CSR and financial performance in the banking sector in Scandinavia
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has had an increasing role in the banking industry over the past decade. Many banks have taken up different CSR activities in their reports to show the shareholders their investments in the social welfare. The motivation behind the CSR remains unclear even though many researches have been made regarding the topic. The question arises whether CSR has an impact on the banks’ financial results, or if the banks perform CSR activities only to profit the society. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the link between CSR and financial performance. With a combination of a qualitative and a quantitative analysis the relationship between CSR activities and the financial results is studied. The data used in this thesis is collected from five major banks in Scandinavia in order to study the relationship and it is taken from the banks’ annually published reports during the time period between 2011 and 2015. Regression model is the main tool used to observe the relationship, and with the help of different theories from earlier researches the relationship is further analyzed. Based on the results no connection between CSR and financial performance could be seen as the set of data did not provide enough evidence. The final result supports the theory that the measurement of CSR is difficult and depends highly on the researcher.