Euromoney has named Santander the Best Bank for Corporate Responsibility in Central and Eastern Europe at its 2022 Awards for Excellence. The magazine recognized Santander's support for Ukrainian refugees, including its work to enable the UN Refugee Agency Cash Assistance programme.
Warsaw 14 July 2022.
From the beginning of the war, Santander Bank Polska cooperated with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), developing a technological solution that would enable fast and safe distribution of financial aid among refugees from Ukraine. The UNHCR Cash Assistance programme was based on the BLIK cheque system - a unique nine-digit code that can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM, without having to use card, bank account or banking application on a smartphone. Nearly five months after the launch, over 222,560 refugees registered in the programme.
We are ready to support any agenda to improve the situation of millions of refugees from Ukraine. We are constantly increasing our commitment because the challenges the refugees meet, as well as their needs, keep evolving. I am proud of all of our own projects as well as those run in cooperation with our partners, such as the UNHCR Cash Assistance. The BLIK cash assistance proves we levelled up the support we bring in terms of efficiency. We are happy that we have been recognised for our actions. I want to emphasise, our support is still needed. We should all continue our commitment to help Ukraine and its citizens that were forced to leave their homes.
Since the first days of the war, the bank waived the fees for cards, account maintenance and ATM withdrawals for Ukrainian citizens in Poland. Unlimited access to cash was facilitated through branches and ATMs. The bank also waived the fees for incoming and outgoing transfers to and from Ukraine. Santander Bank Polsk services are available in Ukrainian through the Helpline, internet and mobile banking. Service in Ukrainian is also available in 80% of ATMs.
Together with the Santander Foundation, the bank organized a charity campain called We Will Double Your Impact. The bank matched every zloty that was donated, up to the amount of PLN 1.5m, and managed to collect PLN 4.25m. 26.5 thousand people participated in the campain. The money was transferred to organizations coordinating aid for people affected by the war in Ukraine - PAH, Unicef and the Polish Red Cross. A donation was also made to the city of Przemyśl.
Our teams are constantly striving to improve the way we serve our customers and I am delighted that Euromoney recognized their efforts with these awards. I am particularly proud this year of the work our teams have done to support the humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine. These actions provide real support to hundreds of thousands of refugees. I want to congratulate everyone for their amazing work and thank Euromoney for this award.
World's Best Bank for Financial Inclusion
For the second year in a row, Euromoney has recognised Santander as the World's Best Bank for Financial Inclusion, recognizing Santander's programmes in Latin America, Europe and the United States aimed at financially empowering individuals and entrepreneurs.
In 2019-2021 alone, Santander supported the financial inclusion of 7.5m people, and has committed to empowering 10m people by 2025.
Best Bank for SMEs in Western Europe and Best Bank for SMEs
Santander has also been awarded the title of the Best Bank in Western Europe in recognition of the support the bank provides to its customers in the region, as well as the Best Bank for SMEs for that part of Europe. Euromoney also named Santander the Best Bank in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and the Best Investment Bank in Spain.