Responsibility, guarantee, security and help are the words that accompany each of Banco Santander’s actions related to the pandemic. Very early, its employees started working from home and the network of offices adapted to the circumstances and needs of each moment.
Digitization has facilitated the launch of all initiatives, especially those related to the service of individuals. The technological development that the entity has followed in recent years has been key during the period of confinement, since 64% of its active clients were digital.
The process has accelerated and, so far this year, it has accumulated 300,000 new users, of which 20% are over the age of 70. During the state of alarm, the contracting of products and services made by digital channels accounted for more than 50% of total sales on key days. In addition, remote assistance to customers has increased more than 60%.
From an economic and business point of view, Banco Santander “has focused efforts on counteracting the effects of the pandemic, with specific initiatives aimed at providing emergency liquidity and lines of credit for companies and people facing difficulties,” states the entity.
Offers complementary options to the Government mortgage moratorium
Some of the measures established for individuals are the postponement of the payment of loans and rents in homes that are owned by the entity, the temporary increase in the limits on credit cards, the temporary reduction or suspension of some commissions, the entering QR codes and other tools installed in ATMs and point of sale devices to avoid physical contact.
The most vulnerable clients of the entity are offered complementary options to the mortgage moratorium approved by the Government in case of not fulfilling the required requirements.
Likewise, the bank deferred the payment of the principal in consumer loan contracts for a period of up to six months, paying only the interest generated.
For those over 65, it adapted its offer with the aim of meeting their needs during the period of confinement and protecting their health. Among other measures, it was decided to establish a three-month grace period in the payment of the basic package of the Senior plan, which includes various products and services, such as a remote assistance device or button for any type of emergency, an insurance guarantee for accidents in case of burns, fractures, trauma and others, and three support or assistance services (technological handyman, 24-hour telephone assistant and a receipt optimization service).
Established a grace period of three months in the payment of the basic package of the Senior plan
Senior customers can also have a completely free debit card, so that they can withdraw cash from ATMs without having to enter the office.
From a business point of view, the bank has already made 45 billion euros available to the self-employed, SMEs and companies, a part of them with the endorsement of the ICO (Official Credit Institute).
“Today, banks are part of the solution. We are much stronger and we are prepared to face global challenges like the coronavirus ”. “By supporting families and businesses now, we will help the economy recover faster, people get back to their jobs, and growth.” These are words that Ana Botín, president of Banco Santander, spoke at the shareholders’ meeting held last April.
Santander has allocated 100 million euros to solidarity initiatives focused on fighting the Covid pandemic. In March, it announced the creation of a solidarity fund for a minimum amount of 25 million euros. Initially, it was financed with 50% of the remuneration (fixed and variable) for this year from Ana Botín, president of Santander, and José Antonio Álvarez, CEO, and with 20% of the salary of non-executive directors, in addition to voluntary contributions from employees.
The fund has grown to 54 million with new contributions in the different countries through solidarity contributions. In parallel, Santander redirected 46 million euros from certain projects to others related to the pandemic. Thus, the most vulnerable students and research centers are being supported for the study of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.
• In the confinement, the number of open branches was adapted and the provision of the service was guaranteed at all times thanks to digital tools and the reinforcement of other channels.
• More than 112,000 people in the group worldwide came to provide their services from their homes. Reincorporation is being done in stages and complying with security measures.
• The group has promised not to undertake any ERTE in its staff in Spain. Santander has supported the providers that service its facilities.
• For the return to the new normality, the work centers have been provided with gels, gloves and masks. The posts have been reorganized to maintain the safety distance.
• In Spain, it has delivered more than four million masks to the Government, the Armed Forces, the police and hospitals. He provided Ifema’s field hospital with beds, blankets and respirators.
• At the end of June, Banco Santander donated a state-of-the-art invasive respirator to the Virgen del Puerto de Plasencia Hospital in anticipation of a regrowth in the region.
• He has bought 500,000 liters of water for Spanish hospitals and has supported projects focused on diverting production capacity towards the manufacture of masks.
• The bank has raised two million euros from customers and third parties through the promotion of various initiatives, such as the Santander Fest League, which have enabled the acquisition of respirators and masks.