Banco Santander will refuse loans to coal-related companies from 2030

As part of its sustainability strategy, Spain’s Santander bank will stop providing financial services to businesses that rely on thermal coal.

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February 23, 2021

3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.


In recent years, sustainability has become one of the major business trends and Santander knows it. The Spanish bank with an international presence has announced that from 2030 it will refuse loans and other services to companies related to the coal industry.

On Monday, Santander Bank clearly expressed its commitment to the decarbonization of the economy, informing in a statement that it “will stop offering financial services to electricity producing customers whose income depends on more than 10 % of thermal coal ”.

It should be noted that thermal coal is the one that is used to generate electricity. Instead, metallurgical coal is used in the manufacture of steel.

In addition, the banking institution promised to eliminate its “exposure to thermal coal mining in the world”. This “exposure” to thermal coal mainly refers to the loans it grants for power generation.

Sustainability, Santander’s goal

The measure is part of its strategy of sustainability and “support for the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change”.

Santander has been working to maintain carbon neutral emissions since 2020 internally. Now it intends to extend the target to “all questions of its clients arising from any of the financing, advisory or investment services offered by Santander,” the statement said.

The bank plans to publish its decarbonisation targets for other sectors, such as oil and gas, transport or steel, in September 2022. Thus, Santander’s target is to reach zero net emissions by this time. 2050 in the world.

Ana Botín, president of Santander, assured that being one of the main banks in the world, with 148 million customers, she has “the responsibility and the opportunity to support the ecological transition and to encourage more people and ‘businesses to be more sustainable’.

“There is still a lot to do, but the commitments we announced today represent a big step forward,” Botín said.

Last year, the world’s most powerful investment fund, BlackRock, announced that tackling climate change has become a priority for its investors. Therefore, it has pledged not to invest in companies that derive more than 25% of their income from thermal coal production.

About Walter Bartholomew

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