Since 2019, the bank has empowered 6 million people at risk of financial exclusion to get basic financial services, open micro-businesses and benefit from financial education.   

In Spain, its Finanzas para Mortales (“Finance for Mortals”) website, considered a top financial learning programme by both Banco de España and Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (the Spanish securities market authority, or “CNMV”), had over half a million visits, having toned up its educational content for the elderly, adolescents and groups at risk of exclusion. 

Madrid, 30 September 2021– PRESS RELEASE
Banco Santander brought financial education to some 716,000 people in 2020 (up 30% from last year), thanks to the various programmes it runs across its footprint.

Financial education is a cornerstone of its responsible banking strategy and mission of financial empowerment. Just last year, amid an economic downturn, it helped 3.5 million people get basic financial services, obtain personalized financing and learn essential financial concepts. Recently named “Best Bank in the World for Financial Inclusion” by Euromoney Magazine, Banco Santander aims to get 10 million people financially empowered between 2019 and 2025. So far, it’s accomplished 60% of that goal.

According to the World Bank, some 1.7 billion people across the globe remain unbanked, even though digital financial services and the widespread use of technology have invigorated financial inclusion. Experts say that digitalization and financial education will be central to strategies to promote financial inclusion, which directly supports seven of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

In addition to basic financial services for vulnerable people and custom financing for individuals and SMEs with difficulties accessing credit, Banco Santander has several education programmes for everyone to learn basic finance, budgeting and risks and make the right decisions for themselves and their families. 

According to the OECD, financial education (literacy) is “a combination of financial awareness, knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial well-being”.

The initiatives the bank is undertaking across its footprint (over 60 projects in 2020, funded with three million euros) include workshops and courses in classrooms, as well as online modules with websites, applications, tutorials and games. 

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“Finance for Mortals” in Spain

In Spain, Santander collaborates with Asociación Española de Banca’s (Spanish Banking Association) Tus finanzas, tu futuro (“Your finances, your future”) programme and with ‘Educació Financiera a les Escoles de Catalunya’ (Financial Education in Schools in Catalonia, or “EFEC”). Furthermore, for 9 years it has run the Finanzas para Mortales (“Finance for Mortals”, or FxM) programme with Universidad de Cantabria and the Santander Financial Institute (SANFI). 

Considered one of Spain’s most important financial education platforms by Banco de España and the CNMV, the programme features courses taught by Santander volunteers. In the past year and a half, it has tightened the online learning and digital content found on its website, which received over half a million visits and queries last year. In the first half of 2021 alone, more than 2,600 financially vulnerable people benefited from its 314 classes.

Furthermore, Santander Consumer Finance, the bank’s consumer credit arm, unveiled Simplifi, a new financial education initiative in Spain with online tools that give users access to free courses on household finance, saving, responsible consumption and other topics.

Financial education in other countries

These projects also exist in nine countries in Europe and the Americas. Last year in the UK, bank employees ran anti-fraud workshops. In Chile, the bank has Sanodelucas, an online financial literacy platform to teach proper use of financial products; it also runs an in-school financial education programme with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s centre for public policy. In Mexico, it runs financial literacy courses through Tuiio, Finanzas de tú a tú (“One-to-one finance”), games, personal finance simulators and talks at Work Cafés and online. In Argentina, the bank has workshops for customers and non-customers run by employee volunteers, in addition to its “financial education starters’ kit” for society’s most vulnerable financially. In Brazil, it offers online courses and tools; runs Parceiros em Ação (“Friends in action”), which provides specialist financial literacy resources; and organizes talks that employees give at schools through the Escola programme. 

Furthermore, Santander has international partnerships to promote financial inclusion where it operates. In 2020, it made inroads on initiatives with great potential to expand access to scalable financial services and to accelerate financial inclusion worldwide alongside the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP).