- The award recognizes Santander’s efforts to make financial services accessible to everyone and improve financial knowledge through education programs.
- The work the bank has done to help people increase their confidence in using digital channels through the pandemic was also acknowledged by the magazine.
- Euromoney also recognized Santander for its role as joint lead manager advising European Investment Bank (EIB) in the first ever digital bond on a public blockchain, which received the Financial Innovation of the Year award.
Euromoney has recognised Santander as the World’s Best Bank for Financial Inclusion in its “Global Awards for Excellence 2021”, highlighting the group’s efforts to make financial services more accessible.
The magazine distinguished Santander’s efforts to financially empower individuals and entrepreneurs through a range of programs in Latin America, Europe and the US, as well as the work Santander has done more broadly to help people, especially the elderly, adopting digital channels through the pandemic.
Ana Botín, Santander Group executive chairman, said: “In the last three years we have financially empowered 6 million people, with the goal to empower more than 10 million by 2025. The impact can be life-changing: from supporting entrepreneurs in setting up new businesses through our micro finance programs, to helping individuals who want to build confidence in using digital banking. This is critical to creating inclusive, sustainable growth, and I am delighted that Euromoney has recognized the efforts and innovations of our teams across the world.”
Through Santander’s Finance for All initiatives, the Group is increasing access to basic financial services, offering specific products and services to those who are financially vulnerable and promoting financial education to help people make better financial decisions. Since 2019, those initiatives have financially empowered 6 million people, and Santander has the commitment to reaching 10 million by 2025.
One of those initiatives is Superdigital, Santander’s flagship 100% digital platform for making payments in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. Superdigital leverages the rapid growth in smartphone adoption and improved network coverage in Latin America to increase financial inclusion in the region. It is expanding its services to reach five million active customers by 2023 across seven markets in Latin America.
Santander has two other specific programs to provide financing for micro entrepreneurs and individuals with difficulties obtaining credit: Tuiio and Prospera. Thanks to those two initiatives, Santander has supported 1.3 micro-entrepreneurs in Latin America, out of which 81% were women.
During the pandemic, the group has been especially vigilant in supporting elderly or vulnerable customers and ensuring they can access financial services, contacting them proactively to help build confidence in using digital banking services. It also produced simple step-by-step videos and guides for online and mobile banking.
In August, Santander was also recognised as the most innovative bank for its financial inclusion initiatives by The Banker, a Financial Times magazine. The publication highlighted the agreement reached with Correos in Spain, enabling Santander to offer its cash deposit and withdrawal through the 4,650 Correos locations, expanding even further the Group’s offer of essential financial services in rural areas.
Financial Innovation of the Year
Santander also won the Financial Innovation of the Year award for its role as joint lead manager advising European Investment Bank in the first-ever digital bond on a public blockchain. The EUR 100m and 2-year maturity bond was placed with key market investors, representing the market’s first multi‑dealer led, primary issuance of digitally native tokens using a public blockchain.
The transaction used Ethereum, a public blockchain protocol, and it was a milestone for Santander’s CIB Digital Solutions Group (DSG). Santander CIB created the unit at the beginning of 2021 to partner with global coverage and product teams to provide comprehensive support in the digital acceleration of customer’s business. This unit also produces added-value digital products and financing structures to help Santander’s clients in the digital acceleration of their business.
Euromoney magazine has been a leading publication in international finance for 50 years. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence were established in 1992 and are the global benchmark for the banking industry.
Press release [PDF]