Corporate Social Responsibility in Banking

Call for papers for: International Journal of Bank Marketing

Submission window 1 March 2020 – 30 April 2020

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices should ‘strive to make a profit, obey the law, be ethical, and be a good corporate citizen’ (Carrol, 1999, p. 289) and therefore have the primary aim to achieve economic, ethical and philanthropic outcomes. Previous research has demonstrated benefits of CSR practices for those organisations that have implemented them such as higher purchase intentions (Becker-Olsen et al. 2006), an increase in profits (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004), a surge in customer loyalty (Arli and Lasmono, 2010), as well as positive brand attitudes (Brown and Dacin, 1997; van Doorn et al., 2017). Consequently, CSR strategies have been popular with banking organisations’ (Fatma & Rahman, 2016; McDonald & Rundle-Thiele, 2008). However, various organisations - including banks - continue to contradict their own CSR commitments and often operate in stark contrast to their CSR initiatives. For example, the US bank Wells Fargo misled shareholders creating 3.5 million fake-accounts which led to the termination of more than 5,000 bank employees (CNBC, 2018). In Australia, the royal commission’s report identified that five of the nation’s largest banks have improperly collected fees for services that were never provided (Lannin, 2018) and are now facing criminal charges (Knaus, 2019). The commission’s report revealed a system of greed where financial profit become the most important variable, which is evidenced by billing the dead for financial advice, lending to those with no capacity to repay as well as aggressively selling unsuitable products to customers (Royal Commission Report, 2019). This immoral behaviour is highly concerning and remains in stark contrast to the CSR reports that banks issue. Banking institutions appear comfortable with their double standards. 

It is timely to pose the question why do banks find themselves in this two-faced bind? Further investigation is required to better understand the commitment of banks’ towards CSR. In light of the above, the goal of this special issue is to focus attention on CSR in the banking industry and to further examine the role the banking sector has in delivering social and environmental change. 

Submissions may address the subthemes listed below but do not have to be limited to these. More general papers around this broader theme are also welcome, and we invite you to check with the guest editors to gain additional clarity whether your publication is suitable:

-    The CSR banking hypocrisy
-    Can CSR be more than a window dressing tool for banks?
-    The evolution of CSR in the era of digitisation
-    CSR approaches in developing and developed countries
-    The role of CSR on consumer trust and satisfaction in banking
-    Antecedents, consequences and the future of CSR in banking
-    The role the banking sector in delivering social and environmental change. 

Manuscripts will be reviewed through a double-blind review process. 

Submissions should be made through the Scholar One manuscript submission system, between 1 March and 30 April 2020.

For additional information, please contact Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele at [email protected]; Dr Denni Arli at E: [email protected] or Dr Timo Dietrich at [email protected] (International Journal of Bank Marketing special issue guest editors).


Arli, D. I., & Lasmono, H. K. (2010). Consumers' perception of corporate social responsibility in a developing country. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34(1), 46-51.
Becker-Olsen, K. L., Cudmore, B. A., & Hill, R. P. (2006). The impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior. Journal of business research, 59(1), 46-53.
Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2004). Doing better at doing good: When, why, and how consumers respond to corporate social initiatives. California management review, 47(1), 9-24.
Brown, T. J., & Dacin, P. A. (1997). The company and the product: Corporate associations and consumer product responses. The Journal of Marketing, 61(1),68-84.
Carroll, A. B. (1999). Corporate social responsibility: Evolution of a definitional construct. Business & Society, 38(3), 268-295.
CNBC (2018). Wells Fargo to pay $575 million in settlement with US states. Source:
Knaus, C. (2019). Banks may face criminal charges after final royal commission report. Source:
Fatma, M., & Rahman, Z. (2016). The CSR's influence on customer responses in Indian banking sector. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 29, 49-57.
Lanin, S. (2018). Banking royal commission: Banks and AMP face criminal charges and $1b bill in fee-for-no-service scandal. Source:
McDonald, L. M., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2008). Corporate social responsibility and bank customer satisfaction: a research agenda. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 26(3), 170-182.
Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (2019). Final Report. Commonwealth of Australia.
van Doorn, J., Onrust, M., Verhoef, P. C., & Bügel, M. S. (2017). The impact of corporate social responsibility on customer attitudes and retention—the moderating role of brand success indicators. Marketing Letters, 28(4), 607-619.