Our focus remains on supporting our customers and transforming our business - improving connectivity across the group and ensuring efficient capital allocation. As a result, we will continue improving profitability and shareholder returns.
Banco Santander achieved an attributable profit of €7,316 million in the first nine months of 2022, up 25% in current euros versus the first nine months of 2021. Excluding the restructuring charges of €530 million in the same period of 2021, underlying profit was up 15% in current euros.
In the third quarter alone, attributable profit was €2,422 million, up 2% (+11% in current euros), including a net charge of €181 million as a result of the new Polish mortgage payment holiday regulations.
Profit before tax was €11,761 million, down 6% (+3% in current euros), while tax on profit in the period was €3,538 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 30%.
The bank continued to see strong customer activity in the quarter despite market uncertainty. Customer funds reached a new high (€1.13 trillion, +4%) thanks to good growth in deposits (+6%). Total loans grew 7%, to €1.04 trillion, with mortgages and consumer lending up 7%, and commercial lending up 6%. The bank’s loan book remains well diversified across both businesses lines and geographies, with 65% of total lending secured.
The group continued to grow its customer base, adding eight million customers in the last twelve months, taking the total to 159 million. The strong increase in digital adoption continued, with 56% of sales through online or mobile channels. The total number of customers using digital channels grew by more than three million to over 50 million for the first time.
Don't miss these key takeways
• The group has seen solid growth in customer activity in the first nine months of 2022, with loans and deposits growing by 7% and 6% respectively in constant euros (i.e. excluding currency movements), and total revenue increasing by 5% on the same basis.
• Connectivity across the group continued to drive both revenue growth and cost efficiency, with global businesses performing well and a particularly strong performance in CIB.
• Inflationary effects led to an overall increase in costs (+6% in constant euros), however, in real terms, costs fell by 5% as the bank continued to improve productivity across markets. The cost to income ratio was 45.5%, placing Santander among the most efficient banks in its peer group.
• Loan-loss provisions increased by 17% in constant euros, due in part to the release of provisions in the second quarter of 2021, as well as a further normalization in provisions in the US.
• Santander’s diversification remains key to the bank’s resilience and profitability, with all regions (Europe, North America, South America) and Digital Consumer Bank delivering strong returns and growth in customers, loans and deposits.
• In the third quarter alone, attributable profit was €2,422, up 11% year-on-year (+2% in constant euros).
• Santander’s balance sheet remained robust and the group’s fully-loaded CET1 capital ratio stood at 12.10% at the end of September 2022, above the group’s capital target.
• Santander is on track to achieve its revenue, profitability and capital targets for the year, and expects to improve the 2021 efficiency ratio and end the year close to its target despite inflationary pressures. The board remains committed to its 2022 shareholder remuneration policy to distribute approximately 40% of underlying profit, split approximately in equal parts in cash dividends and share buybacks  .
 The implementation of the shareholder remuneration policy is subject to future corporate and regulatory decisions and approvals.
Note: Reconciliation of underlying results to statutory results, available in the Alternative Performance Measures section of the financial report at santander.com.