Interview: Santander managing director Carlos Portela

Harriet Green
Follow Harriet


What is Santander’s Breakthrough Moments Box?

The Box is a dynamic space created to bring businesses together. Ambitious, growing companies from McLaren to Muc-Off can showcase their “breakthrough moments” to other entrepreneurs and mid-sized companies, so that they can take this intelligence and advice and use it within their own companies. It’s also about illustrating different possibilities for them: how they can use advanced technology, or the potential trading internationally could have on their business. The Box will be touring the UK next year, so it really is about bringing this intelligence hub right to where businesses are operating.

What else do you offer SMEs?

The Box is just one of five main elements of an international package that we provide to businesses. In addition to the Box, we have a Trade Portal, which gives businesses the opportunity to identify and open up international markets with the most potential for their product or service. Our Trade Club is a further digital networking opportunity, where they can start talking to the businesses we work with in those markets, exploring opportunities in a bit more detail. Then there’s the Passport. Customers with a Santander Passport who bank with us in the UK receive the same level of treatment in international markets – their track record in the UK will be recognised there. We also run Trade Missions, where delegations of businesses spend a week in a market where they have a potential interest. We organise a series of meetings with key enablers – such as accountancy and law firms – and with potential customers and suppliers.
The biggest barrier to entry into international markets is knowledge. We can offer intelligence and research, as well as access to funding. We have committed to help 5,000 more businesses enter new overseas markets next year. We want to help them understand what we as a bank can offer their business – and we’re proud that it goes significantly beyond current accounts and funding.

Related articles