Deutsche Bank

Invest in society and its own future

Wednesday 26 October 2011, by Hao Qingdong, Shosei Ko, William Zhu, Winna Kong

2 inspired

Deutsche Bank (DB) is the largest bank in Germany. It offers a range of financial services such as cash management, asset management, securities issuance and conventional banking service. People usually think that as a financial institution, money is the only thing they think about. However after we study DB, we find their corporate social responsibility initiative around the globe has contributed a lot to build social capital in all regions in which the bank operates.
Include your study of this company on the directory.

a) the main facts about the activities of the company.

Deutsche Bank?s global corporate social responsibility activities are controlled by the Communications & CSR function, which in turn reports to the Chairman of the Management Board. The CSR strategy is focuses on the five main areas of sustainability, corporate volunteering, social investments, art & music and education. All the programs are implemented locally by Deutsche Bank?s regional teams and supported by the bank’s independent foundations. This enables it to ensure that the bank acts as a responsible corporate citizen in the countries in which it is represented.
Deutsche Bank’s motto is ?Passion to Perform ?, for them, performance includes demonstrating social responsibility. They view it as an integral part of their work. There were about 100 million Euros in 2010 to support CSR initiatives around the world. Deutsche Bank?s corporate social responsibility initiatives around the globe would like to contribute to building social capital in all regions in which the Bank operates.
Sustainability??Deutsche Bank regards sustainability as an essential element of its activities ? in its core business and beyond. It wants to pass on a healthy environment as well as stable economic and social conditions to future generations.
Corporate Volunteering??Pass on your passion: Passion to perform can achieve when it is passed on ? in business and beyond. For instance, during the modernization of the former military base Governors Island near New York.
Social Investments??Aid for the most vulnerable people and disadvantaged communities: There is no alternative to this obligation. DB helps in various ways, whether through the personal commitment of its employees, the use of its networks, or innovative finance models.
Art & Music??A vital cultural life needs an audience as well as young, creative talent. Deutsche Bank provides access to art and music, and supports aspiring artists.
Education??For society and business alike, people?s knowledge, skills, and social competence are decisive resources. Every investment in them is an investment in the future. Supporting opportunity and achievement is a fundamental requirement for sustainable prosperity and social cohesion.

Here are some real case want to share with you.

  • Health centers for Haiti:
    Following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, Deutsche Bank Foundation supports health centers in Haiti that will be set up in cooperation with the German humanitarian aid organization and the relief funds of ?160,000 will go to providing the essential equipment for the health centers that are being built in Haiti?s districts, which were hit hard by the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.
  • Promoting good reading in Chinese village schools
    Deutsche Bank Asia Foundation partners with the Green and Shine Foundation to promote good reading practices in village schools in China. With support from the Bank, more than 260 volunteers will be contributing around 48,000 hours to the program in 10 selected village schools. The number of village students, teachers and parents benefiting from the program is estimated to be over 3,000.
  • Help for East Africa
    Deutsche Bank, its foundations, staff and clients make donations of more than 900,000 Euros for East Africa. All donations are used for urgent relief in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

b) The ethical challenges this company is addressing.

Deutsche Bank didn?t reduce investment in corporate social responsibility when financial crisis came. Deutsche Bank and its affiliated foundations had invested more than 200 million Euros in the recent two years, mainly the region of education, social welfare activities, environment protection and sustainable development projects, arts activities volunteers.
DB realized that the challenge of money is easy to quantify and measure, but the human input need to pay more efforts. The employees are our most important resource. Deutsche Bank wants to offer them an attractive work environment and individual development prospects. With regard to the social issues of our sustainability strategy, the primary focus areas are Deutsche Bank?s responsibility as an employer, the company?s commitment to human and labor rights and the health and safety of our staff.
And many charitable organizations cannot perforce as well as they wanted because of the political reasons or corruption, so some people may doubt that these donations are not able to use all in their mind. In fact, DB has a special department in charge of the affairs, and set up seven special charitable fund projects, including arts, sports, environment protection and so on. In addition, DB picked the proper partner to help them manage these funds. Dedicated staff were concerned in whether the social welfare activities can operate normally, what can make DB have good control to ensure all of our actions open and fair, and can really take effect.

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

Deutsche bank is one of the largest financial institutions in Germany. Not only does it take a social role as a banker, it also considers CSR a very important task. According to ?Highlights of Deutsche?s Corporate Citizen Commitment?, it clearly states that ?Deutsche Bank regards CSR as an investment in society and its own future.?
It invested 98.1 million euro and involved in more than 3,000 social projects worldwide in 2010. The number of Deutsche’s participants has increased by 230% since 2007. By looking at some figures, it is clear that Deutsche bank put significant effort to contribute to society and creates ethical images as trusted citizen.

  • 5 million euro investment to support academic develop, and scientific research.
  • 4.5 million investment was allocated to education and social projects.
  • Approximately 1,300 colleagues participated in ?Financial Literacy initiative? to improve young people?s financial competence.
  • 5.8 million US dollar donation for earthquake in Haiti
  • 1 million US dollar donation for earthquake in Chile
    From these number, we may find that Deutsche Bank really contribute to the society. Not only is it interested in own profit, it put so much effort and capital to contribute to the society. Especially, it put remarkable investment in the education where Deutsche bank considers as ?future investment?. Moreover, it quickly responses to any natural disaster worldwide and donate significant amount.
    By looking at the fact and figures, it is without doubt that Deutsche bank is one of the most ethical companies in the world.

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

After the financial and economic crisis in 2008, CSR has become a central issue to banks. It has fuelled doubts in many people whether the quest for profits and ethical principles, or markets and moral are compatible. People become angry about banks, doubt their business and professional virtue. They criticize the lack of ethics in business, among enterprises and managers, and especially among banks and bankers. However, banks require people?s trust and acceptance which means they need to have good relationship with people and society. The trust crisis will diminish banks standing and the standing of free markets. Furthermore, the loss of trust will harm not only companies and managers but also the banks all over the world.
So I think as a leading bank in the world, DB should lead other banks and financial institute to show their responsibility to the society. DB could organize the banks and financial institutes to be a group, discussing the social responsibility, discussing the environment protection, discussing the honesty and faith. Getting other?s power to show the banks attitude and their promise to people which will contribute to re-build the reputation of banks and finance. And by this way to share some CSR information with other banks and also learns from others.

DB?s reference book
DB?s CSR report

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3 Discussions / 4 Messages

  • Deutsche Bank 18 June 2012 at 18:02 , by Vasyl Davydko

    According to the corporate report published on its website, Deutsche Bank has had a profit of more than 4.000 million in 2011. To skeptics, figures of some philanthropic donations do not seem a big deal for such a large financial institution, not only the largest in Germany, but listed among the most important ones in the world. But DB has been one of the first ones to change the trend in the sector.

    Banking is one of the most profitable businesses. High remuneration has attracted many talented individuals not only from economics, but other fields like mathematics or finance. But, my personal experience tells me that most bankers are not driven by any mission or values, but by greed, that is, their only goal is to earn as much money as possible. Money is always good, but there are many other things that one should care about…

    After having a chat with some of its employees, I felt like DB was a different institution. Their employees were really happy of working for their bank saying that after working for several financial institutions, they stayed at DB because of its unique culture which includes stable relationships with customers, really familiar environment among employees where willingness to learn and to transfer knowledge to others are one of the most important values and many others. Overall, they were happy to wake up in the morning to go to work.

    The world around us is changing all the time. DB has been able to start their way into this new world where banks´ profits are not only used to enrich some few shareholders, where work does not mean exploitation, but doing what one likes and is good at. Obviously, one has to be a realist and to see that there are still many things to be improve. But, at the same time, the idealist´s sparkle in order to achieve something that seems so far should not be gone out.

    • Ongoing Struggles of the Banking Sector 4 October 2012 at 08:17 , by Logan

      Financial institutions as a whole have faced ongoing criticism for lax ethical standards over the last few years and Deutsche Bank has been no exception. Most recently members of the firm were implicated in the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal which touched many of the world’s largest banks. At the same time the scandal broke DB’s CEO Anshu Jain announced plans to cut a large number of jobs and clean up the culture of the firm, admitting that parts of the organization had not been following acceptable ethical procedures.

      Further detrimental to the firm’s reputation were allegations by U.S. regulators that the company provided services to embargoed and rogue nations such as Iran. DB issued a statement that it decided to “not engage in new business with counterparties in countries such as Iran, Syria, Sudan and North Korea and to exit existing business to the extent legally possible.”

      On the other hand, DB’s recent decision to claw back bonuses to certain employees is I believe a move towards better governance of the organization. Too often when employees commit ethical violations they are left relatively unaffected due to having already received compensation while performing the misdeeds, and Deutsche Bank’s decision should help to motivate employees towards more ethical behavior given the understanding that any ill-gotten gains will be taken back by the company.

  • Deutsche Bank 4 October 2012 at 15:58 , by ElsieWang

    I’d like to say something about this case since I have once worked in Deutsche Bank for years. However, my major of bachelor degree is not economic, accounting or finance related. So my first job after my graduation was in a project management company. At that time, bank is a mysterious place where people are dealing with money (cash for my comprehension) all day long. After I was employed by a bank, I found it was far from my imagination. My mainly work was dealing with bills, drafts and documents rather than money. And the profit came from the interest and services fee, the cost only included employees’ salary, rental expense for our working place and expenses on office equipment that each company should pay for regular operation. An idea came to my mind then a bank is a company earns profit without cost and another image I recalled was Shylock at the same time.

    When I joined DB later, my previous opinion changed. I found some differences between DB and my former bank especially in social return. We have a lot of public benefit activities throughout a year. I have also participated in several events such as donation for Sichuan earthquake, donation for students’ breakfast program of Hope school, taking disabled children tocinema to watch films and interpret the plot to them, jogging in Century Park with ads on T-shirt to persuade people to join us in charity activities and so on. I appreciate my employer doing so many things to show its social responsibility and I tried my best to take part in such activity each time.

    As an employee, I was very glad to see increasing profit and steady reputation of DB which is sound consequences of its ethical behaviour. But it seemed unethical to employees since average working period lasts for 12 hours a day. That’s why many people interested in public benefit activities but few came to the site as they prefer rest instead of participation. If DB cares more about employees before considering social return and makes its own people and the society satisfied meanwhile will be more worthwhile.

  • Deutsche Bank 16 May 2013 at 11:51 , by Hazal Sezer

    Being one of the largest financial institutions in Germany, Deutsche Bank has been engaging in big amounts of corporate social responsibilities. The fact that it has invested 98.1 million euro and involved in more than 3,000 social projects worldwide in the last year is quite impressive. Furthermore, it has been fulfilling its responsibilities for its employees in the best way that they can since they know that satisfied and happy employees would be more willing to work and more productive. However, I believe that for a big company like DB it should not be very hard to spare some of their profits for CSR activities. Moreover, especially after the financial and economic crisis in 2008, CSR become a central issue to banks. It has fuelled doubts in the society whether it is more important to gain profits or follow ethical principals. Being aware of this fact, it was inevitable for DB to engage in CSR. Lately there has been accusations against DB and a lawsuit has began which has been showing that material has come to light which shows that Deutsche Bank AG has been involved in the manipulation of LIBOR . After the accusations I have started to believe that all of these CSR activities is actually green washing activities which DB is trying to fix its bad reputation while still continuing their evil activities.

Location: Berlin (Germany)

Sector: Financial and insurance activities

Official website:

Key figures:

- The biggest bank in Germany
- 74 countries, more than 3000 branches
- More than 100,000 employees
- Total assets are EUR1.850bn (2010)
- Net revenues are EUR19.014m (2010)

Nbr. visits: 898

Nbr. inspires: 2