Banco Santander’s board of directors has approved changes that simplify its corporate structure, reducing the number of divisions from 15 to 11, while further enhancing risk management. These changes will contribute to improve the bank’s ability to respond to customers’ needs and to accomplish the ambitious financial and business targets it has set.
The Private Banking, Asset Management and Insurance Division will be integrated in the Retail and Commercial Banking Division headed by Javier San Félix, Senior Executive Vice-President. Luis Moreno, Senior Executive Vice-President, will be responsible for Private Banking reporting to the head of the division.
Once the restructure of the property assets in Spain is completed, the Recoveries division under Remigio Iglesias, Senior Executive Vice-President, will be integrated as a corporate area under the Risk division directed by José María Nus, Senior Executive Vice-President in charge of risk, who reports directly to Matías Rodriguez Inciarte, Group Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Board’s Risks Committee.
Banco Santander’s CEO, José Antonio Álvarez, said: “The changes approved today complement the restructuring that started in September with the new Executive Chairman. They will enable us to capture further growth opportunities which require the more agile, flexible and decentralized organization we are now implementing. We want Santander to be the best place to work, the best bank for our customers, with growing and sustainable profitability for shareholders, while contributing to the progress of the societies where we work.”
The other appointments, which are subject to the pertinent regulatory authorizations, are:
Rodrigo Echenique, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, will also be Executive Director, to whom following regulators’ recommendations regarding corporate governance, the Compliance function will report, alongside other duties delegated to him by the Group’s Executive Chairman.
José María Fuster, Senior Executive Vice-President and until now head of the Technology and Operations division, will become the corporate Director of Innovation reporting directly to the Group’s Executive Chairman. Mr. Fuster will lead new strategies to position the Bank as an international reference in innovation and technology applied to banking.
Andreu Plaza has been appointed Senior Executive Vice-President and head of Technology and Operations. Mr. Plaza, with extensive experience in banking technology, has contributed decisively to the technological transformation of Santander U.K. s Corporate and Commercial Banking. The new structure separates the functions for defining digital strategies (innovation) from implementation, execution and development (technology and operations).
Rami Aboukhair, until now Executive Vice-President, has been appointed Senior Executive Vice-President. Mr. Aboukhair, who has extensive knowledge of retail banking, will join Santander Spain as head of Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking. He will report to Enrique García Candelas, the country head of Spain who also oversees Global Banking and Markets, risk, management and organization, costs and the rest of the support areas in Spain.
An Area of Supervisory and Regulatory Relations is created within the Finance Division. It will be in charge of global management and coordination with the bank’s supervisors and regulators, as well as the Group’s units and entities. In particular, the new area will manage, as a supervised institution, the relationship with the European Central Bank, the Group’s consolidated supervisor. José Manuel Campa, until now head of Investor Relations, will take up this responsibility, reporting to Jose García Cantera, Senior Executive Vice-President and head of the Financial Division.
With a goal to strengthen Santander’s positioning in universities, Santander Universities, which is a corporate area headed by José Antonio Villasante, Senior Executive Vice-President, will continue to report, as a corporate area, to the Group’s executive chairman and will also report functionally to the Retail and Commercial Banking Division for the commercial relationships with Universities and higher- education institutions.
Víctor Matarranz, Senior Executive Vice-President and Head of the Executive Chairman’s Office, will also take responsibility for Strategy. The new area will be called Chairman’s Office and Strategy.
José Luis de Mora, Executive Vice-President, has been appointed Senior Executive Vice-President and will continue to head the Financial Planning and Corporate Development area, reporting directly to the CEO and functionally to the Chairman’s Office and Strategy area.