Banco Santander has consolidated all of its digital services into a single unit, Santander Global Platform, as it bids to reap EUR1 billion from efficiency gains in IT and operations and through shared services across regions.
The creation of the new unit was announced as the bank reported a disappointing set of second quarter results, which saw profits down by 18% on restructuring costs and sluggish momentum in UK banking.
In April, the bank announce plans to to spend EUR20 billion on digital technology over the next four years as part of an efficiency effort aimed at slashing EUR1.2 billion in annual costs.
Chairman Ana Botin says the new Global Platform effort will enable the bank to get a better handle on the returns generated by its digital investments.
"The creation of the Santander Global Platform area aligns our reporting structure with our organisation and strategy," she says. "This helps ensure that the group’s talent and scale can be leveraged fully by our high-growth digital and payments businesses, helping us offer the best services to retail customers, merchants and SMEs, while also increasing transparency around our digital investments.
The first set of results from the unit, which includes Openbank, Global Payments Services, and Digital Assets, saw an 18% year-on-year increase in customer revenue of €48 million, offset by €108 million in expenses as the bank continued to invest in this area.
Across the bank, Santander says digital adoption continued to accelerate over the first six months of the year, with 34.8 million customers now using digital services. On average, 240 customers now access one of Santander’s mobile or digital platforms every second - an increase of 28% over the past 12 months.