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Linking corporate social responsibility to trust in the banking sector: exploring disaggregated relations

Toussaint Ciza Bugandwa (Institute of Applied Computer Science, Institut Supérieur d’Informatique et de Gestion, ISIG, Goma, DRCongo) (Finance and Accountancy, Catholic University of Central Africa, Yaoundé, Cameroon)
Eddy Balemba Kanyurhi (Faculty of Economics and Management, Catholic University of Bukavu, Laboratoire d’Economie Appliquée au Developpement (LEAD-UCB), Institut Superieur de Commerce de Goma, ISC-GOMA, Goma, DRCongo) (Centre of European Research in Microfinance (CERMI), Brussels, Belgium)
Deogratias Bugandwa Mungu Akonkwa (Faculty of Economics and Management, Catholic University of Bukavu, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo) (Faculty of Economics and Management Science, University of Goma, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Benjamin Haguma Mushigo (Catholic University of Bukavu, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 13 January 2021

Issue publication date: 5 July 2021




This paper has two purposes. First is to operationalise the concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and trust in the context of a developing country, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Second purpose is to test in a disaggregated perspective the impact of each CSR dimension on trust.


Data were collected from 264 customers of six banks and processed with exploratory, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equations using LISREL 9.1.


CSR is found to have five dimensions: legal responsibility, social needs responsibility, product responsibility, environmental responsibility and employee responsibility; trust is found to be a three-dimensional construct: integrity, compassion and partnership. Each CSR dimension has a positive impact on customers' perception of trustworthiness.

Research limitations/implications

Reliability of trust is not high enough, suggesting the need to deepen research in order to find a more adapted CSR scale for banks. The smallness of sample size might have influenced the robustness of our psychometric results. CSR and trust relationships might be analysed in a more enriched framework including service quality, reputation and banks' employee performance as moderating variables. This paper has measured the two concepts from the customers' perspective only. However, both CSR and trust are best understood in a stakeholder perspective. So, it might be insightful to extend future research in a stakeholder orientation perspective.

Practical implications

Banks from developing countries are also concerned with CSR and should invest in it. Clearly, each dimension of CSR should receive enough importance if Congolese banks are to recover their customers' trust. The findings of the study also suggest that banks' customers are aware of the necessity for banks to comply with the country's legislation. Non-compliance can have severe influence on customers' trustworthiness to banks.

Social implications

Financial institutions are generally evaluated through financial indicators. The findings suggest that banks customers and other stakeholders begin a shift towards requiring their banks to invest in social and environmental activities in order to improve their local milieu. These aspects are still very neglected, or adopted only as marketing strategies to improve image, without a true willingness to be socially responsive.


The two concepts are measured in a context where they did not receive enough importance (developing country), hence providing new knowledge in the field. Further, a disaggregated approach allowed understanding the way each CSR dimension impacts trust, which had not been the case in previous research.



Bugandwa, T.C., Kanyurhi, E.B., Bugandwa Mungu Akonkwa, D. and Haguma Mushigo, B. (2021), "Linking corporate social responsibility to trust in the banking sector: exploring disaggregated relations", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 39 No. 4, pp. 592-617.



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