Mexico City, 24 March 2020
After the Mexican government's statement that it is starting phase two of its fight against coronavirus (covid-19), Banco Santander Mexico reports the measures it will take to look after the health of its customers and employees, and also to guarantee its operations throughout the contingency.
At branches and in order to continue with services, the staff has been reduced to 50% and they are working in teams on alternate shifts as a continuity strategy, and customers are being allowed entry in groups of ten for their own health and that of our employees. Cleaning has been increased in all of our spaces and antibacterial gel is available at the branches for customers and employees. The group discussions that usually take place at our Work Café branch have been postponed. Of the 1,209 Santander branches in the country, 84 have closed, basically due to the recommendations of local authorities, such as in the case of Jalisco, where we hope to resume business activity on Thursday in the 34 branches that were asked to close; those that were affected by the closure of shopping centres in the State of Mexico; and the Santander branches at universities all around the country that are now closed. At one Jalisco branch, where the staff were checked medically for symptoms (although no case of covid-19 was confirmed among its employees), the branch was closed for a sanitisation process and is due to reopen staffed by the alternative team.
The bank has encouraged customers to use digital banking and the use of digital channels has grown up to 20% over the past 10 days. Santander has almost 4.5 million digital customers that perform transactions via the app or online banking on a daily basis.
Santander is implementing business continuity plans so that the bank's substantive activities can keep operating with divided work teams, alternative branches and remote working for all possible employees, which means that more than ten thousand employees are working without leaving their houses, and it has also cancelled all meetings in person and travel.
The bank is already working on more extensive plans for supporting customers in the face of the current situation and these will be announced shortly. So far, it has confirmed to all customers that the bank's major medical insurance policies cover covid-19 when the product's general conditions are met, 3-months interest-free conditions are being provided for online supermarket shopping and 5- or 10-months interest-free conditions for payments to chemists, laboratories or hospitals.