The bank will invest in tech infrastructure and transformation to further improve customer service.
Madrid, 15 December 2021.
Banco Santander announced today that it will commit c.$6 billion (€5.3 billion) to digital transformation and technology between 2022 and 2024 to expand operations and further improve customer service in Latin America.
Speaking at a meeting with journalists from across the Latin America region, executive chairman Ana Botín confirmed the investment plans, highlighting the importance of the bank’s business in Latin America to the group: “Latin America is part of our history, of our present and, will be an important part of our future. It has the resources, social capital and experience necessary to prosper and we are committed to supporting the communities, customers and businesses we serve in the region, as we have done for the past three decades.”
40% of Santander’s profits come from Latin America (namely Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay), which is home to 80 million of its 152 million customers and to half of its 193,000 employees. In recent years, Santander has transformed its franchises in the region and established the group as the leading bank in Latin America. In Brazil, for example, return on tangible equity (RoTE) has increased to 22% today from 14% in 2015. In the last few years, Banco Santander has bought back (or made offers to buy back) shares of its affiliate banks in Brazil (2014), Mexico and Argentina (both in 2021).
At the banks’ s Investor Day in April 2019, Santander confirmed it invests €5 billion (c.$5.6 billion) in digital and technology per year as a group.
Botin said that the energy transition poses a huge opportunity for Latin America in light of its abundant natural resources, with 30% of the world's water; 25% of the world's copper; and 15% of the world's iron, rare-earth elements, lead and other metals.
Santander has placed a significant focus on supporting financial inclusion in recent years in Latin America. Its micro-credit programmes, Tuiio and Prospera, have lent to nearly 1.5 million people since launching as part of the bank's plans to provide more than 10 million people with access to financial services between 2019 and 2025. Santander also serves over 700,000 customers through Superdigital, a financial inclusion platform that aims to reach five million active customers by 2023 in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN), founded in 1857, is a leading retail and commercial bank headquartered in Spain. It is a major player in its 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas as one of the world's largest banks in terms of market cap. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a way that its Simple, Personal and Fair. Santander is building a more responsible bank. To this end, it has taken up several commitments, including raising more than 120 billion euros in sustainable finance and financially empowering over 10 million people between 2019 and 2025. By the end of the third quarter of 2021, it had 1.1 trillion euros in customer funds, 152 million customers (including 24.7 million loyal and 47 million digital customers), 9,900 branches and 193,000 employees.