BAC Credomatic Costa Rica: more than a financial intermediary: a wellbeing enabler
Can a bank enable individuals and organizations to improve wellbeing in a society? Can a financial institution inspire others to support and pursue the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and have a significant impact in a nation?
BAC Credomatic Bank believes this is not only possible, but part of their responsibility. BAC Credomatic is Central America’s largest bank, with more than 25,000 employees in the region. In Costa Rica, BAC is the largest non-government owned financial institution and a pioneer in fighting climate change, providing quality education and fighting poverty.
Climate Change Intiaitives
BAC Credomatic was the first bank in the region to become Carbon Neutral, and within 5 years was able to reduce their carbon footprint by 50%. Its branches, designed with energy efficiency in mind, were the first in the continent to be certified in the environmentally friendly ISO-14000 norm. But BAC believes their responsibility is not only in mitigating their carbon impact, but also enabling its customers to do the same. This is why the bank is working with customers through education and reforestation projects for them to also become carbon neutral.
Ten years ago, BAC Credomatic worked with the Ministry of Education of Costa Rica to design and implement a financial education program which is now required in all high schools. More than 10 generations of students have learned how to responsibly manage their financial resources thanks to this alliance.
BAC Credomatic was the first bank in the world to apply Oxford’s Multidimensional Poverty Index with its staff, discovering 12% of them living under poverty conditions. BAC Possibilities is a program designed by the bank to eradicate poverty within its staff. It consists of subsidized loans – supported by a donation by its own managers – psychological support, financial coaching and a care network for elderly, disabled or very young family members. The bank hopes that this program will be exported to its corporate clients so that they in turn can eradicate poverty within their staff.
BAC also began an initiative called Yo Me Uno (Count Me In) to provide training and support to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), in addition to an online fundraising platform. The website has raised millions of dollars for these organizations and allowed them to receive thousands of donated items.
Recently, the bank organized a contest for NGOs to present a high impact project, awarding a cash prize and mentoring for this project to be implemented successfully in the country.
For the future
BAC believes that due to the connectedness in society to individuals and organizations, aside from its traditional business of being a financial intermediary it can also become an intermediary for good, enabling its customers and the general population to do more for a better society for everyone.