Excellence in leadership in Western Europe 2020: Banco Santander
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Excellence in leadership in Western Europe 2020: Banco Santander

Awards for Excellence 2020

As Spain became one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, Spanish banks were quick to pledge financial support for small and medium-sized enterprises

They also took a particularly active role in the medical response, giving money and assisting in the international procurement of medical equipment.

Banco Santander showed special leadership in these actions. Its announcement of €20 billion of additional working capital loans for SMEs at its own risk preceded similar announcements by the other big Spanish banks. The announcements by the banks in turn preceded the launch of the Spanish government’s own guaranteed-loan programme.


Ana Botín

Santander seeded a fund for medical relief through a pay cut for Santander’s group executive, Ana Botín, and her board in late March, demonstrating to other European banks the importance of not putting all the burden of such actions on shareholders. 

Santander’s fund helped the state buy thousands more ventilators and hospital beds, and millions of masks. It marshalled its Chinese branch and in-house procurement company, Aquanima, to help source the equipment more rapidly.

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