Santander U.S. announced it has taken immediate steps to assist customers affected by Hurricane Irma, pledging $100,000 to aid relief organizations.
The bank has activated assistance programs to help affected customers living in disaster zip codes identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The monetary donation will be divided between the Miami Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Puerto Rico and the American Red Cross chapter in Puerto Rico. Santander is also matching employee contributions to nonprofit organizations aiding in the recovery efforts.
“Once again a hurricane has turned the lives of so many people upside down,” said Scott Powell, president of Santander U.S. “We want those directly impacted by Hurricane Irma to be safe and we will assist them as they work to move forward from this significant natural disaster.”
Santander U.S.’s Dallas-based auto finance company, Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. has suspended loan collection and automotive repossession activities in the affected areas, and is offering temporary loan assistance to customers in the form of loan modifications and suspended late fees.
As of Sept. 12, 2017, the 16 FEMA-designated affected areas account for approximately 5 percent of Santander Consumer’s active retail and lease loan balance. That number is subject to increase as FEMA continues to assess damage in the wake of the storm, the bank said.
Santander Bank is offering immediate assistance to its retail, small business and commercial customers to include temporarily-reduced interest rates, temporarily-suspended late fees, loan modifications and the suspension of collection calls and auto repossessions.
Banco Santander Puerto Rico will waive any late fees incurred Sept. 5-11, 2017, including fees for any transactions conducted by telephone with a banking customer representative until Sept. 15, 2017.
The bank is also working closely with its construction industry customers and partners to assist them during Puerto Rico’s recovery, the bank said.