Engaging communities


Why this is material to us

We recognise that our long–term success is interwoven with the wellbeing of society. That is why giving back to society is an essential part of OCBC’s corporate culture. By engaging and supporting the communities in the markets we operate in, we can develop a sustainable future for all.

Our management approach

We remain committed to supporting underserved communities across our core markets. By leveraging the Group’s resources, we continue to address challenges and the unmet needs of society. This is funded through our #OCBCCares programme. We focus on making a difference through targeted programmes in four thematic areas, in line with the Group’s sustainability strategy and our commitment to the SDGs:

  • Families: Supporting cohesive and healthy communities
  • The Elderly: Meeting the health and social interaction needs of an ageing population
  • Persons with Special Needs: Encouraging social inclusion and acceptance
  • Environmental Sustainability: Promoting environmentally responsible behaviour and reducing carbon emissions as part of our climate action strategy

In 2021, a key focus for our efforts has been on environmental sustainability, in line with the Group’s Climate Strategy to lead and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future for all.

Supporting food security for low-income families

  • In Singapore, we helped set up two shop-for-free community shops that offered more than 1,500 families the option of taking only what they needed from these shops, minimising duplication and mismatch of food donations.
  • Our volunteers in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia helped raise funds to purchase and pack food and essential goods for more than 1,500 low-income families. We placed these supplies in three selected locations in Jalan Gasing, Taman Mayang and Kota Damansara for families to collect when needed.
  • Similarly, our volunteers in Hong Kong collected basic food items for low-income families. Over a span of two weeks, we collected more than 800 kg of food supplies for more than 4,000 individuals who may not have regular access to food.

Helping seniors to embrace technology and promote social interaction

  • To support the mental wellbeing of seniors who had kept to their homes during the pandemic, our Singapore volunteers organised regular virtual activities to promote social interaction.
  • One such event saw 60 seniors attending a virtual durian party. With frequent practice, the seniors have become accustomed to embracing once-unfamiliar technologies to connect, interact and build emotional ties with one another.
  • In China, our volunteers supported seniors in various activities to help them stay abreast of social changes and to empower them to contribute to society.
  • These activities ranged from enabling them to support a low-carbon world through recycling to organising digital and risk prevention workshops to ensure they do not fall prey to scams.

OCBC-NTUC First Campus Bridging Programme

  • OCBC contributed S$1 million to fund pre-school education for 2,500 children from needy families in Singapore from 2020 to 2024 after learning that some families still struggle with educational cost despite hefty government subsidies.
  • To date, 948 children have received support under this programme and 81 families have attended the financial literacy classes. The educators reported that children who attended the programme saw improvement in numeracy skills and social interaction, while parents have become more confident in managing their finances to meet their families’ needs.
  • Each child received a one-time payout of S$400 into their Child Development Account (CDA). This was matched equally by the Singapore government under the Baby Bonus Scheme. After paying the relevant fees per month, the remaining money can be used for other educational and healthcare expenses approved under the Baby Bonus Scheme.
Economic contributions

Why this is material to us

OCBC has a wide geographical footprint in Asia. We recognise the way we do our business will have a long–term impact on the development of the environment and society. To build and maintain public trust, we must be transparent about our economic value creation and distribution across different stakeholder groups.

Our management approach

In addition to providing financial solutions, OCBC plays its role in supporting the local economy through fair and progressive compensation to employees, taxes to respective authorities and dividends to shareholders. We prioritise sourcing from local suppliers to support the economy in our core markets. We have also established policies, frameworks, procedures and processes to ensure that we are disciplined and responsible in our goal to drive long-term positive impacts for stakeholders.