Strengthening Our Communities Through Meaningful Partnerships

SICO’s success as a bank is not truly meaningful unless it contributes to the development and prosperity of the communities and countries in which we operate. Additionally, the health and stability of the region directly affects our ability to achieve sustainable growth. With these relationships in mind, SICO has integrated a As a key player in Bahrain’s financial sector, SICO strives to play a central role in supporting our local community, protecting our surrounding environment, and developing our industry.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy focuses on helping drive sustainable growth for all our stakeholders. By supporting worthwhile initiatives dedicated to education, healthcare, sports and the empowerment and wellbeing of youth, and creating frameworks to reduce our carbon footprint and bolster Bahrain’s financial sector, we hope to ensure the sustainable growth of our business, country, and region.

Throughout the year, our efforts were concentrated on five strategic pillars:

Supporting Education

SICO continues to support Bahrain’s flagship educational initiatives including the Al Mabarrah Al Khalifia Foundation and the Crown Prince’s International Scholarship Program (CPISP). The long-standing Crown Prince scholarship program awards 10 fully-funded university scholarships each year to Bahraini students from both public and private schools. SICO is honored to have helped further the education of more than 160 students through CPISP to date.

Each year, a large number of young Bahrainis graduate from local and international institutions and enter the job market. For many the competitive landscape can be daunting, which is why SICO also strives to help new graduates enhance their career prospects through a number of initiatives that focus on building leadership skills and improving financial literacy.

As part of its partnership with CFA Society Bahrain, SICO sponsored and participated in the Society’s Career Day 2018. The event included a full day of skills building workshops hosted by industry professionals covering a broad range of topics related to the job market in Bahrain’s financial sector. The Bank also sponsored a number of additional CFA Bahrain initiatives such as Mutamahin and the Research Challenge. The society also held mock exams to assist CFA candidates acquire the certification and held an award ceremony for candidates, both of which were sponsored by SICO.

During 2018, we celebrated our tenth consecutive year sponsoring Trade Quest - The Trading Challenge. The initiative, organized by the Bahrain Bourse, brings public and private schools and university students together for a portfolio management competition that simulates financial markets. In 2018 approximately 200 students competed in teams that were asked to invest in a virtual portfolio of companies listed on the BHB and the New York Stock Exchange. The initiative aims to teach students how to analyze and select equities, manage a portfolio, and acquire presentation, teamwork, conflict resolution, and time-management skills. A total of five investment professionals from across different divisions at SICO served as mentors for the competition.

SICO also sponsored a specialized trading simulation course given by the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) entitled ‘Bank Management Simulation’. The course was attended by 12 students from the University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic. It covered a number of topics and provided students with practical tools such as how to analyze stock market data and manage an equity and bond portfolio.

Advancing the Financial Sector

Financial institutions worldwide are keen to integrate innovative technology solutions into their day to day operations that will revolutionize the way that they interact with clients and customers. In Bahrain, a country that is emerging as a regional leader in the fintech space, Trade Quest trading challenge simulation 2018 at the Bahrain Bourse.

SICO is proud to partner with Fintech Bay, a versatile technology incubator that provides entrepreneurs with a dedicated co-working space that includes state of the art meeting rooms, innovation labs, acceleration programs, and educational opportunities.

SICO also sponsors Bahrain’s CFA Society, a non-profit organization established by the CFA Institute in 2006. The society contributes to the development of local capital markets and the professional skills of its members through educational initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and networking events. This year, the society held a number of conferences and workshops covering key topics such as pension reform and fintech.

In October 2018, SICO sponsored the first Bahrain Association of Banks’ (BAB) Annual Forum entitled ‘FinTech: Opportunities & Challenges’. The forum focused on raising fintech awareness among bankers in Bahrain and brought in local and international experts to discuss the advantages and challenges of adopting new technology.

Preserving the Environment

In 2018, SICO launched an internal Go Green initiative to promote sustainable business practices and help preserve our environment. The initiative raised awareness within the Bank on ways to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize our environmental impact.

We provided our employees with personalized reusable glass water bottles to reduce the use of harmful plastics and we changed default settings on all printers on site to print in black and white and double-sided to reduce our paper and ink consumption, thereby reducing both paper and electronic waste. We also encouraged employees to turn off monitors, lights, and other electronic equipment at the end of the day and instructed them to close applications on their computers when not in use to reduce energy consumption.

Improving Healthcare and Social Services

Improving the wellbeing and overall health of our community has been one of the main pillars of SICO’s CSR agenda for many years. In 2018, we continued to support healthcare initiatives throughout the country. SICO hosted a blood drive in collaboration with King Hamad University Hospital blood bank, that saw employees donate blood to the hospital and gain awareness on how vital and necessary blood donation is to saving lives. We also supported a worthwhile men’s health initiative through our sponsorship of the Movember Foundation’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, a motorcycle ride that takes place annually in over 650 cities worldwide to raise funds and awareness for men’s general health issues.

SICO and its staff members contribute to and participate in a variety of charity initiatives focused on improving healthcare and social services within the country. In the past, our collective and individual efforts have included hosting an event for children suffering from cancer and sickle cell anemia in collaboration with Dream Society Bahrain, sponsoring the Rotary Club of Manama’s Bahrain Annual Six-a-Side Football Tournament to raise money for the Bahrain Cancer Society, organizing a team to participate in the Bahrain Marathon Relay, an annual event that raises funds for many charities in Bahrain, and participating in the annual Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, a global motorcycle ride that raises money for charities and organizations focused on men’s health issues.

SICO also regularly extends support to the following causes and charities:

  • Bahrain Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Bahrain Down Syndrome Society
  • Al Noor Charity Walfare 
  • UCO Parents Care Center
  • Children & Mothers Welfare Society 
  • Child Care Home

Promoting Sports and the Well-being of Youth

SICO was the proud sponsor of the 2018/2019 Kings Football Cup and the Prince Nasser Bin Hamad Premier League Football Tournament. The sponsorship is in line with SICO’s efforts to support the revitalization of Bahrain’s sports sector and youth athletics. I n 2018 the Bank identified sports and the general wellbeing of youth as one of its main CSR pillars