The SME Charter

Santander is a signatory of the SME Charter, which was launched on 9 October 2019 by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This page sets out our commitments under the Charter.

  • Santander has roots in the UK going back over 150 years. We understand the importance of SMEs and mid-sized businesses to the success of the UK and we’re committed to helping our customers achieve their ambitions.
  • Over the last 12 months, our relationship teams have been in regular contact with their customers to reassure them that we’re open for business and that support is available.
  • As a challenger bank in the business market, we offer a range of innovative products that can support both growing and established businesses. Our relationship led approach means that we can respond to the individual needs of businesses, whilst our innovative Breakthrough programme provides a range of face-to-face events, insights and partnerships that help businesses prosper.
  • For businesses looking to export abroad, our extensive local networks and knowledge around the world means we’re ideally placed to support their international trade plans.  We’ve launched the Trade Club Alliance, which is a network of 14 global banks led by Santander Group, providing us with partners and experts in most of the UK’s key trading markets.
  • We’ve been named Best Business Current Account Provider for the last 21 years and Business Bank of the Year for the last 9 years by Moneyfacts.
  • We’re committed to helping businesses thrive and supporting our customers through the economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.  
  • We helped businesses to access lending through the provision of Bounce Bank Loans to 153,000 companies and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans to 2,000 companies. We’re now working closely with those customers to make sure that they’re able to repay their loans and are supporting them through Pay As You Grow options. 
  • Through our recent Santander Trade Barometer, we found that businesses identified expansion into overseas markets as one way to recover from the pandemic. This year, we continued to support hundreds of businesses with their international ambitions through our global network of trusted partners.
  • By staying in touch with our customers, we are well placed to understand how their needs are changing. We’ve extended the help available through our business support programme, Survive and Revive, and assisted around 5,000 customers to pivot and adapt their businesses. 
  • Our business support hub provides you with insights to help you adapt to a changing market. You’ll find development programmes, and carefully chosen resources. Our digital marketplace also offers free advertising to some of our customers.

For more support, please visit our business customers page or, if you're a corporate customer, visit our helping you grow page.

  • When a business makes an application for a product, we make it clear what information we need to make an informed lending decision.
  • We support the appeals process for businesses that have been turned down for finance. Businesses have the right to have their case reviewed by another Santander team if they disagree with a decision to turn them down for finance.
  • Where we’re not able to offer business lending, we’ll continue to highlight the right of referral to a government designated platform.  These finance platforms will seek to match a business with an alternative lender.
  • We have committed to follow the Standards of Lending Practice for Businesses, which is the benchmark for good lending practice in the UK. The standards extend to SMEs with a consolidated turnover of up to £25m.
  • We’re also committed to a fair complaints process should a dispute arise. If we can’t resolve a complaint to our customer’s satisfaction, we’ll make smaller businesses aware of their right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Larger businesses that aren't covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service may be eligible to have their case looked at by the Business Banking Resolution Scheme. This is an independent organisation that's run voluntarily by participating banks to resolve disputes. 
  • The British Business Bank is dedicated to making finance markets work better for small and mid-sized businesses. Through its Finance Hub and Business Finance Guide, the British Business Bank offers SMEs information on their finance options.
  • By working closely with the British Business Bank, we've supported over 160,000 businesses with more than £5bn in finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. We've also participated in the Recovery Loan Scheme.
  • You can find out more about how the British Business Bank can support your business at
Was this helpful?

Do your banking online

Ways for you to manage your money without leaving home

Trouble logging on

You can reset your details if you already have Online Business Banking