Role of banks, climate change, and digitization in the post Covid-19 age
Banco Santander’s executive chairman, Ana Botín, opening speech at Santander International Banking Conference, this year under the title "Turning point: roles and responsibilities in the post-COVID world." The executive chairman remarked several aspects related to climate change, digitization and the role of banks in overcoming the crisis caused by covid-19, including a real example of support for entrepreneurs.
Below you can find some excerpts from Ana Botín's speech at the opening of the International Banking Conference:
Regarding the role of banks during the crisis and beyond:
- “Banks have shown that they are part of the solution – not part of the problem. Santander lent on average 1 billion euros a day in the first months of the pandemic”.
- “Being part of that is what makes my job and that of my colleagues, worthwhile, being able to have a positive impact on millions of people and businesses when we get it right”.
Regarding climate change, the Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26) and the role of sustainable finance:
- “Climate change, by definition, is a global challenge. It demands a global response. Science suggests that unless we do more, fast, the change could be irreversible”.
- “Glasgow, perhaps the last chance to keep the ambition set in Paris in 2015 alive – to be net-zero by 2050”.
- “The good news is that global finance is mobilizing to fund the transition to the green economy. By 2030, we will align our power generation portfolio to Paris agreement goals, stop providing financial services to customers with more than 10% of revenues coming from thermal coal, and eliminate all exposure to thermal coal mining”.
- “Meanwhile, we are financing the green transition. We are a global leader in financing renewables. Since 2020 alone, the renewable projects we’ve financed created enough energy to power a city three times the size of London. – which shows the opportunities that the green transition creates”.
- “To help our customers, people and companies around the world go green we need better and comparable data and above all companies need guidance and policies from their governments that set clear transition plans and incentives for every sector. We need planning and long-term frameworks for the low carbon transition – clear consistent regulatory incentives and disincentives.”
- “We need banks and capital markets that can provide the finance to drive this transformation and the growth it will bring. And they need global regulation that allows them to finance the big transition.”
Regarding digitalization of the economy:
- “We need governments that can build the social safety nets for the those whose jobs will change or disappear, and the policies to help businesses create the millions of new jobs to replace them. That can ask some tough questions about the way power works in the digital economy so that it works for everyone”.