Network News: July 2020

Thursday 30th July 2020

Alliance member institutions are responding to the COVID-19 crisis with generosity, innovation, and a strong gender lens: providing aid to communities in need, launching new digital, financial solutions, and NFS solutions for clients, and finding creative ways to support women customers and employees.

Providing Aid and Adapted Financial Solutions

Our newest member, Davivienda, in Colombia, is delivering food supplies to one million affected families, making donations to 31 health institutions to strengthen their protective equipment supplies, and ensuring that 2,184 employees of suppliers keep their wages. 

To help clients through unprecedented times, Davivienda changed conditions of credits with reliefs, grace periods, payment extensions and credit restructuring, which can be accessed easily from home without impact on the client’s risk rating.

To support small businesses, Davivienda granted more than $242 million in business and personal loans backed by the National Guarantee Fund, giving credit access to 8,000 small businesses and 26,000 self-employed clients. Davivienda also received a subordinated loan of $50 million from OPEC to support women-owned SMEs, housing, and sustainable projects.

Santander Argentina is opening bank accounts for more than 18,000 women entrepreneurs–beneficiaries of Pro Mujer microcredits–and giving them free access to training and tools via the Campus by Women portal.

Continuing, Updating, and Increasing NFS

A year since its launch, Banca Women de Santander, in Argentina, has trained more than 10,000 women in topics of their interest: saving, acquiring financing, founding a business, and more.

In Zambia, Zanaco is offering retail and SME women customers access to expert business advice at discounted prices.

In the UK, Natwest Group is creating Women in Business Bitesize–a 1.5 hour webinar for its telephony business banking arm, which includes 90% of its female customers. WIB Bitesize is designed to upskill key outbound lending and account opening teams, enabling them to reach more females. It will be launched in the group learning portal as a self-select development programme, as early September,

And during August, Natwest Group will be hosting seven regional roundtables across the UK, with the goal of hearing directly from their women customers the challenges they have faced as females and uncover regional variances. These learnings will inform Natwest’s Rose Review at an aggregate level.

Expanding Digital Services and Communications

BAC Credomatic Guatemala provides women customers financial solutions and other benefits focused on education and training that speak to the needs of young professionals, women in the family and women in business.

Banco Nacional de Costa Rica created an Instagram community for women, providing tools for holistic growth of women and their businesses. This campaign, #LetsTellYou, plays on a diverse set of content categories–healthy finances, tools for SMEs, personal development and growth, entertainment, and real-time events–and seeks to highlight women’s resilience in the face of adversity.

NatWest Group anticipates that they will accredit over 360 front line staff through its Women in Business Specialists Accreditation program this year–a 65% increase from 2019–owing largely to its accelerated move to digital. And, Natwest has extended this program into RBS International and Ulster Bank Republic of Ireland in response to unprecedented demand for the program during lockdown.

Santander Argentina launched a Digital Woman account designed to accompany women in their economic independence, and instituted several new two new virtual trainings, focused on gender and career development.

In addition, Santander Responsible Banking launched virtual live talks from experts on how entrepreneurs can adapt their businesses to the shifting context.

Enabling Gender-Diverse Workplaces

Zanaco launched its mentorship program to build its pipeline of women employees to move into senior management positions.

Santander Argentina is rolling out two new workforce training modules with a focus on gender and diversity.