Santander Bank

Santander Bank, N. A.
(Formerly Public, NYSE: SOV)
Industry National Banks
Headquarters 75 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
Scott Powell, CEO
Tim Ryan, Chairman
Revenue Increase$3.345 billion USD (2013)[1]
Decrease$1.508 billion USD (2013)[1]
Decrease$1.042 billion USD (2013)[1]
Number of employees
9,525 (2013)[2]
Parent Santander Group

Santander Bank, N. A. (formerly Sovereign Bank) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the bank—whose principal market is in the Northeastern United States—has more than $77 billion in assets, operates 723 retail banking offices, over 2,300 ATMs (including 1,100 in CVS pharmacies throughout the Northeast) and employs approximately 9,000 people.[2] Santander offers an array of financial services and products including retail banking, mortgages, corporate banking, cash management, credit card, capital markets, trust and wealth management, and insurance.

Sovereign Bank was rebranded as Santander Bank on October 17, 2013; the stadium, arena, and performing arts center for which it has naming rights were also rebranded.


Santander Bank branch footprint in the eastern United States.
Former Sovereign Bank logo
Santander Bank, Summer Street, Boston
Corporate headquarters of the bank at 75 State Street, Boston, MA

Banco Santander was founded on 15 May 1857, with Queen Isabel II 's approval.[3] The bank grew and in the 1920s started to build a network of branches. In 1942 it opened in Madrid. In 1934 Emilio Botín Sanz de Sautuola y López became director, and in 1950 chairman. He expanded the bank throughout Spain, so in 1957 it was Spain's seventh largest bank. In 1976 it acquired First National Bank of Puerto Rico, and in 1982 Banco Español-Chile. In 1986, Emilio senior's son Emilio Botín Sanz de Sautuola y García de los Ríos, succeeded him. In the late 1980s he acquired CC-Bank in Germany and a stake was in Banco de Comercio e Industria in Portugal. In 1989, the “Supercuenta Santander” was launched.[4]

Sovereign Bank was founded in 1902 as a savings and loan in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The company's earliest customers were largely textile workers. Sovereign expanded rapidly during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, acquiring numerous other banks.[5] In 2000, it bought 285 New England branches from the newly merged FleetBoston Financial.[6]

Sovereign bought the naming rights to Mercer County's new arena in 1999 in support of newly acquired Trenton Savings Bank (formerly TSFS) and other New Jersey branches for a ten-year term. In following years, the bank also named the Sovereign Center arena and Sovereign Performing Arts Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Sovereign Bank Stadium in York, Pennsylvania.

In June 2006, Banco Santander purchased almost 20% of Sovereign Bank for US$2.4 billion. As Banco Santander owned 25% of Sovereign, it had the right to buy the bank for $40 per share for one year beginning in the middle of 2008.[7] On June 1, 2006, Sovereign Bank purchased Independence Community Bank Corp. of Brooklyn, New York, for US$3.6 billion in cash. Sovereign completed the transition process of Independence and S.I. Bank & Trust customers on September 9, 2006. Sovereign financed this merger through its partial sale to Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano.[8]

On October 13, 2008, Banco Santander purchased the remainder of Sovereign for US$1.9 billion (1.4 billion euros).[9] Sovereign Bank was severely affected by losses related to auto loans and stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.[10] Banco Santander had previously seen a loss of over $1 billion on its investment in Sovereign, when the latter's share price tumbled after being downgraded by Moody's in September 2008.[11] On January 30, 2009, Banco Santander completed its acquisition of Sovereign Bank, for about $2.51 per share.[12]

In August 2011, the bank announced its plans to formally relocate its U.S. headquarters from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, to Boston, Massachusetts, where its top executives had already been located for the previous few years.[13]

In late September 2011, the bank announced that it would officially change its name to "Santander" as part of its parent company's goal to create a global brand.[14] The rebranding was completed on October 17, 2013.[15]

In March 2015, Scott Powell, was appointed head of US business at Santander, and CEO of Santander Holdings USA, replacing Roman Blanco.


  1. 1 2 3 "3Q Results 2013: Sovereign Bank", Santander Group
  2. 1 2 " About us, Santander Bank", Santander Bank
  3. "More than a century of history". corporate website. Banco Santander S.A. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  4. "1985-1990". corporate website. Banco Santander. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  5. Sidel, Robin (21 April 2008). "Smaller Banks Begin to Pay Price For Their Boomtime". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  6. Sovereign Bank Seals Deal With Fleetboston. The Philadelphia Inquirer
  7. Archived September 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. "Santander to Take Over Sovereign in $1.9 Billion Deal". Bloomberg News. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
  10. Dash, Eric (2008-10-13). "Spanish Bank Said to Be Close to Buying Sovereign Bancorp". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  11. "Moody's downgrades Sovereign Bancorp to 'Baa2' from 'Baa1'". InformedTrades. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  12. "Santander: Banking, Savings, Loans and Mortgages - Santander" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  13. "Sovereign making Hub its home base". The Boston Globe.
  14. Wollack, Todd (2011-09-28). "Sovereign changes its name to Santander". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  15. "Sovereign becoming Santander". Sovereign Bank. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
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