SANTANDER has reported a pre-tax profit of £147million, a 74 per cent loss on the first half of year, compared to the same period in 2019.

The bank group’s adjusted pre-tax profit was down 70 per cent to £225m, in its half-year results announced today, as of June 30.

Its results include £376m of credit impairment charges, largely due to Covid-19, as well as related income pressures.

Santander says it is working with its customers who took a payment holiday since lockdown began to understand their individual situations and help them resume payments.

It has helped more than 290,000 of its retail customers who requested mortgage, unsecured personal loan, or credit card payment holidays.

It has also approved more than £3.2billion drawn under government lending schemes by our business and corporate customers as is actively supporting the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Santander has also donated £7.5m for Covid-19 research, hardship funds and community activities to support the most vulnerable.

Nathan Bostock, Santander’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has been a huge challenge for all of us and our top priority throughout has been the welfare of our people, our customers and the communities in which we operate.

“I am extremely proud of how our people have worked at extraordinary pace to substantially change the way we operate so we can continue to provide essential banking services for all our customers, despite the material impact the crisis has had on our business operations and our colleagues themselves.

“We understand how hard it has been for our customers and we have supported many thousands of individuals and businesses with a range of measures including payment holidays on mortgages, personal loans and credit cards as well as taking an active part in Government loan schemes to help businesses through these uncertain times.

“Having quickly and successfully adapted our operating model as the crisis developed, we have created a safe working environment with more flexibility for our colleagues – I am incredibly grateful for how they have worked tirelessly in recent months to support one another, our customers and communities.

“Decisive management actions have helped us to mitigate some of the impact this crisis could have had on our results and business operations and ensure we are well positioned as the UK emerges from the lockdown.

“With strong foundations and a resilient balance sheet, we remain fully committed to our purpose – to help people and businesses prosper.”