One site below accessed in the previous version of Apertura’s exclusive ranking of the Top 100, Santander Argentina (13th place) Shows signs of curiosity to bring financial inclusion tools closer to more people and entities. this year It was distinguished by a great contribution to the field of non-governmental organizationsbut also for being close to MSMEs.
Like the rest of the industry, she had to do Great effort to adapt to digital transformation more than everAnd now stands the challenge of continuing to grow. This is the opinion of Alejandro Botti, CEO and Regional Director
What balance do you achieve in 2021?
Produce an epidemic changes in behaviors and customer habits.
In this sense, we currently process more than 10 million transactions per month, 90% of which are digital or automated. 83% of sales are already digital. Usage of our website has increased by 40% since the beginning of the pandemic, as has usage of our app.
We also set up operations Boarding Totally digital allowed us to run a program Open more than 500,000 accounts from a cell phone.
What are the plans for 2022?
There are many sectors that we consider strategic. But one of the ones we want to promote in particular is agriculture, which is an essential component of its contribution to the economy. So, We launched the agribusiness branch model, which provides financing and specific products. We are very proud to have 100 financing agreements with companies that provide products and services to the sector.
We will double our efforts this year to provide more and better services. Santander has lived in Argentina for 59 years. We are the leading private financial institution in Argentina by volume of deposits. So far this year we have fully launched Openbank, a 100% digital Santander bank.And there will be other versions.
Investments in technology will be centralized. From now until 2024 We will invest 225 million USD in technology.
We will also continue to build the best open financial services platform in Argentina. In the past year and a half, we registered five new companies in the countrymore than in the last 15 years.
In terms of sustainability, last year We led the process of offering the first sustainable bond in the country and placed the first sustainable bond issued by a civil society (Roof). In addition, we have partnered with Enel X to promote clean energy.
What do you expect for your sector in 2022?
I think that And the Argentine financial system believed that it was part of the solution, not the problem. It has become an asset that contributes to stability, even in challenging contexts. In recent years, it has served as a buffer rather than a diffusion of periods of volatility, imparting confidence, certainty and solidity.
The financial system and Santander are resilient, with good levels of capitalization, with a relatively low level of delinquency and dollar liquidity at historical record levels, above 80%. Also, unlike other events in the past, There is no currency mismatch in the system. The borrowed dollars have been spent on dollar-generating companies. All this is the product of proper prudential regulations, but also the product of professional banking management.
But Our financial system is small. Credit accounts for barely 10% of GDP, compared to levels of over 50% in the region.
What are the main challenges?
Financial education, without a doubt. We focus a lot on that and on financial inclusion. It is very important to help people understand the importance of saving or making good investments in their family finances.. It is also important that they obtain financial services quickly, easily and simply, or support students and entrepreneurs with scholarships and incentives.
In the latest CAF-BCRA Financial Capacity Survey in Latin America, this is highlighted Average financial knowledge is lowArgentina ranks 37th out of 39.
So, We have goals to make basic economic concepts understandable so that people make informed financial decisions In a responsible manner, reducing the information gap between clients and financial service providers, and promoting maximum transparency and trust. We launched a new tool: Santas Finanzas, a podcast about financial education on WeToker and Spotify.
Moreover, in Argentina, We have promoted financial inclusion for many years, through eight branches of Social Integration (SIS), located in the popular neighborhoods of AMBA. We also support more than 160 entrepreneurs through the Via Bana social ice cream project, along with Grido.
Will credits be reactivated, other than personal credits?
If economic conditions accompany the year 2022, Santander is ready to be a credit booster and economic recovery.
On the other side, In 2021, we consolidated our leadership in the domestic capital marketAnd help more companies to finance themselves and expand investment. We are involved in 75% of operations with a total volume of $193,000 million.
The original text of this article was published in Issue 339 of Apertura