The aim of this initiative is to promote financial inclusion through training in dealing with technologies, digital identity and cybersecurity, as well as specific software, apps, websites and other media.

Madrid, 28 January 2022.
Valencia City Council, the University of Valencia (UV) and Banco Santander have signed a collaboration agreement to launch the “Financial Education for the Elderly” programme, prepared by the bank and delivered by its volunteer employees and the City Council’s Active Ageing Service.

The programme will be organised through the UV’s MESVAL professorship which, since its creation, has aimed to be a platform for dialogue between the city and its economic, social, cultural and technological environment using an interdisciplinary approach.

This morning, the Deputy Mayor of Valencia City Council, Sandra Gómez, visited the first of the workshops, held at the city’s Patraix Day Centre for the Elderly. She explained that “in barely a decade there has been a revolution in our relationships with banks, which has been very much accelerated by the pandemic, with a huge step forward in digital interaction. Many older people have been left behind, but at Valencia City Council we do not want anyone to fall behind. Therefore, we have reached a collaboration agreement with the University of Valencia and Banco Santander to promote these digital training courses for every older person who wants to learn how to interact with their bank. This is a pilot scheme with two 90-minute training courses divided in two sessions that we will give in our activity centres. We are going to teach the basic issues so that our elders can know about and learn to use mechanisms that will enable them to operate with their banks with peace of mind, autonomy and confidence.”

For the University of Valencia’s rector, María Vicenta Mestre Escrivá, “in an increasingly changing world, the constant updating of knowledge, including in our daily way of life, is essential. This is a need that has made itself evident, and recently it is also being demanded by the public. This project, which we have been preparing for some time, addresses those needs for life-long training in concepts and technologies that have changed the way we live. At the same time, it is an example of collaboration between public administrations, public universities and private enterprise; an example of which we should be proud but, above all, we must be proud of our elderly and their ability to adapt to change."

The head of institutional relations at Banco Santander in the Region of Valencia, José Miguel Lorente, also one of the institution’s volunteer trainers, noted that “for Santander, education is a basic pillar of financial inclusion and for the protection of users of financial services. Hence, for years we have been promoting, participating in and collaborating with various initiatives aimed at the most financially vulnerable groups to help people improve their financial culture and make informed and safe decisions.” He recalled that since 2015, Santander has provided more than 5,000 financial education sessions, involving more than 127,000 hours of on-site and on-line training.

The educational activities carried out by the institution for this segment of the population include various financial education sessions given through its Finance for Mortals programme, promoted since 2012 by the Santander Financial Institute (SANFI), and its collaboration with the University of Alicante in the DEFINE project, an initiative co-financed by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme under the title “Digital financial education for the elderly: interactive scenario game solutions to increase the online financial literacy of seniors”.

The training workshops, with the next meeting scheduled at the Fuensanta Day Centre for the Elderly in Valencia in February, will include basic, intermediate and advanced training in dealing with technologies, digital identity and cybersecurity, as well as subsequent specific workshops in the use of software, apps, specific websites and other media in the financial field.

Banco Santander’s commitment to financial education

The bank provided financial education to more than 716,000 people in 2020 through the various programmes it promotes on this subject in the countries in which it operates, almost 30% more than the previous year.

Financial education is a key component of its responsible banking strategy. The aim of the bank – recently recognised by Euromoney magazine as the best bank in the world in financial inclusion – is to financially empower 10 million people between 2019 and 2025, and to date it has already achieved 60% of this target.