s proactive investment and achievements in fulfilling its corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) during 2018. Mr. Brian Li, Executive Director & Deputy Chief Executive of BEA and Vice Chairman of BEA China attended the celebration of the report’s release. Mr. Cartier Lam Chi-man, Executive Director & Chief Executive of BEA China, invited staff volunteer representatives onto the stage to mark the release of the report, and distributed awards recognising the efforts of employees who have made CSR contributions over the long term.
Mr. Brian Li said, “In 1918, BEA was established with the aim of ‘Promoting the prosperity of the Motherland’ and was one of the earliest Chinese banks in Hong Kong. Today, BEA is a leading financial services group in Hong Kong and has a branch network covering major Chinese communities around the world. In 1920, we opened our first branch in Shanghai and our business on the Mainland has grown ever since. At present, BEA China operates one of the largest networks of any foreign bank in Mainland China. We have stayed true to our original purpose, carried out corporate social responsibility actively and made great progress in our charity work”.
At the celebration, Mr. Lam remarked, “This year marks the 100th anniversary of BEA. As a wholly-owned, locally-incorporated banking subsidiary of BEA on the mainland, BEA China has not only steadily expanded its business footprint, but has also expanded its CSR footprint and taken CSR to a new level. I am also pleased that with the establishment of various projects under the BEA Charity Fund all over the country, BEA China has cultivated a strong charity fund culture atmosphere. In the future, we will continue to connect more internal volunteers and external charity partners, further expand BEA China’s corporate social responsibility and bring assistance to more people in need.
Improve Quality of Core Project and Implement Charity Support
The BEA Charity Fund was established in November, 2009, and is jointly funded by BEA China and the Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation. The Fund aims to improve the education of disadvantaged children within rural areas in mainland China. Up to the end of 2018, the BEA Charity Fund had successfully raised approximately RMB82.33 million. BEA China has used the BEA Charity Fund as a platform, to continuously and vigorously promote three core projects -- the Firefly Project, the BEA University Scholarship Programme and the Funding Plan for Non-governmental Organisations (“NGO”). The BEA Charity Fund has consistently emphasised the importance of strong public support. At the end of 2018, the Firefly Project had benefited tens of thousands of teachers and students. A total of 88 Firefly Centres have been established; more than 48,000 Firefly Backpacks have been donated in continued support for education in rural areas in mainland China; 16 volunteer events and 56 rural teacher training sessions have been organised; 715 class hours has been taught by volunteers; over 1,100 teachers and headmasters in rural areas have received training. The BEA University Scholarship Programme provided subsidies to over 100 outstanding students in need from Fudan University and Zhongshan University; the Funding Plan for NGOs continues to provide positive support to outstanding NGOs which aid hospices, autistic children, migrant children, couples who have lost their only child, and elderly persons without family support. In addition, the BEA Charity Fund and China Business News together launched the “NGO Show • One-Year Teaching Programme” long-term volunteer teaching programme. The programme recruits the best-qualified teachers from all over China to teach in remote rural areas, thus reaching more of those in need.
In order to improve project quality, in 2018 the BEA Charity Fund provided both remote and onsite assistance, continued to implement the "Firefly Centres" maintenance management system, reviewed 20 centres remotely, carried out maintenance work at 35 Firefly Centres, repaired and optimised 970 computer sets, and refurbished old or out-of-date equipment (tables and chairs, projectors, etc.) at the centres and other facilities to ensure that all Firefly Centres can function properly, and to ensure resources are deployed effectively. In addition, we also launched a “Firefly Centre” upgrade project. At some Firefly schools, we further supplemented “Firefly Centre” schools, by launching online English courses, recruiting substitute teachers, and improving students living facilities, etc., in order to better care for, and improve the education of, teenagers in poor areas.
Better partnerships, better quality charity
In 2018, BEA Charity Fund and its powerful charity partner “la Caixa” Foundation signed a new cooperation agreement to launch the second three-year stage of the “Firefly Centre Development Programme”. In addition to opening 12 new Firefly Centres in the coming three years, the Programme will focus on enhancing teacher quality, improving local educational conditions for students in remote and disadvantaged areas and providing water heaters, quilts and other necessities in line with the actual needs of schools.
In addition, as another part of its charitable work and as part of the celebrations for BEA’s 100th Anniversary, BEA China renovated the Bank of East Asia Building located in Shanghai’s historical Bund area, transforming the first floor and mezzanine floor of the building (which is recognised by the Shanghai Municipal Government as having ‘Heritage Architecture’ status) into the Shanghai & Hong Kong Museum of Banking History (the “Museum”). The Museum is free and open to the public. The Museum will tell visitors the story of the development of banking in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and forge closer cultural ties between the two cities.”
Strong volunteer culture looking ahead to a new century
BEA China has consistently made CSR part of its bank culture. From management to regular employees, the participation of all staff in charity has become a unique part of the Bank’s corporate culture. Since 2013, BEA China volunteer teams have taken root in branches all over the country. Volunteers have frequently taken part in charity events and activities, including visiting people at Chinese New Year, tree-planting and conservation, and childcare. Every year, volunteers also go to Firefly Centres to actively participate in teaching programmes. In 2018, the bank launched or supported a total of 101 charity events, in which a total of 972 volunteers participated, contributing more than 5,319 volunteer hours.
As a bank with a century of history, BEA has never stopped actively practicing corporate social responsibility. Now, as it looks ahead to a new century, BEA China will insist on further promoting charity culture, continue to challenge itself in providing the best charity programmes, and as part of its focus on youth education, further strengthen its support for schools in rural areas and benefit more children within rural areas in mainland China.