Banco Santander is due to exceed its financial inclusion target of 10 million people by 2025 as part of its responsible banking strategy. It is directly contributing to the United Nations’ SDGs.
In Spain, Finanzas para Mortales (“Finance for Mortals”), considered a top financial education programme by both Banco de España and Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (the Spanish securities market authority, or “CNMV”), has toned up its educational content for the elderly, adolescents and groups at risk of exclusion.
In the first half of 2022, Santander has run over 570 workshops in this and other initiatives that have benefited over 5,000 people, including 1,700 aged over 65.
With SANFI, Santander will run courses, webinars, a financial education challenge about cybersecurity and a big event for various groups at its Luca de Tena headquarters for Financial Education Day on 3 October.
Madrid, 30 September 2022.
Banco Santander’s financial education projects and programmes have helped 2.6 million people in the last three years (2019 – 2021). For over 10 years in every country where it operates, it has been running programmes with employee volunteers, NGOs and other institutions to expose those most in need to basic financial concepts and help them make informed decisions.
Financial education is one of the three pillars of Banco Santander’s strategy for financial inclusion (next to access and financing) as part of its responsible banking agenda to make growth inclusive. Last year, Santander helped 860,000 people access basic financial services, financed over 1.1 million retail customers and SMEs struggling to get credit or make ends meet, and boosted the financial literacy of 1.3 million people.
For Banco Santander’s Global Head of Responsible Banking, Lara de Mesa, “financial education is a key lever to support financial inclusion, which contributes directly to seven of the United Nations’ 17 SDGs for 2030 and helps people, businesses and broader society prosper”.
At the recent meeting of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), academic and institutional experts stressed digitalization to boost inclusion, digital finance, and financial education and consumer protection to overcome skill barriers.
Banco Santander has several education programmes so everyone can learn basic finance, budgeting and risks and make the right decisions for themselves and their families. In 2021, it established common principles on transparency and quality for all its initiatives, in line with the OECD’s standards, to promote affordable and interactive learning. Santander’s financial education initiatives (79 in 2021) include classroom workshops and courses, plus special websites, materials, tutorials and games online.
Financial education in Spain
In Spain, Santander collaborates with the Spanish Banking Association's (AEB) 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 10 years it has run the Finanzas para Mortales (“Finance for Mortals”, or FxM) programme with Fundación UCEIF’s Santander Financial Institute (SANFI). This financial education programme, considered one of the best in Spain by Banco de España and the National Securities Market Commission (“CNMV”), is run by volunteer Santander employees; it has bolstered its initiatives for financially vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children and adolescents, immigrant women and people at risk of social exclusion. Last year, FxM’s website had 290,000 visits and queries from users.
In the first half of 2022, over 5,000 people in a situation of financial vulnerability benefited from 570 Santander courses, including 1,700 FxM workshops and projects for those older than 65.
On 3 October, Santander will run several days of financial education workshops at Work Café, webinars on cybersecurity, a FxM finance challenge, and a big event at its Luca de Tena offices with the elderly, students and people from various NGOs to celebrate Financial Education Day, whose slogan for this year is “Education for safer finance”.
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 Poland, the bank’s flagship programme, Finansiaki, teaches children about finance. In Chile, the bank has a Sanodelucas, 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 Café locations and online. In Argentina, the bank has workshops run by employee volunteers, in addition to its “financial education starters’ kit” for society’s most vulnerable. In Brazil, it offers online courses and tools; runs Parceiros em Ação (“Friends in action”), which provides specialist financial literacy resources; and organizes the Escola programme for employees to give talks at schools. Furthermore, Santander has international partnerships to promote financial inclusion where it operates, such as the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP).