The Bank has long been active in a wide range of socially responsible activities including corporate philanthropy, employee involvement, and long term strategic programmes in education. This is in line with its commitment to promote thought leadership within the industry, empower students through education and training, and contribute to the social well-being and economic prosperity of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
During 2016, UGB continued to implement its corporate social responsibility programme with a special emphasis on education and career development for young Bahrainis; development of the regional banking sector; women’s empowerment; and charitable and community-based activities.
Education and Career Development for Young Bahrainis
UGB supports the philosophy that education is the best source of empowerment. The Bank provides education and career development opportunities for young Bahraini students through the following activities:
The Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP)
An annual Silver Sponsor of this major educational initiative since its inception in 2006, UGB became a Friends Sponsor in 2012, which carried a five-year commitment of US$ 50,000. In 2016, the Bank renewed its Friends Sponsorship for a further five-year term.
University of Bahrain Student Internships
UGB is a founding member of this programme, which provides selected students with summer work experience and the opportunity of placement.
TradeQuest – The Trading Challenge
TradeQuest is a business-education partnership that was established 19 years ago. Conducted under the aegis of the Bahrain Bourse, it provides school students with an opportunity to participate in a simulated interschool trading competition by investing in shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the Bahrain Bourse. UGB has supported this prestigious competition for the past 15 years by sponsoring one of the participating schools. The Chief Compliance Officer is actively involved in working with the students, and guiding them through the elements of investing and risk management. The UGB supported TradeQuest school team, won the third place in the 2016-2017 competition.
In addition, the Bank’s Mashare’ Al Khair Scholarship Programme assists qualified UGB employees’ dependants to study at accredited colleges, universities or other recognised academic institutions. The Bank also extends financial support to its staff to constantly enhance their academic and professional qualifications and fulfill their continuing professional development (CPD) commitments.
Development of the regional banking sector
UGB contributes to the growth and development of the regional banking and financial services sector in a number of different ways:
- The Bank supports a wide range of banking-related organisations including the Bahrain Association of Banks, Union of Arab Banks, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), and International Islamic Financial Market of Bahrain.
- UGB staff are members of professional institutions and associations.
- The Bank supports the CFA Society Bahrain in promoting and maintaining the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity in the financial and investment community.
- UGB staff are invited to speak at industry seminars, think tanks and conferences.
UGB continues to support joint initiatives by the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Supreme Council for Women to promote the role of women in Bahrain’s financial and banking sector. The Bank supports the mentoring of young talented women in Bahrain’s financial sector through the participation of a member of staff in the CBB – BIBF Mentoring Programme. The main objective of this programme is to inspire young students, and raise their awareness of different career options in Bahrain’s financial industry, through the exchange of knowledge and expertise with assigned mentors.
Charitable and community-based activities
Over the years, UGB has provided financial assistance for numerous charitable, cultural, social, medical, educational and child welfare organisations that work with orphans, needy families, and the underprivileged sections of society. In 2016, contributions were also made to entities that are committed to protecting the environment and raising awareness about women’s cancer.