“Our commitment is to be close to our clients, and to support families, companies and SMEs in these challenging times,” said Sergio Lew, General Manager of Santander Argentina. “We know that many families and businesses are making a great effort, and we want to accompany them on the road to recovery,” added Lew.
The reference framework to identify social credits was validated by Sustainalytics, a global leader in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) research, analysis and ratings, which judged the criteria of Santander aligned with international standards, such as the 2020 Social Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), and provided a Second Part Opinion (SPO) on the soundness and credibility of the reference framework.
Onwards, Santander will report annually through the Responsible Banking chapter of its Annual Report the progress on the amount of social loans assigned by category, the description of the social impact of the loans, the number of SMEs assisted, and the number of healthcare providers and socially supported.
It will also record the number and amount of credits granted to finance the payment of salaries, the number and amount of credits to finance capital expenditures on equipment to facilitate remote work; and the number and amount of credits to finance capital expenditures to improve the installed capacity of SMEs and health and social care providers. These metrics will be externally verified by the bank’s financial auditor to ensure that they meet the criteria of the framework for social loans.
Green Bond Issuance
On the other hand, Santander led the issuance of a Green Bond issued by Manque and Los Olivos, with the endorsement of Central Puerto, to finance the construction of wind farms in Córdoba. In total, 50.1 million dollars were issued in two classes of negotiable obligations (ON), one in pesos maturing in September 2021 and the other USD-linked in 36 months. This is the second operation of this type in the local debt market, after the AES issuance in February 2020, aimed at financing a wind farm in the province of Neuquén, where Santander also acted as placement agent.
With these initiatives, Santander reinforces its commitment to sustainability, inclusive growth and the development of SMEs.
About Santander in Argentina
Santander Argentina It is the first private bank in the Argentine financial system in terms of savings (deposits plus common funds). The entity has 430 traditional branches, 8 social integration branches, 5 digital offices, 3 Work Cafes, more than 3.7 million clients (including 2.2 million digital clients, more than 320 thousand MSMEs and 1,300 corporate companies ), more than 8,300 employees and is present in 22 provinces and in the City of Buenos Aires. Santander Argentina It also develops a broad program of responsible banking, which, focused on higher education, maintains more than 86 collaboration agreements with Argentine public and private universities.