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Multiplying corporate giving - from the top

Today, one in four OCBC employees volunteers, making an indelible impact on the bank's corporate culture

Linus Goh, OCBC's head of global commercial banking (right), welcoming the bank's SME customers. Among those seated are Ms Kwee (facing Mr Goh) and OCBC chairman Ooi Sang Kuang (on Ms Kwee's right).


CORPORATE giving activities positively impact corporate culture, which improves business services. This is one of the many values OCBC Bank sees in its giving programmes.

Today, one in four OCBC employees volunteers - a desire fuelled both by the bank's increasing efforts to encourage volunteerism and a growing personal willingness to give back to society. This in turn has made an indelible impact on the bank's corporate culture.

According to Koh Ching Ching, head, group corporate communications, OCBC: "By helping others, the attitudes of compassion, empathy, humanity and care for others are imbued throughout the organisation. Corporate silos are broken, productivity is increased and the spirit of serving is instilled."

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OCBC's corporate giving programmes have not only helped to shape the corporate culture, they have also enhanced employee engagement and presented opportunities for building management and leadership skills. "OCBC values the care and empathy their employees are able to show during their corporate giving programmes, which they bring back to the workplace," Ms Koh added.

As Singapore's longest-established bank and one of the world's five strongest banks according to Bloom-berg Markets, OCBC's spirit of volunteerism is practised not only by its employees, but also by its leadership. On July 26, 2016, senior executives at OCBC invited 12 of its small and medium enterprise (SME) customers and Melissa Kwee from the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) to an informal lunch event, with the aim to encourage these companies to promote staff volunteering. For a start, these companies can be paired with the organisations which OCBC currently supports.

Lim Eng Heng, CEO of Cast Laboratories, found the event useful. "As an SME, there are limited opportunities for staff volunteering as we have finite resources. Working with other SMEs and partners like NVPC and OCBC will enable us to develop a more sustainable and impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme."

As a founding member of the Company of Good movement, OCBC is also committed to working with these SME clients to develop their own CSR initiatives - drawing on the bank's expertise and knowledge from its own employee-based corporate giving programmes.

  • This article was contributed by NVPC, as part of a series of stories on the business case for doing good. The Business Times is supporting NVPC's Company of Good programme as media partner. Visit for more information.