2021 GCSA Great Practice: O-Bank “Social Impact Program”, the first program in Taiwan under which customer deposits are earmarked for a special purpose, encourages customers to make deposits that will back loans to economically disadvantaged persons.

2021-10-28

Many economically disadvantaged persons who have an urgent need for cash find it difficult to obtain bank loans, or to receive such loans on relatively favorable terms. This ends up causing them even bigger problems. To help such persons through difficult times, O-Bank has launched the "Social Impact Program." As the first undertaking of our sort in Taiwan's financial industry, the "Social Impact Program" seeks to create a link between "people with resources"  and  "people who need resources." The idea is to create a public interest business model by cooperation with customers and economically disadvantaged persons.


O-Bank invites customers to join the "Social Impact Deposits Program," under which deposited funds earn interest at a fixed rate of 0.83% and are used to back microloans that are available without processing fees and at reduced interest rates to economically disadvantaged persons. O-Bank collaborates with a number of non-profit organizations (NPOs) and social enterprises by lending out "Social Impact Program" loans to needy persons who are either employed or mentored by those entities. Such loans generally require the borrower to repay about NT$3,000 per month. The result is that cash-strapped persons get access to bank funds. In addition, O-Bank has established "pre-loan assessments “and a "requirement for borrowers to make their monthly loan payments before they can receive their salaries “together with cooperating entities. These arrangements lower the risk of default while affording economically disadvantaged persons a chance to overcome the difficulty they normally experience when seeking loans.


O-Bank's "Social Impact Program" converts customers' fixed-term deposits into resources that can be used to provide the poor with emergency relief. Even as the Program encourages customers to do good, it also enables needy persons to obtain emergency relief. In this manner, O-Bank fully plays our role as a financial intermediary while simultaneously creating a positive cycle of finance!