Bank of Cyprus awarded for its initiative and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic

'Excellence in Leadership in Western Europe' Awarded by Euromoney Magazine

Bank of Cyprus has received the 'Excellence in Leadership in Western Europe' award, in recognition of the speed and effectiveness with which it reacted to the coronavirus crisis. Conferred by the editorial team of Euromoney magazine, the award recognizes banks around the world for their actions in dealing with this major health crisis.

Despite not submitting a nomination for the award, Bank of Cyprus has nonetheless been recognized for its initiative in creating the #SupportCY network, which currently consists of 62 members, in close cooperation with the Reaction NGO.

Bank of Cyprus understands that although it is the official recipient of the award, given that this distinction is conferred on financial institutions, the award equally belongs to the 61 other members of the network who have tangibly and materially supported the government and frontline workers as well as people with special needs during the pandemic.

Commenting on the matter, Bank of Cyprus Corporate Affairs Director Michalis Persianis said that the #SupportCY network marks a shift in the way that Corporate Social Responsibility is perceived both in Cyprus and also the rest of the world.

"Corporate Social Responsibility cannot merely be an advertising gimmick where an organisation is concerned, nor can it be just about issuing cheques," Persianis said. "Today we need to swiftly deal with needs on a practical level, and CSR should be linked to how an organisation operates, the goods and services it provides on the market, its expertise and the infrastructure it can make available to address societal needs."

He added: "Instead of cheques, we would rather pay to meet real needs. CSR is not marketing; rather, it must be part of an organisation's day-to-day operations, part of its DNA. We are offering added value, not buying publicity.

"The reaction from our clients, businesses, organised groups and NGOs, shows that we can take this further still. When Euromoney approached us to ask about this initiative, it was clear that #SupportCY was seen as a potential model for others overseas, since it's an approach that is quite different to what we've seen so far when it comes to CSR. 

"But above all, the award belongs to the members of the network. In partnership with the Reaction NGO, the Bank has spent money and has coordinated the endeavour. However, what was really at stake was to prove that the Cypriot Commons is part of the DNA of all the network members, not only Bank of Cyprus. And we have achieved that. That is why I would like all members of #SupportCY to be recognized, beyond the Bank which is accepting this award on their behalf."