BAC Credomatic fosters a vision that’s focused both on its customers and the development of Central America as a whole. It achieves this by offering products and services designed to open up new opportunities to customers, while generating a positive impact on the local communities. After 10 years of successfully implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR)policies, the challenge is now to consolidate these policies and embed them into the bank’s core operating models. At the same time, BAC Credomatic aims to identify potential negative impacts that may result from the bank’s operations, and manage any possible risks, either by minimising, compensating, or eliminating the risk or impact.
BAC Credomatic is the most important financial entity in Central America. The bank has over 3.6 million customers and over 21,000 employees across six countries in the region: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
Today, BAC Credomatic’s sustainability strategy covers three dimensions: economic, social and environmental. These three dimensions are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) as laid out in 2015.
Although the SDGs are essentially guiding principles for governments and states, the corporate world must also ensure its objectives contribute to the UN’s agenda. BAC Credomatic has therefore focused its sustainability strategy on these three key areas: the economic dimension relates to prosperity; the social dimension relates to the communities and human capital involved in the bank’s operations; and the environmental dimension seeks to safeguard the planet.
With regards to the economic dimension, BAC Credomatic has developed a series of partnerships and relationships designed to support SMEs, and also to serve unbanked segments of the population. In addition, the bank strives to engage and strengthen all parts of the value chain. In terms of the social dimension, the bank is focused on financial literacy and empowering people through knowledge. Finally, with regards to the environment, BAC Credomatic promotes best practices through an environmental management system, as well as a systematic analysis of the social and environmental risks associated with the bank’s operation.
Breakthroughs and challenges
The results to date have been highly encouraging, yet the bank recognises the current challenge is to extend the reach of its sustainability agenda. Over the last 10 years, BAC Credomatic has educated close to 850,000 people in financial literacy, a move that ensures more people can access financial services, make informed decisions, and utilise the products and services that the bank offers, in a responsible and productive manner.
Throughout the last decade, BAC Credomatic has reached individuals, families, schools and institutions, enterprises and NGOs. Since 2007, to extend this reach, the bank has operated an online portal called Aprendiendo (Learning). The portal is a repository of educational tools and resources for children, young adults, and SMEs. In addition, since 2007, BAC Credomatic has implemented public-private partnerships with the ministries of education in the countries where it operates. This initiative allows the bank to extend the reach of its financial literacy programmes and stress the importance of financial education from an early age.
Furthermore, through training and empowerment programmes BAC Credomatic has supported over 80,000 SMEs, of which almost 300 are led by female entrepreneurs. The goal is to provide training in order to boost managerial and administrative competencies related to finance, marketing, project management, economics, and innovation.
Last but not least, in 2014 BAC Credomatic launched a fundraising platform called Yo Me Uno (I’m In) to expand its social impact within the Central American region. The programme supports NGOs and non-profits by enabling links between private enterprise and the wider society. The Yo Me Uno online platform offers an opportunity for NGOs to showcase the work that they do. Most importantly, Yo Me Uno allows citizens to select their cause of choice and donate their time, money or other benefits in kind, directly through the web portal.
As of December 2018, Yo Me Uno had raised over $1.4m through 15 fundraising campaigns in five different countries. Furthermore, the platform houses 139 active entities, equipping them with tools and resources that ease their day-to-day operation and expand their network and reach.
At BAC Credomatic, the long-term support and commitment to sustainability is all-encompassing. The journey towards achieving the United Nations’ SDGs is embedded within the organisational culture and cuts across all the business units and core operating processes.