A recent survey has revealed that the UK banking industry commits the most amount of volunteering time to charities.
It also revealed that companies from the sector are also the most supportive of their employees donating time to charities during the working day.
The research showed that 61% of bankers said they are helped to support a charity during the working day, a figure that rises to 72% when employees were asked if their company supports them to do so outside of work.
Further analysis also showed that the banking industry puts in more time supporting charities than average - 28% of bankers are encouraged to commit one day per year compared to a national worker average of 13%.
Interestingly, many UK workers reported that the economic downturn has meant that they are struggling to maintain their previous commitment to charities, 47% saying it’s largely because they no longer have the spare time or money.
The key benefits to companies who encourage their employees to support a charity were also highlighted, with results showing they are more likely to have a proud and inspired workforce.
The survey was conducted as part of the build-up to the Standard Chartered Great City Race, London’s leading 5km corporate running challenge which takes place on Thursday 11 July. The nationwide poll compared the different industries taking part in the race (banking, accountancy, insurance, legal and media) and looked at a cross section of ages.
Charity is a key focus of the Standard Chartered Great City Race and £10 from every entry has gone to the official race beneficiary, Seeing is Believing, a global initiative which helps tackle avoidable blindness. This aim of this year’s race is to raise USD 59,000, which could provide enough medication to help tackle trachoma in the Kasempa District of Zambia – protecting a population of 73,740 people.
Richard Holmes, CEO Europe, Standard Chartered Bank, said: 'The results of the survey make compelling reading and reaffirm our wider effort to support the communities in which we operate. By offering all our employees three days’ paid leave each year for volunteering, we were able to donate a total of over 86,300 days last year. That makes a hugely positive difference to the lives of others, exactly what every one of the 5,000 runners will be doing by simply entering the Standard Chartered Great City Race'.
Other statistics from the survey:
72% of those working in banking say their company supports an existing charity.
Charities that directly benefit local communities are most likely to get the support of companies and staff – 52% say that their company supports local community charities.
The banking sector particularly is inclined to support community charities (74%).
There is a bias towards supporting UK-based charities (over 50% support have projects in the UK only) with a further 30% supporting UK-based charities with projects both in UK and abroad).
The majority of UK workers surveyed (63%) say that their company has not encouraged or enabled them to do any charitable work in the last year.
Employees can play a significant role in calling their company into action: one in five UK workers say that their company only donates to charity because their staff demand it.
16% of UK workers say they are able to devote up to one day per year to charitable work
15% say they are able to dedicate up to two days per year.
6% of UK workers say they are encouraged to do more than two days per year.
Note: The survey was conducted online in May 2013 by Opinion Matters amongst a panel of 2130 UK office workers.