Social Responsibility

An Alliance To Earth.

Environmentally and socially sustainable strategies for our only one planet.
Social Responsibility

Alliance Bank CSR Strategy Framework


In Our Community

We remain steadfast in our mission to improve the lives of the business owner and their stakeholders, i.e. their family, employees and customers.

Throughout the year, we help business owners adopt ESG practices and empower communities with education and opportunities to create long-term sustainable value for the business, community and the environment. We carry out various business support initiatives and community programmes such as the #SupportLokal initiative, BizSmart® Solution, BizSmart® Challenge and Economic Empowerment Programme.

In November 2021, the Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bursa Malaysia Berhad to provide support to businesses intending to adopt ESG practices (read more here). We also partner with the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (“MGTC”) to help businesses transition to more sustainable business practices (read more here).

Helping Business Owners Succeed

As a bank focused on helping SMEs succeed, we understand that many businesses face significant challenges during the pandemic.

In FY2022, we continued our efforts to help SMEs accelerate growth. In addition to providing financial assistance to our clients, we also made available various non-financial solutions.
Responsible Lending/Financing 
The Bank provides a range of funding solutions to help business clients sustain and grow through the different life stages. Our relationship managers proactively engage with all our clients to understand their financial situation. We then take the appropriate actions to help our clients based on their risk level and needs. The Bank’s credit policy prohibits lending/financing to illegal business activities that cause environmental harm.

On green/sustainable bond issuances, we were a Joint Lead Manager for the first tranche of Agroto Business (M) Sdn Bhd’s ASEAN Sustainability SRI Sukuk issuance amounting RM200 million in nominal value in August 2021.

As at 18 August 2021, we have extended RM14 billion in financial assistance to businesses and individuals. Of the total, RM9.8 billion were approved under the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (PEMULIH) initiative.

To make it easier for our customers to apply for relief assistances, we simplified the application process and launched a WhatsApp business account to respond to customer queries quickly.

For SMEs in particular, we disbursed more than RM600 million in Special Relief Fund and RM120 million in Targeted Relief and Recovery Facility provided by Bank Negara Malaysia.

ESG Lending Policies

The Bank integrates comprehensive and stringent ESG risk management processes and is currently taking proactive actions to prohibit lending/financing for these activities or businesses:
  1. Coal mining
  2. New financing of coal-fired power plants
  3. Unconventional oil & gas extraction (e.g. using hydraulic fracturing)
  4. Financing of hostile takeover of a company
  5. Bars and pubs, night clubs, video arcades, karaokes, cyber cafes, reflexology centres, massage parlours
  6. Projects or activities that cause environmental hazards
  7. Illegal activities
  8. Lending that is prohibited by law and/or regulatory guidelines
  9. Arms trading (excluding government defence contracts)
The Bank also recognises the importance of managing Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) risks and have incorporated measures to mitigate such risks in our lending processes for new and existing customers.

We have established a General and Industry-Specific Risk Acceptance Criteria (RAC) framework and implemented an ESG screener tool to identify customers that require assistance in adopting sustainable practices.

The RAC framework covers the criteria for general and ESG-sensitive sectors. All lending/financing activities are subject to the General RAC that covers areas such as:
  • Addressing material environmental issues via business processes and operations
  • Share of renewable energy in the energy consumption mix
  • Establishment of safe and fair working conditions
  • Establishment of fair and effective labour management
  • Exploitation of the local community
  • Establishment of anti-bribery and corruption policies
  • Legal issues or non-compliance with regulatory requirements, including pollution prevention legal requirements, especially with respect to solid waste and hazardous materials management and disposal
  • Establishment of clear distribution of roles & responsibilities
  • Women representation on the board for public-listed companies
On top of the General RAC, the following four sectors identified as ESG sensitive are subject to additional Industry-Specific RACs that factor in local and international standards:
  • Palm oil
  • Oil & gas
  • Mining & quarrying
  • Forestry & logging
Palm Oil 

Customers with palm oil estates and smallholding millers and refineries are required to meet the following standards:

  • Obtained Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) or Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) or are in the process of obtaining one of the two certifications. Customers that have obtained the said certifications are expected to have complied with MPOB’s Code of Good Milling Practice
  • Have no prior cases pertaining to environmentally-damaging burning practices
  • New plantations must not convert or degrade High Biodiversity Value/High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock
  • New plantations must not convert or degrade High Biodiversity Value or High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock forests, primary forests, forest reserves and peatland
  • Establishment of a water and pollution management plan
  • Customers with millers and refineries are to comply with additional standards such as methane gas trapping facilities or emission avoidance


Oil & Gas 

Customers are required to meet the following standards:

  • Obtained Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification
  • Additional mitigation plan in place, i.e. Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulphur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions and related impacts
  • Establishment of biodiversity conversation and climate-mitigation policies
  • Establishment of a water and pollution management plan, including on-site assessment on waste storage, handling and disposal
  • Oil Spill Contingency Plan (“OSCP”) in place for efficient treatment of water discharges, spills, and leaks, i.e. total volume of hydrocarbon discharged within produced water
  • Establishment of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which govern daily activities and/or work processes at oil and gas sites
  • Development of an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that is maintained and tested


Mining & Quarrying 

Customers are required to meet the following standards:

  • Obtained Environmental Impact Assessment Report for every lessee of a mining lease covering a total area of over 250 hectares
  • Establishment of internal pollution prevention procedures
  • Obtained approval from relevant governmental agencies, i.e. “Surat Kebenaran Skim Pengendalian Melombong” (SKSPM) issued by Department of Mineral and Geoscience Malaysia, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources or equivalent approval in other jurisdictions
  • Establishment of SOPs to govern activities at the mining site
  • Establishment of an Emergency Response Plan


Forestry & Logging 

Customers are required to meet the following standards:

  • Obtained Environmental Impact Assessment Report, for logging activities with a concession area of more than 500 hectares
  • Establishment of a biodiversity-conservation and climate-mitigation or greenhouse gases (GHG) management plan
  • Establishment of water and pollution management plan for managing waste arising from timber or pulp production, including on-site assessment on waste storage, handling and disposal
  • Protection of natural waterways through buffer or riparian zones
  • Protection of community safety and customary lands of indigenous people
  • Obtained approval from relevant governmental agencies


From the RAC assessment that is utilised during the on-boarding and through the annual review process, a time-bound action plan may be imposed to manage clients that are unable to fulfil the mandatory ESG criteria.


BizSmart® Solution 

The Group also provides practical assistance to business owners in various ways. One of these is the BizSmart® Solution.

Launched in 2019, the BizSmart® Solution portal is a one-stop online business community portal that enables business owners to reach out to new customers and access relevant solutions and resources to manage their business more efficiently.

Today, we have over 200 partners that offer solutions at preferred rates for services such as logistics, accounting and digital marketing. We also collaborate with Celcom Axiata Berhad to offer financing and connectivity solution packages; Bursa Malaysia to promote sustainability practices to small-cap enterprises; and Sunway Innovation Labs to provide mentorships, funding and financial literacy to entrepreneurs and students.

We organise regular complimentary webinar sessions with our partners and make available various resources such as business articles, webinars, market reports and training to upskill SMEs and their employees.

Through the BizSmart® Solution portal, our clients gain brand visibility among the business community and new business referrals for participating SMEs.

For more information on the BizSmart® Solution, please click here.

Halal in One 

Our knowledge and experience of business owners' needs led us to launch the Halal in One programme, a halal ecosystem that offers financial and non-financial support to business owners venturing into the halal space.

The programme helps SMEs obtain halal certification, business advisory, business matching services, gain access to market opportunities and obtain customised financing for certification costs, premises renovation, equipment hire purchase or working capital.

In FY2022, we provided over RM250 million in financing to halal SMEs or SMEs who have started their journey towards halal certification. To achieve this, we worked closely with partners who share our vision to help SMEs grow in the robust halal market. Our aspiration is to be the Centre of Excellence for the halal industry and contribute towards Malaysia's vision of becoming a global halal hub.

We adopt a strategic multi-stakeholder approach to establish an effective halal enterprise ecosystem. This includes collaborations with reputable halal players such as Halal Development Corporation (HDC), Halnex Sdn. Bhd. and HQC Commerce.

We continuously strengthen our Halal in One programme by collaborating with like-minded service providers. We are currently working with eJazmine, Fusionex and the International Institute for Halal Research (INHART) to provide business owners with more digital tools, training programmes and additional e-commerce platform options.

For more information on Halal in One, please click here.


SocioBiz, our crowdfunding platform by Alliance Islamic Bank that was launched in 2019, deploys social funds to help disadvantaged individuals start or expand a business or learn a new skill to earn a sustainable livelihood. Since its inception, SocioBiz has rolled out over 32 campaigns and jointly raised over RM1.5 million.

Alliance Islamic Bank collaborates with digital crowdfunding platform partner, Global Sadaqah, and other partners to manage recipients and track the impact of these contributions.

In FY2022, we continued to expand our SocioBiz platform to help social enterprises sustain their business to continue to support marginalised communities.


Helping Our Communities Thrive


We leverage our expertise as a financial institution to provide support to bring financial education to Malaysian students.


The AEIOU Programme


The AEIOU financial literacy programme educates schoolchildren aged 9 to 12 years on the importance of saving, making smart financial decisions and being prudent in spending. The Bank’s award-winning annual financial literacy initiative comprises financial literacy education, Comic Challenge, and e-Game Challenge.

In February 2021, the Bank launched the sixth season of the AEIOU programme with the theme “Saving for a Rainy Day: Preparation during a Crisis”. We digitalised all learning materials, and the Bank’s financial literacy roadshows were broadcasted virtually to safeguard the schoolchildren, teachers and parents.

We improved participation levels to over 58,000 students for the recently concluded sixth season compared to the previous season’s 32,000. We collaborated with SmartStudy from Korea to bring children’s favourite character, Pinkfong, to Malaysia to drive greater signups.

The AEIOU Challenge offers a prize pool of over RM16,000 in cash and prizes for the Comic and e-Game Challenge winners. The school with the most participants stand to win a cash prize of RM3,000 for their school development fund. Teachers who champion this programme in their respective schools are rewarded up to RM6,000.

The AEIOU Challenge is endorsed by Bank Negara Malaysia and is affiliated with the Financial Education Network (FEN). The other partners of the programme are Faber-Castell and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.


Solidarity with Our Community Programme


In line with the Bank’s mission of building alliances to improve lives, we encouraged our employees to play an active role in helping our underprivileged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A case in point was the Solidarity with Our Community (SWC) programme that we organised in partnership with Yayasan Kebajikan Negara which commenced in July 2021. The Bank raised the awareness of its employees on the SWC Campaign via Huddle Letters (weekly meetings in which employees discuss an identified topic of interest Bank-wide) and Staff Communication.

The campaign saw Alliance Bank’s employees and management, and the Malaysian public raise funds for local communities that were impacted by the pandemic. Funds were raised via SocioBiz – Alliance Islamic Bank’s Shariah-compliant social crowdfunding platform. The funds were used to provide immediate relief via food boxes to communities around Malaysia in Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) areas, other recipients in the B40 segment, as well as organisations like Persatuan Orang Buta Malaysia and Persatuan Ibu Tunggal.

Donations made directly on the platform were matched 2:1 by our Bank, e.g. for every RM10 donations received, the Bank donated an additional amount of RM20 to bring the total donations to RM30. The programme exceeded our target of raising RM150,000, and we managed to donate over 1,300 food boxes to families and individuals impacted by the pandemic. For more information on SWC, click here.

Employees contributed to the SWC programme via two methods:

  1. Direct donations on the SocioBiz platform; and/or
  2. Participation in the Bank’s Donation Pledge.


The Bank’s Donation Pledge was implemented through our employees’ involvement in PERKESO’s Activ@Work Challenge (in collaboration with BookDoc) from 1 July to 30 September 2021. The Activ@Work Challenge tracked participants’ steps via a fitness tracker/application and encouraged the adoption of active lifestyles.

The Bank has pledged to donate up to an additional RM20,000 to impacted communities, based on tiers of the total average daily steps taken by employees by 30 September 2021:

Daily Average # of Steps Target Total Donation Amount Pledge
3,000 RM10,000
6,000 RM15,000
10,000 RM20,000

The Bank also held two internal challenges – a 3-month Team Challenge from July to September 2021 and an Individual Spurt Challenge in September 2021 – to encourage consistent participation. The Divisional Employees Engagement Committees were actively engaged to help boost staff participation in the Team and Individual Spurt Challenges.

Employees were updated of the Bank’s progress in the Donation Pledge via regular Staff Communications during the 3-month period.

Thanks to the participation of 333 Bank employees, the Bank managed to achieve averaged 3,650 daily steps over the 3-month period in the year 2021. We achieved the Bank’s Donation Pledge of RM10,000 to help communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides benefiting our local communities, these two initiatives also had a positive impact on the Bank’s employees by fostering camaraderie and teamwork towards achieving a common goal as well as enhancing their fitness levels.


At the Workplace


The Bank is committed to equipping its people with the right skills, knowledge and tools to perform their roles effectively. We advocate open and transparent communication and promote a strong culture of appreciation at the workplace. To maintain a highly productive workplace, we promote a healthy work-life balance and foster continuous learning in our employees.

To learn more about our workplace practices, please click here.