While Barclays was among the high street banks accused of making dubious demands for companies applying for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBIL), the Barclays Foundation has taken a more philanthropic approach.
It will be giving out half of the £100m in the form of direct funding for charities, while the other half is a commitment to match employees’ donations, including senior figures in the company pledging a third of their salary.
Barclays’ Covid-19 Community Aid package will be split into two parts; £50m will go directly to charities helping vulnerable people during the crisis, mostly in the UK but also overseas, and £50m will go towards a donation matching programme.
Barclays said charities in the US, India and others will receive part of the funds, and that local programmes where Barclays employees live and work will be prioritised.
The main focus will be on charities which support vulnerable communities hit by the social and economic consequences of the outbreak, helping people and supporting NHS staff and other key workers.
For the donation matching scheme, Barclays is committing £1 for every £1 donated by employees to a charity of their choice, again among those working to respond to the crisis.
Barclays chair Nigel Higgins, Barclays Group chief executive Jes Staley and group finance director Tushar Morzaria have all pledged to give a third of their salary to charity for six months, which will be matched by the bank.
The bank estimates that, when staff donations are taken into account, the programme could result in up to £150m donated to charity. Any funds from the matching scheme that remain unspent after 12 months will be converted into direct funding.
Staley said: “As a bank we have been doing all we can to look after our customers, clients, and colleagues through this crisis, made possible by tens of thousands of amazing and dedicated Barclays people around the world who have been doing their utmost to keep our services running, and support the economy.
“We want to do more to back the communities in which we live and work, and to provide help to those who have been hardest hit by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
“That’s why we’ve launched this community aid package, which we hope will make a positive difference, working with charity partners here in the UK and around the world to deliver help where it’s needed most.”
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