Santander increases minimum wage to $20 for hourly employees

Santander Holdings USA Inc. is increasing the minimum wage for hourly employees to $20 — and is expanding the employee groups that are eligible. The increase in the hourly wage applies to Santander Bank, N.A. and Santander Consumer (“SC”) USA employees who work onsite in branches, call centers and corporate offices — starting this week.

Santander Bank retail branch employees saw their wages increase in January and February as employees served and supported clients in person through the omicron surge of the pandemic, according to the company.

This latest increase applies to Santander Bank and SC Operations teams as those employees begin to return to the office under what the financial institution describes as a “flexible, hybrid model.”

“Our customer-facing team members across Santander US provide in-person support and business-critical services to our clients to help them achieve their financial goals,” Santander US CEO Tim Wennes said in a statement. “This latest pay increase recognizes their hard work and contributions and ensures we remain competitive in the marketplace as we look to attract and retain top talent.”

The increase in wages for hourly employees returning to the workplace went into effect on April 3 for the bank’s operations teams and will become effective on June 1 for SC Operations — which is the company’s auto finance business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Between 2018 and 2022, Santander has increased its minimum wage by more than 33%. For SC Operations employees, the current wage hike represents a 16% increase in a two-year period, according to information in a press release announcing the wage adjustment.

The new wage is nearly three times the federal minimum wage.

In an emailed response to questions, Santander said some hourly employees who are already earning $20 per hour due to their seniority, will receive pay adjustments.

In the response, the company said that while it is “committed to providing flexibility in how and where colleagues work,” the company has established return to workplace models based on specific business needs.

Operations teams will be asked to return to the office up to three days a week, while branch colleagues will continue their daily in-person work with clients.

In the release, Santander said it strives to be an “employer of choice” and is committed to supporting its team members, “especially through the pandemic.” Some of that support has included daily stipends, emergency Paid Time Off (PTO), additional PTO to receive or recover from the COVID-19 vaccine, and expanded childcare and adult care benefits.

To view open positions with Santander, visit www.santandercareers.com.

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