World's best bank for SMEs 2016: Santander
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World's best bank for SMEs 2016: Santander

The bank’s approach to SMEs is different and successful: it is international in scope and looks to help companies beyond just lending.

Awards for Excellence 2016

AfE 2016 logo-196 135


Also shortlisted: 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch 


View full 2016 results 

Selecting the world’s best bank for small and medium-sized enterprises is a challenging task as banking for smaller corporate clients tends to be a domestic pursuit. As the pressure to provide credit to SMEs has grown since the financial crisis, few banks have put these firms front and centre of their global strategies.

Santander, however, has done just that. It has also shown that carefully identifying the needs of smaller firms and matching them with sensible solutions can work internationally.

Santander made clear the global nature of its commitment to SME financing with the launch of the Santander Advance initiative in 2014. SMEs are a strategic segment for the Spanish bank and generate 22% of its retail banking revenues in Europe. The global focus on the sector is therefore understandable and has quickly paid dividends. In Europe, business and customer engagement among participating companies has increased by 5% and 16% (compared with the segment average) since 2014 and client satisfaction rates among participants have doubled to between 8.5