Financial inclusion and empowerment

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 efforts are focused particulary in Latin America where, according to data from the World Bank there are more than 200 million people without access to the formal financial system.

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

We help people access to financial services, regardless of where they live, age or financial situation. Digital technology helps us to offer thousands of people not just a bank account, but also a simpler way of managing finances.

Our programs are adapted to the circumstances and needs of each geography. Among others, we guarantee access to basic financial services in isolated communities or others with low population density where it is difficult to have bank branches, as well as communities with low income and vulnerable groups without access to the formal system or in economic difficulties.

We offer microfinance services to low-income entrepreneurs without access to banking services, so they can start up small businesses that generate income with which to improve their standard of living and that of their families. These businesses are also, in many cases, the engine of economic growth and social welfare of these communities.

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.

Main microfinances initiatives supported

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. Microloans are granted to neighborhood groups formed by 3 or 4 micro-entrepreneurs, and 65% of the microloans are intended for women responsible for their family unit. The average loan is about 600 euros, and the average term of life of the loan is 7 months.

More information: PROSPERA

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. Microloans are granted to groups formed by at least 8 micro-entrepreneurs. The average loan is 400 euros, and the average term of the loan is 4 months.

More information: Tuiio

Since 2015, Santander Rio offers microcredits to customers through its financial inclusion offices. The loans are granted to microentrepreneurs with productive businesses, who have previous experience in microcredit, have a project with a solid track record, and who are backed by promoters or referents from the community itself. The average credit is 1,500 euros, and the average term of the loan is 12 months.

More information

2018 Annual Report, Responsible Banking chapter

2017 Financial inclusion report

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