Governance (G)

The objective of sustainable and socially responsible development of Santander Bank Polska is to build long-term value for all stakeholders.

Approach to ESG management and the role of the Management Board

Mission

Our mission is to help people and businesses prosper and our vision is to be the best retail and business bank, earning the lasting loyalty of employees, customers, communities and shareholders.

We are one of top three banks in the Polish banking sector and, taking into account our ownership structure, the largest private bank in the country. The size of our business is reflected by the following data:

  • 5,215,000

    number of the bank’s customers

  • 468

    including branches, off-site locations and Santander Zones

  • 138

    partner outlets

Role of the Management Board

The bank’s mission is defined by the Management Board of Santander Bank Polska, whose responsibilities also include:

  • setting long-term plans, activities and strategic objectives;
  • providing assumptions for business and financial plans;
  • approving plans and monitoring their implementation;
  • reporting to the Supervisory Board about the situation in the bank to the extent and within the timeframe agreed with SB;
  • setting up standing and ad hoc committees and appointing persons responsible for steering their work.

Managing ESG and responsible banking

The bank’s ESG area is managed by the Responsible Banking and Corporate Culture Committee. The Committee’s work is chaired by the bank’s Management Board President.

Tasks and responsibilities of the Responsible Banking and Corporate Culture Committee:

  • defining strategies and annual objectives for responsible banking and corporate culture,
  • managing the corporate social responsibility policy and the corporate culture of the Santander Bank Polska Group,
  • ensuring the implementation of the provisions of the social and environmental policies of Santander Bank Polska,
  • approving long-term action plans in the area of responsible banking and corporate culture for Santander Bank Polska,
  • coordinating the responsible banking and corporate culture strategy, supervising and aligning it with the Group’s business objectives,
  • monitoring and evaluating the undertakings and projects implemented under the strategy,
  • analysing the organisation in terms of responsible banking and compliance with the corporate culture standards.

Our approach to responsible business and sustainability is defined by our Responsible Banking strategy which is an integral part of our overall business strategy.

The goals set as mandatory targets within the Responsible Banking strategy affect the annual performance evaluation of all employees. In addition, three of them affect the level of the Management Board’s bonus pool.

Role of the Supervisory Board

ESG issues are also dealt with by the Supervisory Board, which has ongoing oversight of the bank’s activities and may appoint committees and designate individuals to direct their work. The following committees of the Supervisory Board operate in our bank:

  • Audit and Compliance Committee,
  • Risk Committee,
  • Nominations Committee,
  • Remuneration Committee.

The appointment of members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board is governed by the respective policies. This is done taking into account the diversity strategy in the selection process, the assessment of qualifications and the succession of supervisory and management bodies. The Policy of Diversity in the Composition of the Santander Bank Polska’s Management Board in force at the bank promotes the diversity of the members of the Management Board in terms of their characteristics and qualifications, with the aim of ensuring different points of view and a wide range of experiences, offering independent opinions and a significant spectrum of decision-making criteria.

We not only ensure that the members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board are characterised by a broad range of competencies, high professional qualifications, relevant work experience, skills and good repute, but we also aim to achieve a gender balance in the composition of these bodies and to increase diversity in terms of age, education, experience and geographical origin.

For more information on the rules of appointing members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board, please refer to the Management Board’s Report on the Activities of the Santander Bank Polska  Group in 2020.

Find out the details of the bank’s governance structure:

Key ESG policies

Our general voluntary ethical, social and environmental commitments and principles which go beyond the legal framework are laid down in our Sustainability Policy.

It is complemented by other policies on ESG and sustainability topics, including:

  1. Climate Change and Environmental Protection Management Policy
  2. Human Rights Policy
  3. Sectoral risk management policies for sensitive sectors, including the defence, energy, mining and metals and timber industries
  4. Corporate Volunteering Policy of Santander Bank Polska
  5. General Code of Conduct
  6. Policies governing the management of the bank’s supply chain area.

ESG risks

Santander Bank Polska Group continuously modifies and develops its risk management methods, taking into account changes in the Group’s risk profile, the economic environment, regulatory requirements and market best practices. This is guided by the Management Board and the Supervisory Board, which also actively support risk management strategies through: acceptance of key risk management policies, participation in risk management support committees, reviewing and accepting risks and reporting on their level.

Issues related to social and environmental risks are addressed in the Sustainability Policy of Santander Bank Polska and the complementary Social, Environmental and Climate Change Risk Management Policy. The documents contain the commitment that we will take into account the ethical, social and environmental dimensions, as well as financial criteria and risk factors, in our decision-making processes. We apply environmental policies for high-risk sectors, which define the criteria for granting financial products and providing services (including all forms of financing, insurance  and asset management services, equity investments and advisory services).

Responsible Banking strategy

The two main pillars on which we build our responsible banking are corporate culture and sustainable finance.

Our commitments and the degree of their achievement in 2020

Public commitments
2020
Top 10 employers
Top Employer certificate
Women in senior positions
35%
Equal Pay Gap indicator
2.5 Goals that influence the level of the Management Board’s bonus pool
Number of people financially empowered
14,897
Green finance raised and facilitated
EUR 187 million
Electricity purchased from renewable sources
100%
Phasing out single-use plastic (% of goal achieved)
100%
Scholarships, internships, entrepreneurship
3,291
Number of people helped
174,511

Ethics and Anti-Corruption

General Code of Conduct

The Santander Group and the Santander Bank Polska Group have an efficient ethical infrastructure, the cornerstone of which is the "General Code of Conduct" (the Code), which contains ethical standards applicable to all employees and provisions for specific situations.

Compliance with the principles of the Code is the responsibility of all units of the Santander Bank Polska Group. A special role is assigned to the management of the Compliance function, Internal Audit Area, the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Human Resources Management function which should make sure that the General Code of Conduct is observed by all individuals subject to its provisions.

More information about the implementation of our values

Reporting misconduct

The Code of Conduct has a section on whistleblowing devoted to the process of reporting violations and irregularities.

The procedure ensures confidentiality and analysis of the provided information. It is forbidden to use any repressive measures or to draw any consequences against the persons reporting irregularities. Elements of our Whistleblowing Policy are also reflected in our Respect and Dignity Policy.

Our employees have four channels to choose from to report ethical concerns:

  1. ethical helpline for reporting (also anonymously) violations of laws, ethical principles, corruption, frauds, money laundering, failure to follow internal procedures, disclosure of confidential information, excessive risk taking, falsification of accounting records, financial frauds, neglecting control obligations or data manipulation;
  2. relational helpline for reporting discrimination, bullying, harassment and other violations in labour relations, including violations of corporate values and behaviour;
  3. dedicated mailbox etyka@santander.pl;
  4. KLAKSON application - an online form for reporting all of the abovementioned incidents.
  • 228

    reports in 2020

  • 251

    reports in 2019

Anti-corruption

We strongly oppose all forms of corruption. Our ethical standards in this area are set out in the following documents:

  • General Code of Conduct,
  • Code of Conduct for Securities Markets,
  • General Conflict of Interest Policy,
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Policy,
  • Personal Data Protection Policy,
  • Sustainable Development Policy,
  • Anti-corruption Programme,
  • Corporate Defence Policy,
  • Compliance Policy,
  • Reputational Risk Management Model - sets out the principles for managing and controlling risk, key elements, principles and processes, as well as roles and responsibilities and internal oversight.
  • 0

    confirmed cases of corruption in the bank and the Santander Bank Polska Group in 2020

  • 1

    report on suspected corrupt behaviour (filed through available whistleblowing channels) in the bank and the Santander Bank Polska Group in 2020

Transparency

All parties that are influenced by us and that exert an influence on us are the stakeholders of Santander Bank Polska Group. We map our stakeholder groups and channels used to contact them, we study their diverse needs and the strength of our mutual impacts and, above all, we interact and communicate with them.

We engage in regular dialogue with our stakeholders and make every effort to provide them with complete and useful information about our activities and their effects in a transparent manner.

Our company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, which is an important motivation for us to continuously improve our methods of communication with the business and social environment.

 Our company’s shares are included in the following indices:

  • WIG20
  • WIG-Banks
  • WIG-ES

Shareholding structure of Santander Bank Polska S.A.
(as at 31.12.2020)

We foster relationships with investors and other capital market participants. For more information, see our Investor Relations Service.