• Funding, provided through Santander Universities, will support university initiatives such as the production of protective equipment for NHS staff, provision of fully funded virtual internships for local businesses, as well as provision of IT equipment for students to support educational challenges
• Support follows a broader set of initiatives introduced by Santander UK to support communities in response to the coronavirus outbreak
Santander UK today announced it will be providing £4.5million of funding to its 85 university partners across the UK to support the array of initiatives launched by universities to contribute to the national effort to combat the outbreak of COVID-19.
Santander, through Santander Universities, has supported higher education across the UK over the past decade with scholarships; student employability initiatives and funding to encourage innovation and promote entrepreneurial activity. With the current pandemic presenting many 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 the current COVID-19 crisis.
The support will assist universities who are on the front-line of carrying out medical research, providing additional protective equipment for NHS staff as well as supporting student front-line volunteers at local NHS hospitals. It will also support university emergency hardship funds which provide grants to students who require financial support for living costs or resources for the transition towards a digital learning environment. This includes IT equipment and support, such as laptops and broadband connectivity, which would normally be accessed on campus, to ensure students are able to continue with their studies. The funding will also go towards offering vital support for student mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time.
Grants will also support local SMEs and charities by providing fully funded virtual internship schemes for students and graduates to help businesses affected by COVID-19. Funds will also support student founders in early stage start-up businesses to remain operational in the current environment, particularly as they may not qualify for any other financial support.
Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK so we’re pleased that our funding is able to be redirected to where it is most needed at this critical time. Universities are doing some fantastic work to contribute to the UK’s effort to combat the outbreak of COVID-19, so we’re delighted to collaborate with our university partners in a way which increases their response effort and look forward to continuing to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”
The funding comes alongside a broader set of initiatives introduced by Santander UK in response to the coronavirus outbreak to support communities. These include a £1miilion donation from the Santander Foundation to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community following the outbreak of COVID-19 and doubling the work time that Santander employees can claim to volunteer.
Santander UK efforts contribute to the Santander Group commitment to fight Coronavirus.
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Notes to Editors
Santander maintains a firm commitment to inclusive and sustainable progress and growth with a consolidated commitment to Higher Education that distinguishes it from the rest of the world's financial institutions. Santander, through Santander Universities, tops the list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,000 universities in 20 countries, of which over 80 are in the UK. Through these agreements Santander promotes entrepreneurship, employability and internationalisation.
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 December 2019, the bank had around 23,500 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
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 Europe and the Americas, 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 first quarter of 2020, Banco Santander had a trillion euros in total funds, 146 million customers, of which 21.3 million are loyal and 38.3 million are digital, 11,900 branches and 195,000 employees. Banco Santander made underlying profit of €1,977 million in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 1% compared to the same period of last year.
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