The Determinants of social and environmental disclosure by Islamic banks in Tanzania and Kenya
Dighesh, Mussa Issa
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This study sought to establish the determinants of Social and Environmental Disclosure (SED) by Islamic banks in both Kenya and Tanzania. The study also sought managerial perspectives on SED by Islamic banks in the sample. To achieve this objective, the study sought data from audited annual reports of 10 banks offering pure Islamic products and services and conventional banking products and services with some Islamic offering in them. The annual reports covered the period over the period 2014-2016. The study utilized descriptive analysis, alongside correlation and regression approaches to fulfil the objective of the study. Both the empirical findings from annual reports and respondents revealed that Type 1 Islamic banks engage in higher SED compared to Type 2 Islamic banks. According to the findings, Islamic banks in Kenya engage in higher SED than those in Tanzania. The results revealed that commonly disclosure SED aspects included community involvement, human resources, products and services with environmental conservation raking lowest. In additional to that the sampled banks paid attention to Islamic-related disclosures, especially those relating to compliance with Shariah Law. The results showed that SED by Islamic banks are significantly associated with the country in question, leverage, bank profitability as measured by ROE and the type of bank. Managerial perspectives on SED by Islamic banks revealed that most SEDs revolve around products and services and environmental conservation with minimal focus on employee welfare, an outcome which is slightly inconsistent with the results reported from the banks’ annual reports. The study adds onto the sparse studies conducted on SED by businesses conducting Islamic banking. The findings from the study calls for increased awareness on the need to improve the level (and quality) of SEDs by Islamic banks within the East Africa region to promote greater transparency and accountability in the banking sector, which has often been seen as a catalyst for economic development and growth. Future studies can consider expanding the scope of the study by studying an extended coverage of Islamic banks in the wider East African or African region.