Supporting our customers
Our branch network has remained open where possible to provide essential services and support to our vulnerable customers. Our focus is on the wellbeing of our customers and employees and we have introduced measures to help protect them, including social distancing and regular cleaning.
We have a range of support available for our customers to help them through these challenging times. Wherever possible, we have encouraged our customers to use our online services. By the end of April our new online chat service was being used for 160,000 conversations a week.
Information about the support available for our current account, insurance, mortgage, unsecured loan and credit card customers is available here
At the end of May 2020:
- over 225,000 mortgage customers had accessed a mortgage payment holiday
- over 45,000 customers had accessed payment holidays for credit cards and unsecured personal loans
Our branch colleagues have been calling local customers who are likely to be vulnerable to check-in on their well-being, combat their loneliness, sign-post support services and help them to access and manage their finances. By early June, our customer engagement team had spoken with 44,051 customers through this initiative.
We welcomed the introduction, by the Government and the British Business Bank, of three schemes to support businesses.
Through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) we have increased the support we provide to our business and corporate customers.
- Find out about the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) here
- Information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is here and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) can be found here
By Friday 5th June 2020 Santander had:
- approved £395m of lending through CBILS to help UK businesses
- approved over £2.5bn of lending through BBLS to help small businesses with much needed funds
- approved thousands of UK companies to access capital and repayment holidays
Helping businesses to support the NHS
Our Corporate and Commercial Banking team has introduced businesses to the Government’s COVID19 response team to help secure supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front-line services.
To date, over 40 businesses have been introduced to the fast track approval to supply the NHS and several have already been contracted to produce supplies of PPE.
Survive and Revive – helping businesses navigate challenging times
As the situation evolves, we are hosting a series of free ‘Survive and Revive’ webinars to support UK businesses of all sizes to help them to adapt to changing market conditions.
Covering a range of topics - from innovating effectively to aligning purpose and culture - our experts explore how businesses have adjusted, and thrived, since the outbreak of Coronavirus.
You can find these webinars and other resources on the Survive and Revive online hub
Supporting our people
Our focus remains on the safety and well-being of our people. Over 20,000 employees who can work remotely are doing so and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
We are using technology to support our people and we are providing additional mental wellbeing support through our Mental Wellbeing Network and the Thrive App. Our focus is on helping our colleagues to maintain positive wellbeing each day at work and at home and ensuring that anyone who needs it, can find the right support for them at the right time.
You can read more about how we’re supporting our people in Employee Benefits Magazine
Recognising our people
Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, colleagues across Santander have gone to exceptional lengths to support our customers.
Our front-line colleagues have played a vital role in ensuring we have helped customers facing financial pressures get additional support, including some of the most vulnerable in society.
We are extremely proud of our colleagues for their ongoing support and dedication. To recognise their contribution and say thank you, we are making an exceptional payment to colleagues who have directly supported our customers throughout the pandemic.
Supporting our communities
All of us are impacted by the global spread of Coronavirus. We’re helping the most vulnerable and supporting communities where our people live and where we operate.
Through our Matched Time Volunteering programme our people can support a range of community and charity causes. This year we’ve increased our matched leave allowance from 35 to 70 hours to enable extra volunteering during this challenging time.
To help make travelling to work safer in London for those who had to travel, we made Santander Cycles free to use by critical and key workers. At the start of June 2020 over 22,000 free hire codes had been used for journeys on Santander Cycles in London.
In Milton Keynes, our Santander Cycles hire scheme reopened in June with free rides to help encourage cycling.
£4.5million of funding to our 85 university partners
Through Santander Universities, we’ve provided £4.5 million of funding to our 85 university partners to support their array of initiatives to contribute to the national effort to combat the outbreak of Coronavirus.
With the pandemic presenting new challenges for students, universities and the local community, Santander is both repurposing and providing additional funding to ensure immediate support to alleviate health and educational challenges caused by Coronavirus.
£1million donation to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society
The Santander Foundation has donated £1million to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community following the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The funding (£500,000 for Age UK and £500,000 for Alzheimer’s Society) will assist both charities on the front-line of offering vital support for both older people and those affected by dementia.
The Numbers Game
We have joined forces with the F2 Freestylers and Twinkl – one of the world’s largest online educational platforms – to launch The Numbers Game, a series of daily football-themed maths videos and free online maths learning materials for children aged between 5 to 11 years.
The Numbers Game encourages children to be physically active as they practise maths skills and is a fun and easy way for parents and carers to engage children aged 5 to 11 years old with maths at home.
Find out more by visiting Twinkl