Financial inclusion and empowerment

 
Our commitment
 

10 mn

people financially empowered by 2025

10 mn

people financially empowered by 2025

2 m

people financially empowered in 2019

2 m

people financially empowered in 2019

At Santander, we have a strong commitment to financial inclusion, to reduce poverty and strengthen the welfare and local economy of the countries in which we operate. 

Our approach is tailored to address the specific needs of different regions: Latin America and matured markets like Europe and the US.

To fulfil this commitment at Banco Santander, we promote financial inclusion through three main lines of action:

Helping unbanked, underbanked or financially vulnerable people access and use basic financial services.

In Latin America, our main focus is ensuring people can access basic financial services and are able to perform cash in and cash out services. Amongst the main initiatives are our remote branches in Argentina and our network of retail agents in certain regions in Mexico providing Santander’s financial services. In areas where our branches cannot reach, we leverage digital platforms to drive financial inclusion. A flagship initiative is Superdigital, our digital platform with approximately 500,000 active users in Latin America. 

In mature markets, where account ownership is close to 100%, our focus is on guaranteeing continued access to basic financial services in small or remote areas, most of them with a large majority of elderly population, and to help vulnerable groups access financial services. We operate branches and ATMs in remote locations and sparsely populated in regions of both Portugal and Spain and we have developed specific programmes to support and help vulnerable collectives in the branch network, such as consumer helplines.

In Latin America we provide microfinance to unbanked or underbanked populations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay, with proposals that comprise a wider product offering than just credit, such as bank cards, checking accounts, deposits or insurance. Notable examples are our Prospera or Tuiio programmes.

In mature markets our product offering reflects different market needs and is focused on low income, financially vulnerable and people under financial distress. Our initiatives include affordable housing programmes and specific programmes to relief financial stress such as mortgage payment deferrals. We also provide loans to MSMEs that are underserved, some with the support of loan guarantee schemes provided by both EU and domestic institutions.

Fostering resilience through financial education programmes. Our objective is not merely to help people open bank accounts, but to ensure that they have the skills to manage their finances, and can make the right choices about the products and services that suit them. The depth in content and the approach and format vary depending on the target segment as well as between developing and mature markets.

Main initiatives

Banking without a bank. Superdigital is Santander’s flagship mobile platform for making cash deposits, withdrawals and payments. Available in Brazil, Mexico and Chile, it leverages the rapid growth in smartphone adoption and improved network coverage in Latin America to increase financial inclusion in the region.

More information:


Created in 2002, in Brazil, the bank promotes the largest microfinance program among the country's private banks. It is a productive microcredit model, aimed primarily at people without access to the formal financial system. Since 2015, Prospera offers microcredits and other products through our social inclusion branches in Argentina and, in 2019, it was launched in Uruguay. 

More information: 


Launched in Mexico in October 2017, Tuiio is a financial inclusion program for low-income people whose objective is to have a social impact through a competitive and comprehensive micro-loan offer, with a focus on support and development of productive activities.