Banks held in high regard in Malta

Construction industry the least socially responsible

Banking in Malta enjoys a high degree of appreciation by the population.
Banking in Malta enjoys a high degree of appreciation by the population.

Banks in Malta retain a high degree of confidence from their Maltese clients: while a massive 70% of Maltese think that their banks are making an effort to be socially responsible, only 34% of Europeans agree.

This emerged from a December 2012 Eurobarometer survey among 500 respondents in each EU country.

Significantly, the survey shows the Maltese on top of the list of Europeans who judge their banks positively, followed by 62% of Finnish and 60% of Lithuanian respondents. In stark contrast, 17% of Spanish and 18% of Italian respondents agree.

This discrepancy between Malta and the rest of Europe can be attributed to the fact that Maltese banks have been largely immune to the global financial crisis, while in other countries, banks have been blamed for the crisis.

The Maltese are generally more likely than other Europeans to think that businesses in their country behave in a socially responsible way. But they make one important exception: construction firms.

The survey also confirmed one exceptional Maltese trait: a high regard for the country's banking sector.

In contrast, a majority of Maltese (52%) think construction firms do not make any efforts to behave responsibly. Only 40% think that construction firms behave responsibly.

In the rest of the EU, 49% think that construction firms make an effort to behave responsibly.

The Belgians (66%) were the most likely to think that construction companies are making  efforts to behave responsibly towards society, as do 64% of Dutch and 63% of  Luxembourgish respondents. Only 23% of Slovenian and 30% of Spanish respondents agreed.

Fewer than half of the respondents in each EU country think that mining and oil and gas companies are making efforts to behave responsibly towards society. The Maltese are among the most skeptical (31%).

Polish respondents are the most likely to agree (48%), followed by the Portuguese and Danish (both at 47%). By comparison, one in five French respondents (20%), 23% of Estonians and 24% of Italians agree.

The survey shows the Maltese are generally more inclined to think that businesses in their country are socially responsible.

In fact, while only 48% of Europeans think that large companies are socially responsible, the percentage rises to 65% in Malta.

Within the EU, respondents living in Malta (65%), Sweden (58%), the Netherlands (53%) and Denmark and Lithuania (both 50%) are all more likely than the EU average to think that companies now pay more attention to their influence on society, compared to 10 years ago.

The Maltese are the most likely in Europe to think that ICT companies make an effort to be socially responsible.

Respondents in Luxembourg (46%), Malta (44%) and Denmark and Germany (both 41%) are the most  likely to mention the provision of training to employees as the most positive influence of companies, compared to 13% of Greeks, 17% of Cypriots and 18% of Bulgarians.

When it comes to negative impact, the Maltese were among the most likely (45%) to mention poor working conditions and the failure to respect labour standards. This criticism was most common in Poland (47%) and least in Ireland and Cyprus (22%).

More in Business News
what a stupid article,'its like Gonzi saying that Malta has the least unemployed people in Europe and yet 7000 people were unemployed. How can you compare Malta which is the smallest country in the E U with the rest of the E U? Banks in Spain and Greece need billions to keep them going, MaLta for its size and a population of barely half a million people with a good two quarters of pensioners who hardely us the banks would do good with even just a million Euros, so who are the people who enjoy the use of these Banks well its the politicions!! So I say why did Gonzi use HSBC and not Bank of Valletta to cover Air Malta and the schools? is Bank of Valletta struggling, is it trying to show itself as a very profitable and honest Bank when it may be the other way Think ! could we be heading into a crisis like Cyprus? Possible.