A bank's role in society

A bank’s main role in society is to provide financial services to help people and businesses achieve their goals and reach their potential. So we lend money to people to buy a new home or help them save for their future, and we make loans to businesses so they can employ more staff or invest in new equipment.

As a source of finance, we generate value directly for our customers, suppliers, business partners, employees, shareholders, the companies in which we invest, and other investors. Enabling these stakeholders – and thus the economy – to thrive is our core purpose and contributes significantly to a healthy, well-functioning society.

We also generate social value through our products, through our community programmes, and by paying taxes. Moreover, since we are significant owners of the companies in which we invest, we can encourage those companies to operate more responsibly, both in our own home markets and globally.

What we do and how: banking made simple

View our graphic (pdf, 1 MB) which illustrates how a bank's core business works and how our income and profits flow back to society.

Trust and confidence in banking

The video below underlines the importance of trust and confidence between banks and customers, lenders regulators and society.