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Santander to raise wages in US thanks to tax reform

Spain’s banking giant Banco Santander said Wednesday it would raise wages for its workers in the United States to redistribute gains made thanks to President Donald Trump’s tax reform.

“The tax reform is a very good thing. We are planning, as most other companies, to give back in terms of wages and in new lendings,” Santander chief Ana Botin told reporters as she presented the bank’s annual results.

“We are going to increase wages for our US employees.”

Many US groups such as Apple, Walmart, Disney and American Airlines have announced bonuses, salary rises, investment or job creations in the United States since the tax reform passed in December.

But critics say that so far, these initiatives pale in comparison to the amounts they are expected to earn from the tax cuts.

The reform includes a reduction in corporate tax rates from 35 to 20 percent.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the tax cuts should stimulate investment, which could lead to extra growth of 1.2 percentage points until end 2020.

Banco Santander has 17,560 employees in the United States out of a total of more than 202,000 around the world.

The bank’s 2017 net profit rose 7 percent to 6.6 billion euros.