Telemundo Passes Off Bank Commercial As a News Story

December 3rd, 2019 12:39 PM

Good news is always welcome, especially when our own pockets are concerned. However, a recent Telemundo report about remittances from the United States to Mexico went overboard in plugging a Spanish bank with a subsidiary in Mexico. 

Watch below as Telemundo blurred the line between news reporting and commercial promotion:

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: No more commissions on remittances sent to Mexico through Banco de Santander.


DÍAZ-BALART: We start from Mexico where the government and Banco Santander 


RAUL TORRES, CORRESPONDENT, TELEMUNDO: And it´s that Banco Santander won't charge a penny on commissions  


TORRES: At first only Santander customers will be able to send remittances 


FRANCISCO CUEVAS, CORRESPONDENT, TELEMUNDO: Today, Banco Santander clients were bursting with happiness 


CUEVAS: Banco Santander's program will be extended next year

This above compilation was culled from a three-and-a-half-minute report from Telemundo News wherein the name of the bank -Banco Santander - was mentioned six times, and the bank’s logo was shown 10 times on-camera

In addition, Santander’s president was given camera time with which to advertise that the financial institution that will only offer the remittances free of charge to its clients initially, a talking point Torres made sure to insert: “At first only Santander customers will be able to send remittances...”

The most astonishing part of this report, however, is the actual good news that Telemundo buried under what is essentially a corporate advertorial: that the Hispanic population in the United States is currently experiencing an unprecedented economic boom under the Trump Administration, with Mexicans sending record breaking amounts of money to their relatives back home.

A November 1, 2019 report from FocusEconomics indicates that, “remittances totaled USD 3.1 billion in September (August: USD 3.4 billion), a 13.3% surge from the same month a year ago (August: +17.0% year-on-year). In the 12 months up to September, remittances totaled a record-high USD 36.0 billion, above the USD 35.6 billion recorded in the 12 months up to August. September’s 12-month rolling total marked a 9.9% increase from a year earlier (August: +9.5% yoy).”

Of course, admitting so would concede a win for the Trump Administration’s economic policies, which have favored minorities throughout the Nation, including Hispanics. More convenient to the narrative to bury this inconvenient fact under an infomercial disguised as news, then.

Click on Expand to read the complete transcript of the above mentioned report as it aired on Telemundo News, on November 26, 2019.

Noticias Telemundo 

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: No more commissions on remittances sent to Mexico through Banco de Santander. It is an unprecedented decision that can revolutionize the remittance business that, by the way, is up 19% in 2019. We will be on both sides of the border to learn about the reactions of the community and we begin from Mexico where the government and Banco de Santander signed this historic agreement. Raúl Torres has the report.

RAÚL TORRES, CORRESPONDENT, TELEMUNDO: With hope and need, he goes for the $150 his son sends him from Texas. Ramiro lives in San Luis Potosí.

RAMIRO ORELLANA, RECEIVES REMITTANCES: We received the highest amount of money our relatives are sending us.

TORRES: And it´s that Banco Santander will not charge a penny on money remittances from the United States. The decision is so important that it was announced by Mexico's own president and the bank's president.

ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR, PRESIDENT OF MÉXICO: Our migrant countrymen are heroes.

TORRES: Last March, the president terminally asked the banker to eliminate the commissions. They eliminated them and offered an attractive exchange rate, so they expect more Mexicans to become their customers.

ANA BOTÍN, PRESIDENT SANTANDER MÉXICO: We made a commitment to implement this program from Santander branches in the United States to any bank in Mexico.

TORRES: We've consulted other banks, not everyone will eliminate their fees, but this year remittances will break records with $35 billion.

Until now few immigrants used this bank to send remittances, their commission was the highest, $35 per transaction. However, many will now be able to take advantage of it.

At first only Santander customers will be able to send remittances, then anyone can do it, they're hoping it will be soon.

ORELLANA: They can be sent at no cost.

TORRES: And it is that for them, every penny is a real fortune, in Mexico, Raúl Torres, Telemundo News.


FRANCISCO CUEVAS, CORRESPONDENT: Today in cities like New York, Banco Santander clients were bursting with happiness. Starting today, their remittances to Mexico will be completely free.  Gerardo and Arón expect to save on average 15 dollars per month each.

GERARDO CRUZ, MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: It suits us here and our family more. 

ARÓN ARELLANES, MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: With that $15, you can buy more food. 

CUEVAS: On the other side of the country in Los Angeles, Sergio Mijangos sends $200 a month to Oaxaca and has done so for 20 years. Savings on remittances are not yet available for him, but he thinks it's a great idea where he'd save $300 annually.

SERGIO MIJANGOS, MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: Money counts, one can send one a little more to help the family 

CUEVAS: The average remittance to Mexico is $300. At a cost of $8 per shipment the annual savings would be $96. Micaela works hard for every dollar she sends to her country. Now she'll have more money to send her father in Puebla. 

MICAELA FRANCISCO, MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: For example, you send 100 and the 5 you didn't send, then you send 105 more. 

CUEVAS: So far it has been Mexico, but now many immigrants from other countries expect the benefit to come for them as well. 

ROLANDO RUIZ, MEXICAN IMMIGRANT: Back in my country 15 bucks, it would be like 200 quetzals, a lot. 

IMMIGRANT: Grain-to-grain the hen is filled. 

CUEVAS: The Banco Santander program will be extended next year, remittances can be made via the cell phone. Other banks are expected to follow in their footsteps. In Los Angeles, California, Francisco Cuevas, Telemundo News.