The influence of mutual status on rates of corporate charitable contributions

Journal of Business Ethics 74 (2):191 - 200 (2007)
The claims by the Building Societies Association (BSA), some mutual building societies and other observers that mutual status is associated with higher levels of charitable and community involvement than public status banks are tested using the proxy of charitable donations in cash as a proportion of profits before tax (PBT). Using a sample of 31 of the remaining 65 mutual societies and the population of U.K.-based retail banks and still-independent demutualised banks, two hypotheses were tested: first, that charitable giving as a proportion of PBT over the period 1990–2003 was higher for mutuals than banks and second, that longitudinal records of charitable donations as a proportion of PBT for former mutuals will show a lower rate after demutualisation. Neither hypothesis was convincingly supported allowing for the conclusion that any claims suggesting that mutuals are structurally more generous than public companies are not supported by empirical evidence.
Keywords banks  building societies  charitable donations  community  demutualisation  mutuality
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Thomas Clarke (1998). In Defence of Mutuality. Business Ethics 7 (2):97–102.

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