Santander has financially empowered 11.8 million people in four years, exceeding the target it set in 2019.
It has given access to financial services, financing and financial education to18% more people and SMEs than the original 10 million target.
Santander España has helped almost 120,000 people access basic financial services through payment platforms and cash dispensing in remote communities. It has also given financial education to over 82,500 people.
Madrid, 2 March 2023.
Banco Santander’s financial inclusion initiatives and measures within its Responsible banking strategy have empowered 11.8 million people and SMEs since 2019 (5.5 million in 2022). Those measures align directly with the bank's commitment to contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2019, Santander set a target to financially empower 10 million people by 2025. Thanks to its initiatives on access to financial services, financing and financial education in the countries where it operates, it has exceeded that target by 18%, three years early. As a result, it has announced a new target to financially empower 15 million people by 2025.
Experts say digitalization and financial education are central to strategies that promote financial inclusion, which directly underpins seven of the 17 United Nations SDGs for 2030. The G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) has echoed that sentiment. It recently published its Yogyakarta Financial Inclusion Framework to harness digitalization for higher productivity and a sustainable, inclusive economy for women, young people and SMEs.
In Latin America, Santander’s main objective is to guarantee people’s access to the financial system; but in mature markets, its aim is for nobody to have to exit it.
Access: Measures to guarantee underprivileged communities can get cash at remote branches and through partnerships with public and private entities that expand Santander’s footprint; to help people carry out basic digital banking transactions; and to help senior citizens and other vulnerable groups understand the basic products they can obtain.
Financing: Santander runs microfinance programmes to promote social mobility and help low-income and underbanked entrepreneurs set up and grow businesses. In 2022 alone, it supported 1.6 million micro-entrepreneurs, 70% of whom were women. It runs debt relief programmes for customers in financial difficulty, who can defer payments or extend lines of credit. Its products and services also enable low-income households to find housing and meet other basic financial needs.
Financial education: Santander has been promoting financial education programmes in all its core markets for over 10 years to boost vulnerable groups’ understanding of financial concepts and help them make informed decisions. In-person and online courses focus on things that customers demand most, like responsible consumption, online banking, cyber security, fraud prevention, basic banking products and services, sustainable finance and personal finance management.
In 2022 alone, Santander helped empower a million people through access initiatives (up 14% year on year); over 1.8 million people through tailored financing for individuals and SMEs struggling to get funding or in vulnerable economic circumstances (up 9% year on year); and 2.7 million people bolster their understanding of finance (up 52% year on year).