Santander is committed to its customers and shareholders in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Santander has deployed an ambitious set of initiatives to protect the health of its customers, ensure that services continue to be provided without interruption and offer financial solutions to the outbreak of coronavirus which is affecting thousands of people and companies.
As the effects of the pandemic became more evident and calls for the isolation of citizens are being extended, the bank strengthened the customer service lines in its contact centres and boosted the use of digital channels which, thanks to Santander's ongoing digital transformation, make it possible to carry out most of the operations our customers need online. In addition, given the low number of visitors to its branches, Santander has adapted the branch network in some countries, with selective closures and special hours, to protect both customers and employees.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Santander has been very active in offering solutions tailored to the needs of its customers, whether individuals or companies. One of the priorities is to provide liquidity to its customers, who in many cases are seeing their income eroded as a result of the pandemic.
Santander will support companies in all the markets in which it operates by rapidly implementing the measures put in place by governments (such as credit lines with public guarantees) and has also made available to customers various lines of financing with different amounts and conditions locally.
All this has been accompanied by a relaxation of financing conditions for people and companies affected by the pandemic. Santander is offering moratoriums on loan payments in most of the Group's countries, with grace periods of several months.
Also in the area of means of payment, Santander has made an additional effort to make it easier for all customers to operate with debit and credit cards.
Santander decided weeks ago to hold its shareholders' meeting with shareholders participating entirely remotely. In addition, following the recommendation issued by the European Central Bank and to ensure the necessary flexibility to increase lending and support the needs of companies and individuals affected by the crisis, the bank has decided to cancel the payment of the final dividend for 2019 and its dividend policy for 2020.
Santander will continue to review the development of the crisis and will hold a further general shareholders meeting, expected in October 2020, to consider a distribution following a reassessment of the situation once the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis disappear.