It is offering capital repayment holidays of up to 12 months on mortgages, depending on the customers' needs and the maturity date of their loans.
Deferral of rent payment on homes belonging to the bank for two months, or three months if they are classified as social housing (“Fondo Social” and “Alquiler Social”).
During the state of emergency, the bank’s customers can withdraw money free of charge at any ATM belonging to any financial institution. The bank is also pioneering a new process in Spain where customers can use a QR code to withdraw up to €300 at ATMs without having to touch any keys.
Santander is offering its Senior Service free of charge for three months to help the elderly during the isolation period, with tele-assistance, a technological “handyman” and a 24-hour helpline.
There will be no interest on deferred-payment credit-card purchases for the first six months and you can request a one-month holiday from instalment payments at no extra cost.
Madrid, 8 April 2020 - PRESS RELEASE
Santander Spain continues to extend the list of measures for helping to reduce the impact of the public health crisis on its customers' personal and financial situation, thus mitigating the consequences that the confinement measures needed to tackle the health emergency will have on the economy and employment. The bank is already offering its customers a support plan covering various areas, in line with the needs that have been identified. These are some of the key measures:
Extra help with mortgages
Santander is now offering customers who are having problems making their mortgage payments further options, alongside that of the payment holidays included in the recent Royal Decree, and is providing them with various alternatives, such as loan capital repayment holidays of between 6 and 12 months. In this way, the bank is adapting to the particular needs of a large number of customers whose incomes are affected and who cannot cover their mortgage repayments.
Customers can apply for this assistance by clicking a banner they will find in their personal area in the mobile app, which will take them to a form for applying for their support plan, without the need for any additional documentation. If they do not have an online banking password, the customer can register through the usual channels and then log in for the first time and see the banner they need to click in order to apply.
Once the customer has done this, a central team will contact them and ask them to sign the private agreement. Initially, and due to the state of emergency, this contract does not require notarial certification, which will be obtained when the state of emergency has ended. This mortgage assistance is designed for both primary and secondary residences.
Rent payment holidays
The bank has also granted all tenants who request it a two-month rent payment holiday for homes belonging to the bank or a three-month holiday for homes classified as social housing (“Fondo Social” and “Alquiler Social”). The deferred monthly payments will be divided into 12 instalments and added to the monthly rent.
To speed up the process, no documentation will generally be required as proof of each situation, except for identified cases of vulnerability, which will be channelled through the social policy. Any rental agreement which expires in the next two months will be automatically renewed under the existing terms and conditions.
In addition, and as long as the state of emergency continues, rent arrears will be dealt with more flexibly, especially in the case of healthcare workers and the national security forces.
More help for senior citizens
With a view to protecting one of the most vulnerable groups, the over-65s, the bank has also adapted its range of products and services to help make the lockdown measures more bearable for them and protect their well-being. It is offering a three-month payment holiday on its basic Senior Service plan, which includes the following for €9 a month: a tele-assistance team or help button for any kind of emergency; an insurance policy for accidents involving burns, fractures, traumatisms or other; and three support and assistance services (a technological "handyman", a 24-hour helpline and a bill optimisation service). Debit cards will also be free of charge for elderly customers, so that they can make cash withdrawals at ATMs without having to go to a branch.
Deferral of personal loan repayments
The bank will defer the repayment of the principal in personal loan agreements for up to six months, which means that the customer will pay interest only. The deferral application process is simple and fully digital.
Healthcare workers insurance policy
Santander Seguros is one of the companies participating in the €37 million solidarity fund set up by insurers to protect healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, ancillary service workers, porters, paramedics, student doctor volunteers and retired personnel) who have joined the fight against the pandemic. The sum insured is €30,000 per person.
ATM fees and QR code
Santander has also thought about its customers' health and the recommendations on reducing our movement. As a result, during the state of emergency and in order to minimise movement, it has decided not to charge its customers any fees for debit-card cash withdrawals at ATMs belonging to other banks, so people can use the machine closest to them.
In addition, the bank is pioneering a new process in the sector in Spain, where customers can take out €300 in cash at an ATM without having to touch any key, so offering greater protection against the virus. Via the bank app or website (bancosantander.es), the customer generates a QR code on their phone that can be scanned by the ATM. This code can be sent to a third party who can withdraw the cash by just scanning the code.
From the very start of the crisis, the limit for contactless payments that do not require a PIN was increased from €20 to €50 per transaction, as recommended by the EBA.
Cards: Six months interest free when spreading payment of purchases and a one-month payment holiday
Santander Spain will also allow payment for credit card purchases to be deferred interest-free for up to six months. It will pay cashback of the interest for the first six months on purchases charged between 1 and 30 April, as long as the customer chooses the “spread payment” (formerly “easy pay”) option. To take advantage of this, customers need to register on the bancosantander.es website, in the “card promotions” section, or via the email or push notification that they receive.
The cashback of the cumulative sum of interest for the first six months will be paid into the account associated with the card before the 20th of the following month. Spreading payments allows monthly instalments to be made (from a minimum of two up to a maximum of 36 instalments) without changing the card payment method. This option is available via the app, online banking and telephone banking.
Another measure customers can make use of is the option of deferring payment of credit-card purchases until the following month. This means that customers will pay their credit card bill (without financing or interest) for all the payments corresponding to the month of April on 1 June instead of 1 May. This will give them more time to get back to normal after the lockdown. After this date, they can also finance payment of the bill if they prefer.
The bank has various financing options available for credit cards, which can be activated in the Santander app:
Account and overdraft fees
The bank will continue the cashback payment of account maintenance fees for customers who fail to meet conditions as a result of the covid-19 crisis, and customers who are furloughed or who lose their income during the crisis period will be exempt from overdraft fees.
ICO (Spanish Official Credit Institute) credit lines
Santander Spain is already attending to the demand for liquidity from companies, SMEs and the self-employed through government-backed ICO facilities. Customers can take out these loans remotely and anyone who is not a customer, but would like to register, can apply via digital onboarding.
All of these measures are in addition to those already announced by the bank, including its promise to maintain the 29,000 direct jobs it provides in Spain, both in central services at all of its corporate offices and in the branch network, and not to furlough staff.
It is also helping companies that provide services at its facilities that are currently closed in order to prevent these companies from having to dismiss their own employees due to lack of activity.