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It made a net profit of £6.8billion for 2021 compared with a £7.3billion loss the previous year due to the pandemic. Revenues for 2021 were 4.8 per cent higher at £38.6billion.
Santander benefited from strong customer growth, more activity in countries it operates in and the release of £642.6million set aside to cover loans souring due to Covid.
Executive chairman Ana Botin said: “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.”
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said Santander will benefit from central banks raising interest rates this year.
She said: “This is a strong set of results for the eurozone’s second-biggest bank.
“European banks are more attractively valued than US banks at the moment and while the rate-hiking path in the eurozone is behind that of the US and the UK, it is still benefiting from a robust economic backdrop and will benefit from a shift towards tightening from the European Central Bank on the horizon.”
The net profits of Santander’s British arm, the nation’s third-largest mortgage lender, surged 221 per cent to £1.4billion on the back of higher 123 current account charges, £7.5billion of net mortgage lending and higher home loan early redemption charges.
Its profits were also boosted by property sales, cost-cutting moves such as branch and office closures, and the release of £233million in coronavirus bad loan provisions.
Outgoing Santander UK boss Nathan Bostock said: “I feel incredibly privileged to have led Santander UK over the past seven years.
“I am particularly proud of the difference we have made for customers and communities across the UK, not least through the vital help we provided during the pandemic.”
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