CSR and AML - bettering society

The Payments Conference offers an exciting talk on the benefits of CSR and AML

by Gerald Fenech

Though there are many advantages to social corporate responsibility (CSR), it is not mandatory for companies to engage in these activities, though the benefits are undeniable.

CSR improves the company’s public image, and in turn customers feel when buying goods or services from these companies, as they feel that they too are giving back by proxy. It also gives you free and positive media coverage. The main theme is not only doing good, but to be seen to be doing good. In today’s ever changing world of social media and digital marketing, image is everything. Clips go viral in a matter of hours, and reach an unprecedented number of people. CSR not only makes a company attractive to potential customers, but also to potential future employees. People nowadays are much more aware that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.

So if a retailer is selling products at an unbelievable low price, then it is almost certain that someone, somewhere is getting ripped off. For example, there was quite a lot of fallout from the allegations that Beyonce’s activewear line were being made in Sri Lankan factories where factory workers were getting a mere 64 cents for 60 hours of hard labour a week.

In the same way, many people want to be associated, and are delighted to be a part of a company who endeavours to better society. Finally CSR also attracts and retains investors for the same reason - people want to be part of a force for good, the “feel good” factor is unquestionable.

Therefore, it should be in all company’s interests to combat money laundering. Money needs to be cleaned when it is made from illegitimate means - for example prostitution and the selling of weapons and illicit drugs.

Within themselves, these three activities do the opposite of bettering society - taking advantage of the vulnerable; whether vulnerable women, the economically vulnerable, those with mental health problems or when law and order has failed us. Companies should endeavour to stop systems and organisations from taking advantage of the vulnerable as it is to the detriment of society.

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