Turnaround for Santander as bank takes home over €8bn in 2021
Spanish bank Santander took home over €8.1bn (£6.7bn) in 2021 profits, after enjoying its most profitable quarter for 12 years.
In results published yesterday, the bank said its “strong” performance was driven by an activity rebound following a tough two years during the pandemic with bank achieving record underlying profits of €2.2bn in the final quarter of last year.
While Santander suffered losses of €8.7bn in 2020, loans and deposits grew by four per cent and six per cent respectively in 2021, boosting underlying annual profit before tax which topped €15bn, up 65 per cent year-on-year.
“Our 2021 results demonstrate once again the value of our scale and presence across both developed and developing markets, with attributable profit 25 per cent higher than pre-covid levels in 2019,” said Ana Botín, Banco Santander’s executive chairman.
“Across all our regions and businesses, we are delivering solid and consistent top-line growth, with the US and UK as standout performers in 2021, and Brazil and Chile the most profitable banks in their peer group. These results are a credit to the hard work of all our team members,” he added.
In the UK, underlying profit was €1.5bn, four times that of 2020, driven by solid volume growth and lower loan-loss provisions. Profit before tax jumped by 266 per cent to £1.8bn amid a boom in lending which helped the bank to see off headwinds driven by Covid-19 and inflation.
Santander UK’s chief executive Nathan Bostock commented on the results, saying “we have further cemented our position as the UK’s third largest mortgage lender, helping customers with £7.5bn of net mortgage lending, and attracted 19,000 new current account customers through our switcher campaign.”
On the back of the bank’s standout performance Santander pledged to increase investor payouts. Executive chairman Botín said the bank will lift the proportion of underlying profits distributed to shareholders above the current 40 per cent threshold through cash buybacks and a growing cash dividend.
Shares are up 1.98 per cent today, and have climbed by 18.44 per cent over the past 12 months.
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