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Corporate and Social Responsibility at Santander

While striving to be closer to our customers and our people, we must earn and keep the public’s trust, and preserve our reputation in the eyes of our stakeholders. Recognising the impact our business makes on the community and environment, we aim to make a wholly positive contribution to British society and our stakeholders – treating both with honesty and fairness.

Digging deeper – Key CSR Principles  

Delivering Value to Customers 

By understanding our customers’ needs, we’re delivering products and services that are Simple, Personal and Fair. We’re building deeper, longer relationships that benefit both parties; and resolving issues efficiently. Tackling financial exclusion, we strive internally and externally to address problems around financial literacy and capability.

Treating our Employees Well 

We believe in a healthy work/life balance, and a workforce that reflects the diversity in society – and our high-performance culture supports and rewards employees consistently and fairly. Valuing openness and approachability, we promote strong relationships with trade union colleagues, consulting with and working closely with our recognised independent trade unions – Advance, and the Communication Workers Union – on major initiatives.

Partnering with Suppliers 

Our partners tend to share our values. We use competitive tendering and operate fairly and openly. We insist that our suppliers adhere to UN principles on human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption.

Investing in Communities 

We support local communities, donating over £20 million a year towards enterprise, employment and education issues. Our people are eager to contribute in a wide range of ways: volunteering (up to 35 hours/ year) which can be linked to training & development goals, and ‘Community Days’ encourage our employees to spend time on charity work. SantanderFoundation.org.uk.

Respecting the Environment 

Our success as a business isn’t achieved at the expense of the environment. Our biggest environmental impact is created by our property portfolio, so we’ve invested in reducing carbon emissions and we’re addressing our waste and recycling activities.

Acting Responsibly 

We review our investment and lending proposals case-by-case, considering the potential impact on human rights, public health and the environment. We also strongly consider the ethical implications of supporting or partnering with particular organisations, governments and projects.

Working with Barnardo’s

Long term unemployed young people will be benefiting from Barnardo’s innovative ‘On Track’ tailored employment support programme with Santander. On Track offers marginalised young people up to six months one-to-one coaching, helping them develop the crucial skills they need to get into work, training or education.

Key Facts

  • Our Breakthrough programme, created to support the SME sector, has been recognised with a ‘Big Tick’ award by Business in the Community.
  • We provide charitable grants through the Santander Foundation and to date have donated over £40 million to charities throughout the UK.
  • Our people raise significant amounts of money every year for charities across the UK, and in 2014 we raised over £1.3m for our Charity of the Year, the NCPCC.
  • This year our Community Plus grants will see over £2 million made available to local charities to help disadvantaged people.

Santander Foundation UK

Mujer beneficiaria de las ayudas de la Fundación

The Santander Foundation in the UK helps most needy through social welfare programmes. It has contributed more than £28 Million since its creation in 1990 to charity organisations in the UK.

The Foundation also carries out various training and professional skill development activities for groups at risk of exclusion, as well as measures to enhance the financial education of society in general.

More information: www.santanderfoundation.org.uk


In 2016, The Santander Foundation has become The Discovery Foundation to reflect its important role in Santander UK’s new flagship community programme called The Discovery Project.

The aim of The Discovery Project is to help people have the confidence to make the most of their future. In this fast-paced world we know some find it hard to navigate the change and we want to help everyone have equal access to the best society has to offer.

The Discovery Foundation will provide grants to support knowledge, skills and innovation to give disadvantaged people the confidence to discover and create a new world of opportunities. The Foundation’s previous three grants schemes have been combined into a single new scheme called Discovery Grants making it simpler to apply for funding.

Discovery Grants of up to £5,000 are available to UK Registered Charities, Community Interest Companies and Credit Unions to fund small, local organisations with projects helping disadvantaged people. Read more on the Discovery Grants page.

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