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The world’s best bank for financial inclusion 2022: Banco Santander

The financial inclusion skills within the bank are becoming more relevant for broader retail banking.

There is more than one way to judge the success of Banco Santander’s financial inclusion programme. It can point to the fact that it is well on the way to its 2019 target of reaching 10 million individuals by 2025. In fact, the bank is so well ahead, with more than 7.5 million reached so far, that it is about to reset the programme for a more ambitious 2025 target.

However, there is something more revealing about Santander’s success in financial inclusion. Recent appointments by the firm to its retail banking divisions in Brazil and Mexico are of individuals that had previously headed up their banks’ microfinance initiatives. In Brazil, Tiago Abate, individual segment executive director, also supervises microfinance operation Prospera, of which he was previously head, while in Mexico, Norma Castro, executive director for financial inclusion, now heads up the bank’s Tuiio and mass-market services.

According to Santander chief executive José Antonio Álvarez, this shows that the skills that have been developed within the bank for serving this segment are becoming more relevant for broader retail banking and especially the mass market.