Banco Santander achieved an attributable profit of €331 million in the first quarter of 2020, down 82% year-on-year after incurring a net charge of €1,646 million, primarily due to overlay provisions of €1,600 million related to covid-19 based on the expected deterioration of the macroeconomic conditions arising from the health crisis.
Excluding net charges, which included €46 million of restructuring costs in Europe, the underlying attributable profit in the first quarter of 2020 was €1,977 million, up 1% year-on-year (+8% on a constant currency basis), driven by profit growth in most markets across the Americas and further growth in customer volumes, only marginally affected by the pandemic outbreak.
Compared to the first quarter of last year, the bank saw solid customer trends on a constant currency basis, with customer revenues growing 3%. Net interest income grew in seven of the ten core markets and net fee income rose by 3%. Lending and deposits grew by 7% and 6% respectively on a constant currency basis. In the Americas, loans and funds increased by a healthy double-digit (c.15%), while in Europe that growth was slower.
Santander continues to provide significant financial support to people and businesses affected by the crisis. The average new lending each day to SMEs and corporates has increased over 100%, from €562 million in February to €1,149 million in April, as of the 22nd. In Europe, driven by Spain and Portugal, daily average new lending has risen from €209 million in February to €873 million in April.
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