Publication Details

Andrew, J. (2009). Responsible financing?: The Equator Principles and bank disclosures. Journal of the American Academy of Business, 14 (2), 302-307.


The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of the Equator Principles on banking disclosures. The research explores whether signatory banks are disclosing information related to their obligations under the Equator Principles and discusses the types of disclosures being made publicly available. The research illustrates that banks are disclosing very little information to help users assess the impact the Equator Principles have had on these banks practices. It is also suggested that banks are reframing their identity through these principles, but it is still difficult to assess whether this is also transforming practice. There is little academic research considering financial institutions and their social and environmental responsibilities and this work seeks to address this gap. Corporations are under increasing pressure to represent themselves to multiple audiences, using complex, contested and often competing criteria to assess the performance of the firm (Cooper and Sherer, 1984; Cousins and Sikka, 1993; Gray, 2002). Cultural practices that respond to, produce and reproduce social expectations have been considered within the field of cultural and media studies (Agger, 1992; Hall, 1997), and this work is beginning to inform research in emerging fields such as corporate social responsibility, sustainable reporting, environmental accounting and ethical finance. This paper utilizes Hall's (1997) work on media, culture and representation. I assume from the outset that information produced by corporations is framed discursively by the institutional and cultural structures that allow its emergence; it is constructed and constructing, productive and reproductive, constituted and constitutive. Accordingly, representations of and by the firm that fall into the category of corporate social responsibility are part of a process and are not an end in themselves as these can never be controlled entirely by the producer or the audience.

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Journal of the American Academy of Business