Santander Bank, N. A. formerly Sovereign Bank, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. It is based in Boston and its principal market is the northeastern United States. It has $57.5 billion in deposits, operates about 650 retail banking offices and over 2,000 ATMs, and employs approximately 9,800 people. It 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 stad.
History of Santander Bank
Santander Bank, N.A., was founded on October 8, 1902, as “Sovereign Bank”, 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. In 2000, Sovereign bought 278 New England branches from the newly merged FleetBoston Financial, becoming the third-largest retail bank in the Boston area at one stroke. This transaction was driven by a requirement from bank regulators that Fleet Bank and BankBoston divest 306 branches as a condition for the merger.
Forty-five years before the founding of Sovereign Bank, its future parent was founded as Banco Santander on 15 May 1857, with the approval of Queen Isabel II of Spain. 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 Botin-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.
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 the 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.
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.
On October 13, 2008, Banco Santander purchased the remainder of Sovereign for US$1.9 billion (1.4 billion euros). Sovereign Bank was severely affected by losses related to auto loans and stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 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. On January 30, 2009, Banco Santander completed its acquisition of Sovereign Bank, for about $2.51 per share.
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.
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. The rebranding was completed on October 17, 2013.
In March 2015, Scott Powell was appointed head of U.S. business at Santander, and CEO of Santander Holdings USA, replacing Roman Blanco. Powell left his role as CEO in December 2019. He was replaced by Timothy Wennes.