Santander and BBVA applied 481 dismissals as disciplinary measures in 2023 thanks to the communications, complaints and reports they received in the internal complaint channels they have in all the geographies in which they operate, according to the annual reports consulted by Europa Press.

Entities have these internal channels so that any employee and, in some cases, suppliers, clients or investors, can file complaints or reports regarding possible breaches of ethical codes or bad practices.

For example, Santander indicates that in 2023 it received 3,611 communications, of which 63.4% were for non-compliance with the bank’s general code of conduct, referring mainly to issues of workplace harassment, internal fraud, product marketing and prevention of money laundering. capitals; 30.2% for non-compliance with conduct in the field of human resources, especially due to interpersonal conflicts derived from “lack of leadership” and non-compliance with corporate behaviors; and the remaining 6.4% for other issues.

In addition, the entity reports that it received 125 communications related to equal opportunities and non-discrimination, of which 12 of them gave rise to disciplinary measures, including six dismissals. Likewise, it collected 15 categorized communications of corruption, which led to the dismissal of two people.

In total, Santander applied disciplinary measures in 655 cases, of which 366 were dismissals. This means reducing the figures for 2022, when the bank received 3,935 communications and implemented disciplinary measures in 907 cases, of which 387 were dismissals.

For its part, BBVA’s complaints channel received 2,061 complaints in 2023, 29% more than in 2022, which the bank attributes mainly to the “awareness and knowledge work” of the complaint channel itself carried out by the group in recent quarters.

The complaints received can be classified, mainly, into 1,037 regarding relationship situations or labor complaints; 220 on discrimination or harassment; 347 on conduct with the client; 129 for conflicts of interest; 190 for fraud; 48 for potential money laundering; 40 for privacy and information security; and another 50 for other typologies.

Furthermore, BBVA points out that 69% of these communications come from employees and 8% from third parties. The remaining 23% did not provide this information.

Thus, during the last financial year, the bank processed a total of 1,546 complaints. Nearly 38.4% of these processed complaints ended with the imposition of disciplinary measures, which led to 115 disciplinary dismissals.

The bank also specifies in its annual report that it activated the protocol for sexual harassment on 25 occasions in 2023, compared to the 13 it registered in 2022, although sexual harassment was confirmed in 22 cases, compared to eight in 2022. last year. In the 22 cases, it ended with the dismissal of the people reported.

In addition, the bank also has data on workplace harassment, which was activated twice in 2023, although it has no evidence of harassment in either case.

CaixaBank states in its report that it received 62 communications in 2023, of which three were for possible breach of the telematic code of conduct, 16 related to the marketing of products, transparency and customer protection, six for possible breach of the code of ethics, nine for data protection and 14 for workplace and sexual harassment. There are 14 other communications classified as ‘other’.

Of the communications received, 45%, that is, 28, were processed, while 34% were inadmissible because the admissibility criteria were not met. Of the 28 communications admitted, 26 were completed and two are in progress.

The bank reports that ten ended with accreditation of non-compliance and disciplinary measures have been applied in nine of them. In the remaining case, no disciplinary measures have been applied when the person reported voluntarily took leave. In the remaining 16 communications, no non-compliance has been proven.

Finally, Sabadell received a total of 30 complaints, of which 20 were admitted for processing and investigated, and ten were inadmissible (eight cases because they were not within the material or personal scope of the channel and two cases because they lacked sufficient data).

By typology, the entity highlights the aspects with the greatest number of communications as those related to workplace harassment, with six cases, six for breaches of the code of conduct and internal regulations and three for sexual harassment.

Of the 20 complaints admitted, in six cases the entity determined the materialization of a non-compliance, adopting disciplinary measures on four occasions. At the end of 2023, there were still three complaints admitted for processing that were in the process of internal investigation.