Better Communities

Our ambition

We aim to deliver long-lasting and sustainable growth. We want to make a positive impact and help communities to prosper.


What this means for us

As a bank, our main activities need to benefit our society. We want businesses and people to have access to the right services and tools.

We’ll do this by promoting financial inclusion and through our partnerships. We are committed to driving sustainable growth. Our Santander Breakthrough programme assists customers and small businesses to thrive.


Financial inclusion

Financial inclusion plays a key role in being a bank with a human touch. It's a top priority in our strategy to drive better communities. Our 2021 financial inclusion strategy focuses on three areas:

  • Financial knowledge

  • An inclusive portfolio of products and services

  • Customer care

We want to help customers become more resilient. To reflect this, we offer products and services that are fair and simple.

Better communities | Santander Sustainability

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Working with SMEs

We strive to be a more inclusive bank. Through these challenging times, we are supporting SMEs and vulnerable customers. We want our customers to access information to make the right decisions.

We are proud to champion British businesses. Santander Breakthrough helps SMEs to launch, grow and prosper. Our programmes and resources address challenges and build connections. Since Breakthrough launched in 2012, we’ve helped thousands of businesses achieve their goals.

We want to help business owners to access the support that’s available to them. We offer coaching, mentoring and support to access funding. The support provided by Breakthrough is free to access.

Marketplace is an online directory designed to boost marketing and reach. Our SME customers are able to promote their business through Marketplace. As SMEs operate in today's climate, support is important.

We are committed to supporting SMEs throughout their journey.

Supporting our vulnerable customers

The four pillars of our vulnerable customer strategy are:

  • Personalisation

  • Build capability

  • Specialist provision

  • Assuring the best outcomes

We will continue to identify how we can support our customers.


Community investment

Our community investment strategy aims to add value to society. 

Better communities | Santander Sustainability

Wise Sessions

We offer support in our school mentoring programme called ‘Wise Sessions’. The sessions aim to help young people to become money-confident. They are a great way to engage communities through schools. The sessions are available to students from primary to college age.

Better communities | Santander Sustainability

Macmillan Cancer Support

Until 2024, we will work with Macmillan Cancer Support to help people with cancer. We are focusing on transforming the support available to them. More information can be found on our Partnerships page.

Better communities | Santander Sustainability

Alzheimer’s Society

In 2019, we partnered with Alzheimer’s Society. We wanted to provide support to our vulnerable customers. We aim to make our culture and banking services dementia-friendly. In 2021, we encouraged customers with dementia to inform us of their diagnosis. This allowed us to offer the best support and products possible.

Better communities | Santander Sustainability

Age UK

We’ve been supporting Age UK since 2016 by funding their services. Since 2020, we’ve provided digital support to more than 1,300 older people. We have helped Age UK to secure funding for a four-year project. Their work will help thousands of older people to get online.


Santander universities

We’ve donated £97m in the UK through our Universities programme in 15 years. That’s around £8 million a year across our 85 partner Universities. The work we do is a central part of our responsible banking strategy.

We provide support including:

  • Scholarships

  • Bursaries

  • Inclusive programmes

  • Support for businesses

  • Access to Santander networks and experts

  • Internships

  • Mobility awards

  • Job creation

  • Skills development

We're working on a new strategy to:

  • Broaden our reach into adult lifelong learning

Read more about our work on the Santander Scholarship platform.