Citizens Bank - CSR

Client: Citizens Bank

Objective: Create an innovative, on-brand community engagement strategy

Launched by Vancity Credit Union, Citizens Bank was Canada’s first online bank.  Working in the marketing department my role was to engage customers by developing innovative Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) products and services.  My projects included developing the Bank’s Ethical Policy, publishing the Bank’s first social audit and training staff. My most exciting and innovative initiatives were developing the Bank’s community grant program – Shared Interest and developing the CSR component of the Bank’s Shared Interest credit card.

rom the beginning, our community grant program was conceived as a way to engage the Bank’s customers and build loyalty.  Customers could nominate their favourite charity and then their votes determined the distribution of funds.  Simply put, my job was to make this happen.  I worked with our ad agency and designers to create collateral material, ensured that processes were in place to promote the program to our customers, trained staff, created systems for monitor voting, briefed executives and worked with our PR agency on a national launch.


Shared Interest became one of the flagship products for Citizens Bank and a source of pride for customers and staff.  Unfortunately, Citizens Bank was ahead of its time and ended up being dismantled.  Shared Interest became a model for a Vancity program for a few years. I learned from this project the power of CSR to build community and engage stakeholders.