In 2020, in the area of risks, the Santander Bank Polska Group focused on countering the risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a situation of epidemiological threat, operational risks related to the unavailability of human resources (employees and third parties) and buildings (branches and the Business Support Centre) were identified as crucial.
During the pandemic, the importance of cyber security also increased significantly due to the massive shift to remote working (covering almost all processes) and the rapidly growing use of remote channels by customers in sales and after-sales processes. The Group continuously monitored and took actions to mitigate risks concerning customers and employees, actively warned about emerging threats and exercised enhanced supervision over areas exposed to fraud risk.
Crisis units set up by the Group (i.e. dedicated committees appointed in emergency situations) prepared a Pandemic Response Plan, including preventive and reactive actions. As part of the activities related to the course of the pandemic, the Group’s organisational units reviewed continuity plans on an ongoing basis, including the effectiveness of the adopted recovery strategies in the event of unavailability of key personnel. Priorities were defined for critical activities.
The development of risk indicators for loan portfolios in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown of many areas of the economy was monitored with increased attention. Numerous internal regulations aligned as a matter of urgency, management reports and early warning systems were expanded and early restructuring measures were strengthened to limit the impact of the downturn.