Caja de Ahorros del Mediterr?neo

Your projects are also ours

Saturday 22 May 2010, by Albert Baie, Anna Batlle Lleal, Kristina Khrystova, Rosalena Mir Ugolini

2 inspired

a) The main facts about the activities of the company

Caja del Mediterr?neo is a financial institution such as a box set. Like many of the cases that developed in the early twentieth century in Spain, CAM was born with a clear willingness to serve the people of Valencia. Its activities are focused on providing credit and savings services to their people, to promote and secure the economic future of the region.

Thus, even today, their main activity is devoted to the saving financial products for businesses and families.

However, the need for change to ensure the future of the entity, forced them -following the same line of many Spanish savings banks- to adopt a model more similar to a bank where service not only provide credit and savings activity but the group wide in more financial activities.

Therefore, to satisfy this necessary change, the group now CAM is divided into 29 independent companies that round the principal entity (Caja Mediterraneo). These 29 independent companies activities develop their business in areas such as financial, real estate, insurance, pensions, investment funds, investment services, commercial distribution, and more.

Currently, the main mission of the CAM?s group is to cover -with a high level of efficiency- financial needs to individuals and businesses with advice, products and services, supported in a balanced relationship of trust. They are as well committed to the improvement of the society, both in the performance in the financial field, as in the implementation of their surplus.

Being more specific, the commitments and targets fixed for 2008 were among others, to continue with the commitments in CSR, promoting CSR among SMEs and employees, implementation of the gender equality plan, enhance and develop social work projects related to energy efficiency and combating climate change.

b) Ethical challenges:

The bank faces serious ethical challenges given that it wants to participate in society by creating new opportunities for many people but they are making really high profits and clients can tend to consider that this money is not exploited to the maximum level. Furthermore, the job of the bank is complicated due to the fact that we consider that money is more valuable if we can see it and by leaving our savings in the bank we are not sure that our money will be returned to us in the future. So, we tend not to understand interest rates or bank charges and as a consequence, we believe that the bank is taking advantage of us and that they are not using the money in the way they should because by making use of the money they are becoming richer and richer. As a consequence of this, the bank has a very complicated role to play because they have to find the means to convince their clients that their money is in good hands and that they?re trying to achieve the best solutions for their clients.

c) What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it.

First of all it is necessary to say, before that is developing different kind of Social Works, that are really diversified and are centered in four basic activities: Solidarity and Social Development (Solidaridad y Desarrollo Social), Environment and Sustainability (Medio Ambiente y Sostenibilidad), Cultures: Art and Thinking (Culturas: Arte y Pensamiento) and Innovation, Technology and Business Development (Innovaci?n y Desarrollo Tecnol?gico y Empresarial). It was stated that more than 5.1 million people have benefited from the activities of Social Work, with a budget of 66.1 million Euros for 2008.

When entering the website, you can see different kind of social works and activities that the company is providing in the society. Starting with different environmental programs (water, energy, etc.), social solidarity (emigration, women rights, etc.) and ending with different cultural programs that provide different kind of expositions, promotions, etc.

The latest programs that they have provided are: International Day of the Environment in Alcoy, Seminar about the Poverty, Climatic Changes and development in Alicante and different cultural events such as Jazz Festival en Alicante.

In April 2007 it was also reported that Caja Mediterr?neo has been awarded by the Foundation & Family to Family-Friendly Company Certificate (EFR) which help companies that develop initiatives to facilitate the reconciliation between family life and work environment for its employees. This is the first savings bank in obtaining this certificate. Reconciling work and family life in the CAM received a ’strong momentum’ following the agreement signed in March 2006 with all union representatives of its workers to adapt and increase action with regard to reconciling work and family.

We can definitely observe that there are a lot of social actions that this bank is developing and that are clearly destinated to society in order to improve, give the different kind of information and communicate.

So, we actually do believe the company is ethical. It may seem at first that its programs are not enough, but we can also see it as a really important first step or a good example to the other companies or at least banks. That is a really great way to combine both profits ? business interest (possible not the maximum profits, but still enough) and ethical values, contributing to the social life. The company is not spending all the savings on its own interests, but also intends to diversify the actions of the company and give an important place to the social values.

We trust Caja Mediterr?neo the as the company is pretty transparent and clearly defines all its actions and actually realizes them.

d) The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

Since CAM is a bank it has many opportunities to be social responsible. The reason is very easy; they have more access to finance. Their main challenge is to guarantee their customers that their savings are going to have a better impact in the surroundings of where they live. So, their main concern should be to choose those projects that best suit their social objectives. Furthermore, CAM has to be very careful about not giving finance to unethical projects and also companies involved in unethical purposes, even if it means not winning potential big profits. As they say, they have the mission that can be defined as enhancing social activities and promoting the value of savings consistent with their business activity and with the ultimate aim of contributing to the economic development and quality of life from a perspective of solidarity.

More concretely, in the strategic plan of CAM, we can find many challenges that they have proposed. It has three main strategic lines; environment, solidarity and social development and culture (art and thinking). Each of these areas is going to use part of their budget (between 10 and 20%) to finance projects of Research, Development and Innovation. In their three main strategic lines CAM has detected the principal needs where they work: Immigration, social integration; ageing of the population and aid to dependent people; young, job placement and housing; women, gender violence; Environmental protection; helps companies in research, technological development and innovation; disabled, drug addicts, social outcasts, cooperation for development; and, finally cultural approach to all audiences.

Bibliography

http://www.empresasypersonas.com/2007/04/caja-mediterrneo-primera-caja-de.html
http://www.cam.es

Location: Alicante (Spain, Murcia)

Sector: banking

Official website: http://www.cam.es

Key figures:

Annual profit: 199.7 million ?
Number of employees: 8147 (2009)
Countries of operations: Spain, Switzerland, Poland, China, UK, Mexico, Cuba, Morocco and Dominican Republic.

Nbr. visits: 3795

Nbr. inspires: 2