“Thanks to the fact that our teams have given the maximum for our clients and the support of the investments made in technology, we have been able to respond to the needs of the people and companies we serve while we build the Santander of the future. We are committed to supporting the transition to a greener and more digital economy and we are very satisfied that Euromoney has recognized the efforts of our colleagues ”, highlights Ana Botín, president of Banco Santander.
The recognition of Euromoney as Best Digital Bank in Western Europe rewards the work done by the financial group to lead this transformation, with the digitization of its processes and operations, and the improvement of customer service through alternative channels, artificial intelligence tools and machine learning algorithms to create models and services more predictive.
Among the aspects valued by the magazine, Santander Spain’s new digital strategy stands out and, specifically, the application launched in July 2020, which is more useful, versatile and personal. For the development and design of this app, the bank received suggestions from nearly 390,000 users. This is a version “Simpler, smarter, more modern, with new capabilities and hundreds of details that will make your day to day easier ”, says the entity. In fact, it offers new functionalities to fully personalize the customer’s digital experience and simplify their relationship with the bank.
Digital channels have been key to guaranteeing the group’s operations since the crisis began. The number of users has multiplied by four in the last three years and, with data at the end of the first quarter, Santander has more than 44.2 million digital clients (15.6 million of them in Europe) and 50 % of total sales are made through these channels.
Euromoney has also appointed Santander Best bank in sustainable finance in Latin America, in recognition of its strategy to move towards a more responsible, inclusive economy aligned with the United Nations SDGs. “We support our clients in the transition towards a green economy with a supply of sustainable products that contribute to mitigating the devastating impact of climate change,” they point out from the entity, which at the beginning of the year announced its ambition to achieve zero net carbon emissions across the group in 2050.
The bank has a global emissions plan to finance green, social or sustainable activity as part of its responsible banking commitments: it has set the goal of providing more than 120,000 million euros by 2025 to advance in this direction, a figure that It will rise to 220 billion by 2030.
Banco Santander is the world leader in both financing large green infrastructure projects and advising on renewable energy operations (between 2019 and 2020 it has mobilized funds amounting to 33,800 million euros) and has launched several products also for the retail market that help protect the environment, such as green mortgages, energy efficiency plans and financing of renewable energy installations.
Financial inclusion, a tool against poverty
In addition, within its responsible and sustainable banking objectives, initiatives with a social impact stand out. This work is especially important in Latin America, where it has programs to help end poverty through financial inclusion in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Uruguay. Through microcredits, the bank facilitates access to financial services for the most vulnerable groups to promote the creation and development of small businesses. In addition, it provides financial education so that they have the necessary skills to manage their businesses and their domestic economy, and offers products such as debit cards, life insurance and medical assistance, or mobile and electronic banking. In 2020, almost 200,000 people received the financial support they needed to launch their projects, of which around 80% are led by women.
Financial inclusion has become a key element in recovering from the crisis derived from the pandemic, as it contributes to reducing inequality. Santander’s roadmap is clear: in 2019 announced the goal of empowering 10 million people by 2025. It has already reached the figure of 4.5 million empowered people, with a special emphasis during the last year to help its clients face the challenges arising from the pandemic. The main objective of the group in Latin America is to guarantee that people can access basic financial services, such as the entry and exit of cash. For this it has Superdigital, an online platform with more than 500,000 active users in the region.
Euromoney has also highlighted Santander’s support for SMEs during the recognition as Best bank for SMEs in Latin America, which reflects the entity’s commitment to supporting companies during the pandemic and the Best bank in Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Y Best investment bank in Portugal and Mexico.