Support in connection with the war in Ukraine

Aid offered to employees amid war in Ukraine

The Santander Group’s Ukrainian-origin employees received financial, psychological and other non-tangible support after the outbreak of war. Regardless of the type of employment relationship with the bank, each person coming from Ukraine could count on an ad hoc financial allowance. We made it possible for bank employees and contractors to receive salary advances for three months ahead, i.e. for March, Apriĺ and May 2022. We also changed the organization of their work so as to allow for a 5-day paid leave. In addition, our recruiters and career counsellors provide job search support to the families of employees coming from Ukraine.

In 2022, the value of aid to seventy workers from Ukraine reached PLN 343,000.

We have arranged for all Santander Group employees in Poland to receive free psychological support and access to webinars on crisis situations. We have set up a special bulletin board on the intranet -where anyone can ask for help or offer support. Our employees can take advantage of 8 hours of paid absence from work related for any type of volunteering. Many employees have used this time to help refugees.

Assistance to customers in connection with the war in Ukraine

We have exempted our Ukrainian customers from many banking fees, including those for personal accounts and debit cards. We also introduced a simplified account opening procedure for Ukrainian citizens who arrived in Poland after February 23, 2022. From March 7, 2022, Ukrainian citizens could also apply for a suspension of loan repayment.

We supported the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in delivering cash quickly and safely to refugees from Ukraine. As part of the UNHCR Cash Assistance project, we used an innovative technology provided by Santander Bank Poland based on the BLIK check system – a unique nine-digit code that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs without the need for a payment card, bank account or smartphone banking app. In recognition of the above activities, we were awarded the title of „Fintech Project 2022”.

Business customers who are registered in Ukraine or are Ukrainian citizens were exempted from a number of fees until September 30, 2022, including fees for maintaining a business account and for business debit cards (excluding charge cards). We also did not charge a fee for outgoing or incoming transfers to/from banks in Ukraine until September 30, 2022. All customers were also able to take advantage of the services offered by our partner and of instant consultations with paediatricians and general practitioners who speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Santander Foundation for Ukraine

In response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Santander Foundation, together with the Santander Bank Poland Group, implemented aid programs for Ukrainian employees, customers and the entire war-affected population. Our regular ‘We Will Double Your Impact’ campaign in 2022 was dedicated to Ukraine. We involved our key stakeholders – customers and employees – in the fundraising. Thanks to the generosity of more than 26,500 people, we managed to donate a total of more than PLN 4.25 million, of which more than 1.5 million was donated by Santander Group in Poland to double the contributions received. The money went to organizations coordinating aid to victims of the war – Polish Humanitarian Action, UNICEF and the Polish Red Cross. Donation was also made to the city of Przemyśl.

Santander Group’s European banks have donated PLN 4.5 million to help people fleeing Ukraine because of the war. The money was transferred to the Red Cross and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Selected donations in aid to war-stricken Ukraine:

  • SOS Children’s Villages Association in Poland – PLN 120,248.99 to subsidize the purchase of a carousel for the playground, equipment for the „Experiencing the World” room, a recreation room for children, a hydrotherapy room and a garden furniture set for the terrace at the Intervention Facility. The support went to the SOS Children’s Villages Program in Kraśnik, which houses children from Poland and Ukraine.
  • Polish Humanitarian Action Foundation – PLN 1,166,840.95, donation for the implementation of the project organised by the Polish Humanitarian Action Foundation: „PAH’s Temporary Emergency Relief Assistance Programme for People Who Fled Ukraine”, consisting of providing financial assistance, to cover some of the basic needs, to the most vulnerable people who fled Ukraine due to the war
  • Polish Humanitarian Action Foundation – PLN 10,000 for the SOS Ukraine campaign consisting of the preparation and implementation of activities responding to the crisis in Ukraine and providing assistance to refugees from Ukraine on the territory of Poland.
  • Trzebnica Residents’ Association –– PLN 10,700 grant for the arrangement of Polish language courses for refugees.
  • KULCZYK FOUNDATION – PLN 55,782.28 to support the „Hi Girls” project helping women and children from Ukraine. The money came from a special fundraiser organised and held by us from June 15 to July 15, 2022.
  • Polish Red Cross – PLN 500,000 for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, specifically for the purchase of six defibrillators.
  • UNICEF – PLN 2,333,681 for the „HELP FOR UKRAINE” program, including the purchase of kits for midwives, dressing supplies, surgical equipment, oxygen concentrators, educational materials, blankets and winter clothing for children and adolescents.
  • Przemyśl Municipality – PLN 250,000 for the High School Complex No. 2, which provides assistance to children from Ukraine. The funds were used, among other things, to purchase laptops, photocopiers, printers, projectors, interactive whiteboards, as well as kitchen and canteen equipment.
  • PTAK Humanitarian Aid Centre – PLN 22,140 to cover the cost of transporting refugees from Ukraine to the territory of Poland.
  • The Non-Irresponsible Foundation – PLN 200,000 for the purchase of two medical vehicles.
  • Friends of Ali – Rev. Aleksander Fedorowicz Foundation – PLN 10 552.82 for the purchase of equipment for an ambulance to be donated to a hospital in Dnipro in aid of Ukraine.
  • The Family Stop – Lower Silesia Foster Care Foundation – PLN 120,248.99 funding for the purchase of equipment for the centre in Stary Wołów, which houses children from Ukraine in foster care. The equipment will include the purchase of a washing machine, dishwasher, bicycle racks, fans, water dispensers, and outdoor furnishings.
  • City of Białystok – Service Centre for Childcare and Educational Institutions in Bialystok – PLN 120,248.99 to help finance the renovation of rooms and playrooms intended for orphaned children from Ukraine under the Beneficiary’s care.
  • Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland – PLN 20,000 of a special-purpose donation to support financially non-governmental organizations providing assistance to Refugees, Ukraine and individuals in difficult life situations, as part of the „Charity Stars” plebiscite.
  • Trzebnica Residents’ Association – PLN 2,000 to subsidise the organization of Polish language courses for refugees from war-stricken Ukraine. Funds for this purpose were raised through a dedicated charity campaign „We Are the World”.

In addition, the Santander Foundation donated more than 50 laptops to individuals and organizations supporting Ukrainian refugees as part of the „Computers for Ukraine” campaign. In December 2022, in cooperation with the Committee for the Protection of Children’s Rights, the Santander Foundation organized a Santa Claus party for some thirty Ukrainian children aged 6 to 13.

Santander Leasing has donated PLN 1,000,000 to the Santander Foundation’s statutory goals as part of the „We Will Double Your Impact for Ukraine” initiative.

Relations with the society at Santander Leasing:

  • Donation and awareness-raising activities for the DKMS Foundation
  • Donation to five non-profit organizations selected by our employees during T.E.A.M.S. building games,
  • Collection of Christmas gifts for the residents of the Nursing Home in Mielżyn
  • Business Run (we purchased a sponsorship package worth PLN 14,760)