Banco Santander achieved a record attributable profit of €9,605 million in 2022, up 18% in current euros versus 2021, supported by strong growth in customer activity, robust asset quality, and good cost control. Tax on profit in the period was €4,486 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 29%. In the fourth quarter alone, attributable profit was €2,289 million, +1% in current euros year-on-year.

The competitive advantage gained from our in-market and global scale, combined with our diversification and customer focus, has allowed us to grow our customer base by 7 million in the year while achieving double digit growth in revenues and profit, with capital in line with our target.

Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chair

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• The group’s scale, diversification and customer focus resulted in a strong year, with customer numbers up seven million to 160 million, revenues up 12% to €52.2 billion and pre-provision profit (net operating income) up 13% to €28.3 billion.

• Further improvements in cross-border collaboration drove growth, with the global businesses performing well and a particularly strong performance in CIB, which increased profit by 31% in constant euros (i.e. excluding currency movements).

• Diversification remains key to the bank’s resilience and profitability, with growth in customer activity helping deliver improved performance in Europe and South America, as well as in Digital Consumer Bank, while North America continued to generate solid returns, despite the normalisation in provisions.

• The efficiency ratio improved in the year to 45.8%, despite the impact of inflation on costs. In real terms, costs fell by 5% in constant euros as the bank continued to improve productivity across markets.

• Cost of risk was in line with target at 0.99%. Loan-loss provisions were 31% higher in constant euros relative to 2021, when the bank released provisions in several countries. The group has added additional provisions from updated macro assumptions, reflecting the bank’s prudent approach given the economic uncertainty.

• In 2023, the bank expects to continue to generate further, profitable growth, targeting double-digit revenue growth; a RoTE of above 15%; cost of risk below 1.2%; a cost to income ratio of 44-45%, and CET1 above 12%. All these targets are based on current macroeconomic consensus.

The group continued to grow its customer base, adding seven million customers in the year, taking the total to 160 million. Customer funds grew 6% to €1.15 trillion, with good growth in deposits (+9%), while total loans increased 5%, with mortgages and lending to individual customers up 7%. The bank’s loan book remains well diversified across both business lines and geographies, with 65% of total lending secured.

Santander’s ongoing focus on customer loyalty and digital innovation enabled the bank to achieve a top-three position in customer satisfaction in eight countries based on net-promoter score (NPS) rankings. The strong increase in digital adoption continued, with 80% of transactions taking place digitally, and 55% of sales taking place through online or mobile channels.

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