Corporate Social Responsibility and Banks’ Financial Performance

  •  Francesco Gangi    
  •  Mario Mustilli    
  •  Nicola Varrone    
  •  Lucia Michela Daniele    


This study analyzes whether and how corporate social responsibility (CSR) affects the financial performance of the European banking industry. According to agency theory, CSR engagement should be negatively related to financial performance. By contrast, from the stakeholder perspective and according to the resource-based view, CSR should positively impact banks’ financial performance. Over a period of six years (2009-2015) following the explosion of the sub-prime crisis, the econometric estimates of the current study confirm a positive effect of CSR engagement on banks’ financial performance. Net interest income and profitability increase with the increase in social performance. At the same time, CSR is negatively related to non-performing loans. Therefore, in contrast to the trade-off model, our results support a win-win vision of the relationship between the social and financial performance of banks.

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