Santander US announces $5.2 million in giving and initiatives supporting social equity

Key actions include immediate charitable contributions to support organizations focused on racial equity, new employee engagement programs, plus a multi-year financial commitment to address racial injustice in communities

Hands stacked in a group

Santander US announced steps it is taking to redouble its commitment to racial equity and justice. These latest actions support Santander’s commitment to social equity across its businesses and in the communities it serves. The initiatives include both immediate and longer-term programs.

Near-term Initiatives and Giving

  • $200,000 will be given to non-profits focused on social justice and racial equity, including $100,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative committed by Santander Consumer USA
  • Establishing Santander Voices, a user-generated video platform that allows employees to respond to a prompt or answer a question about racism, describe how they are feeling about social equity issues right now and what they plan to do to turn energy into action
  • Promoting new programs hosted by Santander’s Black Employee Network, including a series of panel discussions around topics such as the significance of Juneteenth, and ways US businesses and the nation can take meaningful steps toward social equity

Long-term Investments

  • $3 million over three years for Santander Bank’s (SBNA’s) Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) Grant Initiative, which is focused on advancing diverse small businesses, as well as addressing the lack of capital, resource and technical assistance investment within communities of color
  • $1 million over two years to expand Santander Bank’s Cultivate Small Business program, which provides curriculum, mentors and micro-grants to food industry and small business entrepreneurs, with a focus on owners of color
  • $1 million over two years for diverse leadership training, and racial and social equity initiatives, including $500,000 from Santander Consumer

“These actions are part of the ongoing work that Santander is doing to help make our country, our communities and our company places where equality and justice prevail,” said Tim Wennes, Santander US CEO. “This starts with listening to our Black colleagues and hearing their perspectives, engaging in meaningful conversations with community leaders about racial inequality and how to help eradicate it, and providing financial support to organizations dedicated to bringing about real change for people of color.”

“We are committed to meaningful dialogue to inform the journey toward eliminating unconscious bias and becoming a more inclusive company,” said Mahesh Aditya, CEO of Santander Consumer USA, a part of Santander US. “It’s time to join the conversation and take action.”

“I encourage our employees to have open and honest interactions about racial equality and justice, and to use volunteer PTO to engage in community service dedicated to social justice and the empowerment of underserved communities. I ask that we all spend some time in reflection of these important issues and think about the positive impact we each can have in our communities and our workplace.”

Santander US’ review of its businesses, people, philanthropic and community investment practices to ensure alignment with its social equity goals is ongoing. We stand with our colleagues, customers and communities in the fight for social justice and the eradication of systemic racism in our communities and places of work.

Santander Holdings USA, Inc. (SHUSA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, a global banking group with more than 145 million customers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. As the intermediate holding company for Santander’s U.S. businesses, SHUSA is the parent organization of six financial companies with approximately 17,000 employees, 5.2 million customers and assets of approximately $150 billion as of March 31, 2020. These include Santander Consumer USA, based in Dallas, TX, Santander Bank, N.A., of Boston, and Banco Santander International of Miami, FL.

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