Santander CEO, José Antonio Álvarez, said that 25% of the bank’s business is affected by negative interest rates, so it will have to focus on diversifying geographically to compensate for this.
Speaking in Madrid at the XIII Financial Sector Meeting organised by Deloitte, ABC and The Spanish Property Valuation Society, Alvarez also said the bank is facing a problem over how to grow its revenues. He highlighted that there is less growth in mature markets, but profitability is higher, while in emerging markets volumes are increasing. On the costs’ side, more efficiency is required and he advocated investment in technology.
Santander plans to increase the gross dividend charged against its 2016 results to 0.21 euros per share, up 5% from a year earlier. As was the case in 2015, the bank will make three cash payments and one in either shares or cash.