Content analysis was used to examine the CSR disclosures of 78 bank websites based on four categories: environment and energy, human resources, customers and products and community involvement. Furthermore, sample units were grouped according to their characteristics, and nonparametric tests were employed to determine significant differences between these groups.
This study (1) examines the extent of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure on bank websites and (2) analyzes the relationship between online CSR disclosure and bank characteristics (i.e. size, profitability, capital market orientation, government ownership, media visibility and bank category).
The results reveal that the most-disclosed (least-disclosed) CSR information by banks relates to customers and products (environment and energy). Moreover, characteristics such as size, capital market orientation, government-ownership and media visibility are significant in explaining CSR website disclosures, while profitability (bank category) is not (only partially) significant.
Although the sample constitutes all the relevant banks in Germany, it is small and limited to a single national context. Thus, the results may not be generalizable.
This study contributes to the relatively scarce literature concerning CSR disclosures on banks' websites, provides new empirical data and extends prior research that compares CSR practices among different types of banks. Recommendations for action are also formulated that are relevant for banking practitioners in the present and future.