Mr. Vice President of the European Central Bank
Governor of the Bank of Spain
Dr. van Nieuwerburgh (NU-ver-burg)
Ladies and Gentlemen
I’m honored to be here with you today.
First of all, I would like to congratulate Dr. van Nieuwerburgh, the recipient of the Germán Bernácer prize. Your research and publications on a wide range of topics, including the relationship between wages and housing prices, the role of government-sponsored enterprises, shocks to the macro-economy and the “diabolical” sovereign-bank loop have been rightly recognized for their insight and relevance.
Your work will surely continue to be relevant as economists and policy-makers search for ways to assure that growth is both sustainable and inclusive.
Banco Santander is delighted to sponsor the Germán Bernácer Prize, and to support the European Central Bank Observatory and its chairman, Guillermo de la Dehesa. The Observatory is a valuable forum for promoting understanding of the ECB, its policies and challenges. Thank you for your contribution.
Since Banco Santander was founded, our purpose has been clear: we are here to help people and businesses prosper.
Our activities support and generate prosperity, economic growth, job creation and investment in the communities we serve. When we do our job well, communities prosper.
We recognize that just doing our job well is not enough, that we form part of the community everywhere we operate. This belonging is reflected in our investment in education and research. We believe this investment is another way Banco Santander can contribute to sustainable growth and progress.
This is why, beginning 20 years ago, we have collaborated with 1,225 universities and research institutes in 21 countries, under a unique initiative that sets us apart from other international financial institutions. We have provided more than 250,000 student grants over the years.
Our support of higher education is one reason the Dow Jones Index ranked us as the most sustainable bank in Europe this year. This investment is the cornerstone of our Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
We believe that this support for education and research helps us as well in understanding and managing some of the real challenges facing banks.
Following the financial crisis and Great Recession, the role of banks in the economy has been questioned with renewed vigor. A new regulatory framework is mostly in place to assure no institution is too big to fail. New entrants have emerged, riding the wave of innovation in technology that can favor those without the burden of a legacy organization and regulations. Meanwhile, zero and near-zero interest rates have undercut profitability.
As we face these challenges, banks as well as regulators, supervisors and policymakers will rely on your work, Dr. Nieuwenburgh, and that of many academic colleagues, to assure that decisions are based on thorough, impartial and relevant research and analysis.
I am delighted to share this floor with Mr Constâncio and Mr Linde. I would like to thank both of you for your leadership and commitment, which have been decisive in successfully managing through these challenging times. You have both made invaluable contributions to the new regulatory framework, to building the stronger institutional framework Europe requires, and to strengthening the financial system.
As we look ahead, we face some daunting new challenges. The quick pace of technological change and innovation are revolutionizing our industry in ways we can only speculate about now - ways that affect banks, their customers and society at large. Governments and businesses are under more pressure than ever to assure that no one is left behind by technology, globalization and economic growth.
We in the financial community – banks, regulators, supervisors, policymakers - have a shared responsibility to foster sustainable and inclusive growth. Economic and monetary academic research, like that we are recognizing today, is crucial to understanding and meeting that challenge.
And for Banco Santander, this is one way to help people and businesses prosper.
That is our purpose.
Thank you very much.