The study explores how financial performance (FP) affects the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of the banking sector of Pakistan. Further, it also elaborates the comparison between FP and CSR of Islamic and conventional banks of Pakistan. The study is based on the annual reports of banks listed at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) for the years 2010-2016. The study used several panel data diagnostic tests and three regression models to check the relationship between FP and CSR of Islamic and conventional banks of Pakistan, while taking leverage and size as control variables. The results indicate that in case of conventional banks the relationship between ROE and CSR is negative. Here, the results are consistent with the agency theory which states that investment in CSR related activities is a waste of resources. While return on asset (ROA) is depicting negative and insignificant relationship with CSR, which depicts that FP does not have any impact on the investment in CSR initiatives. In the case of Islamic banks, the relationship between return on equity (ROE) and CSR is positive and significant. Here, the results support social contract and stakeholder theories. The research has important practical consequences that will help the banking industry managers to adopt optimal investment strategies about CSR related activities. The study provides guidelines to conventional banks to invest more in CSR in the same way Islamic banks are doing. The findings of the study lay some foundations upon which a more detailed analysis of CSR of banks could be based.
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