Santander also named Bank of the Year in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Portugal.
The Banker underscored Santander's "longstanding commitment" with Latin America, demonstrated through the bank's various initiatives in digital innovation and sustainable finance.
Madrid, 1 December 2021.
Banco Santander has been named Bank of the Year 2021 in the Americas (North and South America), Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Portugal by The Banker magazine, which recognised the bank's "longstanding commitment" with the Latin American region where it has built a "powerful and profitable network from Mexico to Chile or Argentina". The Banker also highlighted various initiatives that underpin Santander's commitment to advancing financial inclusion and closing the existing digitalisation gap between Europe and Latin America.
One such tool is Superdigital, a financial inclusion platform that aims to reach five million active customers by 2023 in several Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, where it is already available. Meanwhile, Santander's Chilean subsidiary achieved a landmark year in client acquisition with the launch of its new digital current account Santander Life. In Argentina, Santander is forging ahead with its plans to deploy a version of the group's 100% digital bank, Openbank, in its local market.
In addition, the magazine highlighted the bank's merchant-acquiring business Getnet, first launched in Brazil and now operating across Latin America and Europe. It has become the third-largest merchant acquirer in Latin America. It processed around €90 billion in payments worldwide through four billion transactions in 2020 and has now more than 1.2 million customers.
The Banker also acknowledged Santander's leading role as a financer of renewable energy projects across the Americas. For instance, In Brazil, the bank has been prioritising sustainable finance principles to create new financial instruments. Santander Brasil's ESG ventures exceeded R$ 27 billion (c.€4.6 billion) in 2020 alone, covering areas as diverse as clean energy financing, green bonds, sustainable agriculture and microcredit.
José Antonio Álvarez, CEO of Banco Santander, said: "After a year of strong results and improved efficiency, we are glad the effort of our people across the Americas is being recognised through this award. We will continue to work every day to strengthen our business and help people and businesses prosper."
"We see significant opportunities for growth across our businesses in the Americas. Our focus is on increasing collaboration between countries to better serve our clients and support trade flows between markets, while leveraging technology to grow our customer base," he added.
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of the third quarter of 2021, Banco Santander had €1.1 trillion in total funds, 152 million customers, of which 24.7 million are loyal and 47 million are digital, 9,900 branches and 193,000 employees.