Banco Santander Chile's executive chairman says the country's jobs must be protected and that this will require a joint effort between the public and private sectors. Given the scale of the emergency and the sharp increase in risk, he believes more measures will be needed to provide liquidity to businesses, which are under pressure from eroded revenue.
In an open letter, Claudio Melandri assured people that there will be no job cuts during the covid-19 crisis and that wages will remain unchanged.
Santiago, 2 April 2020.- In a video message sent to the organisation yesterday, Banco Santander Chile executive chairman Claudio Melandri said "the Bank is with you now, just as it is always is. These are not empty words. Rest assured that there will be no job cuts and that wages will remain unchanged. As we told you a couple of days ago, this goes for everyone, even those who receive wages through commissions or equities. For these and other cases, we have adjusted the terms of performance so that your earnings will not suffer."
The executive said that, during these challenging times, he supports pro-employment measures and that any company that is in a position to do so should send a message of stability as people are feeling vulnerable.
As for funding businesses, Melandri said "the measures unveiled by the government today are well intentioned, but given the scale of the emergency, new initiatives are required to get credit flowing. Many companies have seen earnings plummet and they need liquidity to cover costs. For the system to provide liquidity while risk is high, new support measures will be needed."
Banco Santander Chile has 11,200 employees, of which 54% are women. The minimum wage in Chile's top bank is $760,000 per month, which is 2.5 times the country's minimum wage at year-end 2019.