Upholding the highest ethical standards and fighting financial crime
Ethics and integrity are the foundation of a prosperous business and society. We’re determined to uphold the highest ethical standards, promote human rights and maintain a responsible corporate culture.
What this means for us
We commit to being a fairer, more transparent bank. At the heart of this is the fair treatment of customers. We’ll deal with any form of customer fraud as a priority and are committed to raising customer awareness.
Our financial crime strategy seeks to deter, detect and disrupt financial crime, to protect our customers and communities.
Ethical governance and culture
Our culture is formed from the shared values and ethical standards that we hold ourselves accountable to in line with our code of conduct. ‘How’ we do things is as important as what we do. We have nine ‘Santander behaviours’ which describe how we should interact day-to-day to bring ‘Simple, Personal and Fair’ to life.
Responsible supply chain
We want to do business with like-minded companies who share our values and ambition to be a driver of prosperity. We meet the Living Wage requirement for employees of suppliers at our sites in the UK, and our standard supplier contracts include requirements to respect human rights and ethical labour practice based on the principles of the UN Global Compact.
Tackling financial crime, fraud and scams
Our Anti Financial Crime (AFC) strategy is set around the three principles of ‘Deter, Detect and Disrupt’. In 2020 we continued to promote our AFC Culture and Strategy, including through senior leadership briefings and colleague events or communications.
In addition, our partnership with the NGO “Stop the Traffik” strengthens how we tackle human trafficking and modern slavery.
This approach is supported by comprehensive Anti-Financial Crime training for all Board members. Our centralised Anti Financial Crime Academy was launched in 2020, which builds on enhanced, role specific training for colleagues.
Branch Staff at the Vanguard
Alert employees working in our branch network have been instrumental in caring for our customers in these challenging times: whether spotting exceptional withdrawals of cash to pay rogue builders, signs of human trafficking or unapproved withdrawals of cash by carers of vulnerable customers, their service on the front line has had a tremendous impact. We recognised their achievements on our intranet and this was also reported to the Board. Really Knowing Your Customer means more than account opening forms!