Santander becomes the local bank with the largest number of female directors
- During the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting, the appointment of María Olivia Recart and Blanca Bustamante as directors was approved, in addition to Lucía Santa Cruz and Ana Dorrego. Thus, the entity continues to integrate ESG criteria into its management, including its corporate governance.
- In the instance, the Bank’s progress was also reported, including the 390% expansion in sustainable financing in 2022, which reflects its leadership in this matter.
- The general manager and country head, Román Blanco, discussed the progress of the entity in 2022 and outlined the objectives of the Chile First strategy, which in a few months has mobilized the Bank with launches such as “Más Lucas”, Work/Café Expresso, Work/ Café StartUp and the specialized service model for companies.
SANTIAGO, Chile, April 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Santander Chile (NYSE: BSAC) held its 2023 Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting, a meeting in which it was necessary to renew the entity’s Board of Directors, with María Olivia Recart and Blanca Bustamante being confirmed as new directors. In this way, Santander Chile becomes the bank in the market with the largest number of female directors, joining Ana Dorrego and Lucía Santa Cruz. In this way, there will be four women out of a total of nine regular members of the board of directors.
This step is relevant for Santander to the extent that it concretizes its commitment to integrate more women into its boards of directors at a global level, Chile now being a benchmark, as well as at the level of its executive lines, where 31% of the heads are integrated by women. These advances are part of Santander’s ambitious Responsible Banking agenda, as well as its vocation to be a benchmark in equity and people management, where it is not only the first Bank with the “Sello Iguala Conciliación”, but it is also the only entity of this type that has had the demanding Top Employers recognition for five years.
“It is important to add the best people to our corporate governance, who contribute their knowledge, experiences and vision to the Bank’s mission. Today, with great pride, we can say that Santander’s Board of Directors is even more diverse, which undoubtedly reflects that we are on the right track, also responding to what the market expects of us,” said Román Blanco, CEO and Country Head from Santander Chile.
María Olivia Recart is a commercial engineer with a major in Economics from the University of Concepción and a Master of Arts in Economics from Georgetown. She has more than 25 years of experience in public policies, R&D, senior management of companies and non-profit organizations. She spent 16 years at Fundación Chile and later served as undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance (2006-2010). At the end of 2010, she took over as vice president of corporate affairs for the Americas region of the Australian mining company BHP and between 2019 and 2023 she was national Dean of the Santo Tomás University (UST). In addition, she is a member of the Women’s Community Council, director of Cap and Aclara.
Meanwhile, Blanca Bustamante is also a commercial engineer, with a mention in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her professional experience includes being an economic analyst at the Central Bank, research analyst at Oppenheimer Co. New York and at IM Trust. In 1998, she joined the wine yard Viña Concha y Toro as head of Investor Relations, a position she held until 2010. In 2001, she additionally assumed the responsibility of deputy manager of Corporate Communications. Currently, she holds the position of Director of Corporate Affairs. Since 2013, she has participated as a member of the Board of the Concha y Toro Research and Innovation Center.
A dividend of Ch$2.57 per share was also approved at the Meeting, equivalent to 60% of the Bank’s profits in 2022. This dividend is not only attractive to shareholders, but it will also allow the Bank to maintain solid levels of capital and continue financing its important investment plans as part of the Chile First strategic initiatives.
Before those attending the Meeting, Román Blanco detailed the scope of the strategic projects already announced and that seek to reinforce the Bank’s value offer. Thus, “Más Lucas” stood out, the first sight account that generates interest in favor of clients and that does not charge. It is a product with universal access, 100% digital and that promotes transparency and savings, thereby promoting the financial empowerment of people.
Another of the projects that he described to the shareholders was Work/Café Expresso, which redefines the traditional concept of service per teller. Through these offices, the Bank provides customers and non-customers with the fastest service and security speed, since the branches were designed to grant greater confidentiality to the operations carried out by people, also having comfortable waiting areas far away of the teller areas.
All these initiatives carried out by the Bank seek precisely to strengthen the customer experience. In this matter, at the end of 2022, Santander continued to lead in service quality, reaching an NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 57 points.
Likewise, and to give life to this strategy, the country head highlighted that the Bank has an ambitious investment plan for US$ 260 million in total for the next three years.
Regarding 2022, Blanco revealed that Santander Chile achieved important results for Santander Life. Today it already has more than one million customers, with more than US$931 million in demand deposits and US$278 million in consumer loans delivered. In the case of Getnet, the acquisition network achieved a market share of 17% in POS with more than 157 thousand machines sold, of which 91% are SMEs. Monthly sales through Getnet reached $580 billion.
Santander, leader in sustainable finance
Sustainable financing is another of the areas in which the Bank has made decisive progress, seeking to become a benchmark at the local level for this type of solution. In this regard, Román Blanco stated that “in 2022 we accompany numerous clients with sustainable operations in our Business and Corporate Banking businesses. In total, we granted sustainable loans, both social and environmental, for an amount of US$ 230 million, making us leaders in these products in Chile. We believe that this will be one of the fastest growing areas in the coming years.” This represents an expansion of 390% compared to 2021, which accounts for the market’s appetite for this type of financing and Santander’s experience in advising companies that are inclined towards this type of credit.
The efforts that the Bank has made in terms of sustainability -including the reduction of its own environmental footprint, through the consumption of paper, water, electricity, among others- have been recognized by the main sustainability indices such as Sustainalytics and MSCI, where it appears as the No. 1 Bank in Chile, and by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, integrating the prestigious group of Global Emerging companies, as the only Chilean bank present.
Banco Santander Chile is the largest bank in the Chilean market in terms of loans and assets. As of December 31, 2022, the Bank had total assets of US$ 79.7 billion, loans net of provisions of US$ 37.7 billion, deposits of US$ 27.1 billion, and total equity of US$ 4.8 billion. The BIS capital ratio as of December 31, 2022 was 17.45%, with a core capital ratio of 11.1%. Banco Santander Chile is one of the companies with the highest risk classifications in Latin America with an A2 rating from Moody’s, A- from Standard and Poor’s, A+ from Japan Credit Rating Agency, AA- from HR Ratings, and A from KBRA.
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