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No one question has received attention by businesses, government, politicians and people in general in the past few years than probably the question of what the social responsibility of business should be. This question, though originally aimed at profit oriented business in now being posed to non-profit oriented business institution in the society; Universities, hospital governmental agencies, charitable organization etc. are all increasingly being confronted with similar demand and being attacked for not assuring responsibility for society’s ills and problems. As society awakens and become vocal with respect to the urgency of social problems is asking the managers of all kinds of organizations particularly those at the top as to what they are doing to discharge their social responsibility and why they are not doing more.

About decade ago, a broad movement probably of an evolutionary nature began in the utilized countries of the world. It is movement to take institutions particularly business institutions more responsive to human needs. The business firm is thus caught up in the stream of events as it is being pressed by public sentiment and legislative and regulatory action to respond to issue beyond its traditional task of producing and distributing goods and services at a profit.

Traditionally, managers of business enterprises have been asked by society to concentrate on using efficiently the resources at their disposal to produce goods and services that customers wanted at agreed prices, they were willing to pay, maximize profits. But today, businesses are being asked to contribute more to the quality of life.

In discussing and analyzing commercial Banks and social responsibility in Nigeria, the emphasis is not on what commercial bank should or might do to tackle and solve problems of society, rather than problems of their employees, shareholders and customers. The concept of social responsibility for social and political goals and that they became the keepers of society’s concern and not merely keepers of society’s financial resources. The emphasis is on the contributions banks can make to such social problems and social issues as support of education, health and medical care, support for disables and unemployed persons, than maintenance and restoration of the physical environment, improving public transportation and involvement in community development (e.g. borehole construction, children park, local market construction etc)

It is pertinent to point out that the, social demands on business have been and will continue to increase significantly and the role of business firms in the society.

The amount of attention give not the area of social responsibility by both management and society has increased in recent years and probably will continue to increase in the future.

        Background of the Study

The modern commercial banking dates bank to the colonial period during which Nigerians was under the political administration of Britain. It is not surprising therefore that the banking scene was dominated by British banks which were affiliates of the leading banks in United Kingdom.

Banking began in Nigeria in 1892 “under the initiative of foreign investors, when the Elder Dumpster lines, a shipping company started some form of banking business in the country to facilitate to own transactions. By 1894, what was then the bank of British West Africa, later Standard Bank Ltd, and now First Bank of Nigeria plc, became the first to establish banking business in Nigeria. It remained the sole bank until 1917 when later colonial bank, later Barclays Bank of Nigeria limited and now Union bank of Nigeria Plc, open branches in the country. The British and French Bank now United bank for Africa  affiliate of the banquet Nationale Pour’le Commerceetl’ Industries, a large French banking establishment, came in 1947 to make the third expatriate bank which dominated early Nigeria commercial banking. Together the banks controlled close to 90% aggregate bank deposit.

The indigenously owned commercial banks were of more recent origin, from 1914 to the early 1930’s several abortive attempts were made to establish locally owned and managed banks to break the foreign monopoly in banking many of these attempts were unsuccessfully due to under capitalization, poor management over expansion, and aggressive competition from expatriate banks.

The first ill-fated bank, the industrial and commercial bank, set up in 1929, went under in 1930 in 1931 the Nigerian Mercantile Bank was established, and dissolved in 1936. national Bank of Nigeria was set up in 1933, which turned out to be the 1st indigenous banks to survive but died down in 1990 the next private indigenous banks to be established were the Agbonmagbe Bank in 1945. the bank survived until 1969 when its assets were taken over by the then western state government and its named charged to Wema Bank

The fifth bank, the Nigeria penny Banks, setup in the early forties collapsed in 1946. African continental bank Plc came into being in 1947 and the bank of the North (now Unity Bank) was established in 1961 all the other commercial and cooperative banks were established in the later sixties or early seventies all of then being wholly owned by Nigeria institution and industrials.

The period 1892 -1952 is perhaps remembered as the period of free for all banking with no licensing required and no regulation of any sort to restrict and control the establishment and operation of a Bank. The Banking industry did not come under any regulation until the bank ordinance of 1952. besides the 1952 Bank ordinance and its amendment in 1958 the banking (amendment) Act of 1962, and the banking decree of the 1970’s took several actions to put the banking practices and operation on a sound footing. The banking ordinance of 1958, which established the central Bank of Nigeria marked the turning point in government efforts to harness the activities of the banks for national development. This, it could be said that, the legislative control of banking activity was triggered by the crises associated with the early history of banking in Nigeria.

The number of commercial Banks and their branch offices has increased tremendously. Today there are many banks in the country although some of them are merchant and development banks.

The dichotomy between indigenous and expatriate commercial banks which was very distinct in the 1960 had been significantly blurred capital of the expatriate banks in the 80’s they have now been sold wholly to the public by government disinvestments through privatization and commercialization. These privatization and commercialization of the banks, which had started as private banks, has helped significantly to put those banks on a stronger forting to play their role in the development of the economy.


Commercial banking is a business and as in any other business. Its management chief concern is to make profit. So the first task is to make the institution, whether business, hospital or Academic institution perform the function and make contribution for the sake of which it exists. But the institutions performance of its specific mission is also society’s first need and interest. Society does not stand to gain but loose if the performance capacity of the institution in its own specific task is diminished or impaired performance of its function is therefore the institution first social responsibility.

Commercial banks look upon their business as one of primarily attracting deposits and other funds by offering financial services. Banks collect their deposits from private individuals, public and private companies and governments. The funds thus collected are used to make loans and investments at higher rates of return.

Banking this is basically a services industry that offers financial services to the participants (governments, private and public companies individuals). In other words, banks are keepers of society’s financial resources.

The poor state of services offered by some commercial banks in Nigeria, such as irregular rendering of bank statement or the rending of wrong statements, the delay of clearing cheque ledger. Failure to receive proper guidance or reliable advice, the untidy conditions and endless queues at banking halls and numerous other frustrating and agonizing experience of customers generate dissatisfaction with the bank.

This points out clearly that the society is dissatisfied with some bank basic service function not to talk of their involvement in social programmes. There for the research work will try to examine the extent to which commercial banks involve in social responsibility, how when and where does it expand this responsibility.


The purpose of this study includes the following:-

1.     To examine the extent of social responsibility of commercial Banks.

2.     To determine the causes for lack of adequate social responsible action

3.     To offer suggestions as to how the institution can be improved.


The scope of any study refers to the extent (coverage) a research work focuses or limited to. However, the student intends to limit his study to Commercial Bank and social responsibility with a particular reference of selected Commercial Bank within Kaduna metropolis, i.e. United Bank for Africa (UBA).


The researcher intends to carryout the study based on selected commercial Banks in Nigeria, so that to investigate their social responsibility to the society.

The researcher is also intending to alert the community, against the social responsibility and its impact to development of Nigeria. And effective investigation should be carryout, and highlighted to the Commercial Banks of Nigeria regarded to their responsibility, to the benefits of the societies.

Therefore, this study is expected to assist the society to achieve maximum development i.e. construction of infrastructure and social amenities.


Hypothesis is formulated as a starting point of this study.

H0:   That commercial banks in Nigeria are not adequately socially responsible.

Hi:    That commercial banks in Nigeria are adequately socially, responsible.


In the course of the study some operational definitions were used which are to be seen strictly and mainly in the height of this study.

1.          Community:- A group of people living in one place

2.          Environment:- Surrounding  or the external and internal settings in which a business operates.

3.          Management:- The group specialized persons who manage an organization

4.          Objective:- An end towards which an enterprise activity is aimed.

5.          Policy:- A written statement that guides decision making and sets limits within which decisions are made.


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