For almost a decade, Santander Bank boosts Finance for Mortals, one of its main financial education initiatives, developed in collaboration with Santander Financial Institute (SANFI) and the University of Cantabria. The program is aimed at financially vulnerable groups, such as children and young people, the elderly, social entrepreneurs or communities that, due to various circumstances, are at risk of exclusion.
Finance for Mortals is one of the main tools that Santander has to fulfill one of its main objectives of responsible banking: financial inclusion in all the countries where it operates. Its goal is to achieve the financial empowerment of 10 million people by 2025, through three main lines of action: access to basic financial services; financing for SMEs and entrepreneurs with difficulties in accessing credit through initiatives such as microfinance; and financial education.
During this year, the program has taken a key step by bringing the project closer to people deprived of liberty. Through ‘Finance for Mortals, Educational Justice’, professionals of the entity give training sessions in the prisons of Valencia, El Dueso (Cantabria) and Burgos, thanks to the collaboration agreement reached between Banco Santander, Penitentiary Institutions (IIPP) and the UCEIF Foundation.
“This is an inclusive and necessary project to contribute to the progress of people, which represents a further step in Santander’s commitment to financial inclusion and to ensuring that those who need it better understand the current economy, thus helping them to make the best decisions on how to manage your resources and contribute to the security and protection of your finances ”, said Rocío Pazos, territorial director of the entity in Galicia, during one of the sessions that she gave at the Teixeiro penitentiary in La Coruña .
Internal and internal participants who are conducting productive workshops participate in the sessions and can put the acquired knowledge into practice, in addition to people who enjoy the third degree with prison permits and are actively seeking employment. The workshops are developed in two sessions: the first day is dedicated to the possible job opportunities of the participants and delves into the existing aids and benefits, job orientation, differences between being self-employed, working on their own or employed, or understanding of a payroll and an invoice, among other issues. The second session, called Learn to organize, focuses on knowing basic financial products, the use of online banking, saving methods, indebtedness and smart consumption, personal and family budgeting or debt management.
Immigrant women and groups at risk of inclusion
In addition, Banco Santander, together with the Miguel Castillejo Foundation and the UCEIF Foundation, signed an agreement last July to launch financial education sessions through the program Finance for Mortals, aimed primarily at immigrant women and other groups at risk of exclusion from the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. The training sessions began in Córdoba, at the Palacio de las Doblas, given by volunteer employees of Banco Santander with the aim of providing basic financial knowledge.
Also recently, Banco Santander and Fundación Edelvives have come together to promote and raise awareness about the importance of financial education in the school environment. The content and training materials are specially designed for students, families and teachers and will be offered through the Fundación Edelvives website called Parent University, with the support of various face-to-face educational activities by volunteer bank professionals.
Another of the agreements to highlight is that of Santander and Plena Inclusion España, which has enabled the implementation of the Finance for Mortals Guide, designed for all those who have any kind of comprehension difficulty. This tool is made with the easy-to-read method, a process for creating documents that are easier to understand, both through text and images, design and layout. The objective is that this guide helps to improve access to financial knowledge both for people with intellectual disabilities, as well as for older people with cognitive impairment due to the passage of age and other possible groups such as the immigrant population with little command of the language, people without studies or who cannot read or write.
Financial inclusion, in the bank’s DNA
In addition to financial education, another of Santander’s lines of action in favor of financial inclusion is access to basic financial services and financing for SMEs and entrepreneurs with difficulties in accessing traditional loans. Santander has helped six million people with financial inclusion proposals since 2019.
In recent months, the group has reinforced its initiatives in all the countries where it operates to help people who are at risk of financial exclusion, giving them access to basic services and promoting entrepreneurship and employment in the face of the challenges derived from the pandemic. This permanent work has been recognized by The Banker, the group’s magazine Financial times, which has highlighted Santander as the most innovative bank in financial inclusion initiatives in its annual Innovation in digital banking awards.
“Financial empowerment can help lift people out of poverty while helping economic growth. We are moving forward and we are pleased that this has been recognized by The Banker, but we also recognize that there is still much to do and we are committed to playing our role, “said José Antonio Álvarez, CEO of Banco Santander.
The British publication highlights the agreement reached in Spain with Correos, which allows Santander to offer its cash delivery and withdrawal services through the 4,650 Correos service points. Thanks to this initiative, the bank has managed to increase its offer of basic financial services in 1,500 municipalities and has begun to take money to any municipality in Spain through postmen. This award also recognizes other financial empowerment initiatives and programs such as Superdigital, Tuiio or Prospera, developed in Latin American countries where the bank is present.