The actual cash figure given to charity by the top 500 UK companies is £400 million, or 0.236% of their profits of £169 billion.

According to the Evening Standard city editor Chris Blackhurst this average is a “shamefully low” figure for companies that like to pontificate about their corporate social responsibility, although some are much more generous than others with firms like Sainsbury’s (7%), Innocent (10%), Richer Sounds (10%), RAB Capital (4.77%). Icap (2.82%), and Marshall Wace (2.40%) leading the field and giants like Goldman Sachs International (0.32%), Schroders (0.21%), Merril Lynch Europe (0.19%), Morgan Stanley International (0.17%) and 3i (0.04%) trailing well behind.

In the past 10 years total charitable income in the UK has barely shifted, in real terms, yet in the same period the wealth of the 100 richest people on the Sunday Times Rich List has tripled.

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