From this week, 40% of the bank's employees are already teleworking. They will continue to telework during the coronavirus outbreak, to look after and protect their colleagues and the bank's customers.
Buenos Aires 18 March 2020.- Santander Argentina is operating normally from this week, with over 3,600 employees - 40% of the company's staff - working from their homes and offering the usual services to over 3.5 million customers. The bank established a work protocol that ensures the normal services are delivered by its staff in the central areas, with the aim of looking after and protecting its employees, customers and vulnerable groups in general, the Contact Centre (customer telephone helpline) and some branch employees, who are currently teleworking.
Verónica Climent, head of People, Costs, Properties and Security Management at Santander Argentina, stated that: "We have implemented a protocol in our central areas, the telephone assistance centre and branches, in which 100% of our employees classified in one of the risk groups already started to telework last Friday". She also added: "in addition to all preventive hygiene and cleaning measures (alcohol-based hand sanitisers and gloves) adopted at the branches since the start of the pandemic, one third of the employees in each branch are teleworking in weekly shifts to reduce the number of contacts across the country".
Likewise, over 20 new employees joined Santander Technology yesterday, completing the onboarding process - welcome process for new hires in their new position - using fully digital processes and means, with the new employees and instructors connected remotely via a video conference tool.
Moreover, Diego Salama, head of Technology and Operations at Santander Argentina explained that "over the past few days, we have purchased 1,500 notebooks and expanded the number of VPN licences, i.e., the secure communication channel established between our employees and the central offices, providing them with all the tools they need for remote work, without putting the information and transactions of our customers at a risk". He added that "we are ready to expand our bandwidth by up to twelve times our usual capacity to maintain the service and response levels when handling our customers' requests. We are proud of what we have achieved and believe that this can become a new way of working in some positions, and which might even become the standard way of working after the coronavirus confinement period ends".
This week, Santander Argentina launched new lines of credit worth ARS 1 billion at 20% per annum for microbusinesses and small and medium-sized enterprises, with repayment of up to 24 months, to buy technological equipment in order to facilitate teleworking or remote working, and with the aim of avoiding gatherings to stop coronavirus from spreading. For every ARS 100,000 on a loan, microbusinesses and small and medium-sized enterprises will pay out a monthly instalment of ARS 5,090 for the maximum timeframe. The maximum amount per customer is ARS 3 million.
Likewise, Santander Argentina formulated the following recommendations to look after the health of its employees, customers and the general population:
Likewise, Santander urges any customer with symptoms of coronavirus, such as a cough, fever, difficulty breathing, etc. or who has been in contact with persons affected by coronavirus, to immediately contact the health authorities (107 from CABA or 0800 222 1002 for national calls) and to refrain from visiting the branch to protect people there.
About Santander in Argentina and the world
Santander Argentina is the largest private bank in Argentina’s financial system in terms of both savings (deposits plus common funds) and lending volume. The entity has 430 traditional branches, 8 social integration branches, 5 digital offices, 3 Work Cafés, more than 3.7 million customers (including 2.2 million digital customers, more than 320,000 microbusinesses and small and medium-sized enterprises and 1,300 corporate companies), more than 8,300 employees and operates in 22 provinces and in Buenos Aires. Likewise, Santander Argentina is also developing an extensive responsible banking programme that focuses on higher education, and through Santander Argentina Universities it has