Banco Santander SA will channel about 2.7 billion reais in investment funds this year to its Brazilian subsidiary, Banco Santander (Brasil) SA, as part of the Spain-based bank's digitalization process, Folha de S. Paulo reported, citing Group Executive Chairman Ana Botín.
The amount accounts for 30% of the €2 billion expected global contribution under Santander's strategic plan for 2019. The group plans to lay out €20 billion in overall investment in new technologies over the next three years, which will enable its transformation to a fully digital bank.
Digitalization will be Santander's primary growth driver, especially in emerging countries, according to Botín. The executive said that digitalization, along with proposed pension reform, will help reduce interest rates in Brazil.
Elsewhere in Latin America, Santander plans to launch its first "open banking" operation for the region in Argentina before the end of the year, Botín said.
Santander is looking to service 10 million unbanked people in Latin America by 2025, Botín said, noting that new technologies will enable cheaper products and help to increase banking inclusion.
As of May 28, US$1 was equivalent to 4.02 Brazilian reais.