Banco Santander Chile has reported its strongest set of quarterly results since 2013.
The bank’s Q2 2019 net income attributable to shareholders totalled CLP171,232 million, an increase of 36.5% compared to the previous quarter and 10.8% year-on-year.
It claimed that the results “compensate the weaker first quarter of the year negatively affected by the low inflation rate”.
The bank also made significant investments in digital systems and services during the quarter, as part of its three-year, US $380 million digital transformation investment plan spanning 2019 to 2021.
As part of its intentions to increase access to point of sale (POS) terminals for SMEs, the bank signed an agreement with IT service management specialist Evertec, which will provide acquisition processing services to small and medium commercial customers from 2020. The bank estimates that around 70% of local SMEs currently do not have access to a POS.
It also conducted a soft launch of its latest Superdigital digital banking service, which includes a pre-paid card.
The initiative is designed to make online purchases available to what the bank estimates to be more than four million Chilean citizens who do not have access to a payment cards and increase the use of digital payments and online services.
Banco Santander Chile is in the process of finalising the acquisition of SKBergé Financiera’s 49% share of Santander Consumer Chile for CLP59,063 million. The remaining 51% stake is controlled by Banco Santander (Spain).
It announced the move in March and the purchase will allow it to enter the local auto finance sector.
In its Q2 statement, the bank said it had received approval from the antitrust commission and was awaiting final approvals from the country’s financial authority – La Comisión para el Mercado Financiero (CMF) – with the completion date expected soon.