Santander Bank

Santander Bank, N. A. (/ˌsɑːntɑːnˈdɛər/), 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.[4] 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.

Santander Bank, N. A.
IndustryNational banking
FoundedSovereign Bank
Wyomissing, Pennsylvania (1902)
Headquarters75 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109 U.S.
Key people
Timothy Wennes (CEO)
Tim Ryan (Chair)
RevenueIncrease US$3.345 billion (2013)[1]
Decrease US$1.508 billion (2013)[1]
Decrease US$1.042 billion (2013)[1]
Number of employees
Increase 10,000 (2020) [2][3][4]
ParentSantander Group
Santander Bank in New York near Grand Central Station

Sovereign Bank was rebranded as Santander Bank on October 17, 2013;[5] 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
Santander Bank, Summer Street, Boston, United States

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.[6] In 2000, Sovereign bought 278 New England branches from the newly merged FleetBoston Financial, becoming the third-largest retail bank in the Boston area.[7][8] This transaction was driven by a requirement from bank regulators that Fleet Bank and BankBoston divest 306 branches as a condition for merger.[9]

45 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.[10] 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, and 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 oldest 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.[11]

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 $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.[12] On June 1, 2006, Sovereign Bank purchased Independence Community Bank Corp. of Brooklyn, New York, for $3.6 billion in cash.[13] 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.[14]

On October 13, 2008, Banco Santander purchased the remainder of Sovereign for $1.9 billion.[15] Sovereign Bank was severely affected by losses related to auto loans and stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.[16] 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.[17] On January 30, 2009, Banco Santander completed its acquisition of Sovereign Bank, for about $2.51 per share.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20] The rebranding was completed on October 17, 2013.[21]

In March 2015, Scott Powell was appointed head of U.S. business at Santander, and CEO of Santander Holdings USA, replacing Roman Blanco.[22] Powell left his role as CEO in December 2019. He was replaced by Timothy Wennes.[23]


  1. ^ a b c "3Q Results 2013: Sovereign Bank" Archived 2013-10-29 at the Wayback Machine, Santander Group
  2. ^ "About Us".
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "About Us". Santander Bank N. A. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  5. ^ GOSSELIN, KENNETH R. "Sovereign Bank Name Changes To Santander". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  6. ^ Sidel, Robin (21 April 2008). "Smaller Banks Begin to Pay Price For Their Boomtime". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Sovereign Bank Seals Deal With Fleetboston". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 1 March 2000. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Sovereign Bank New England Announces Acquisition of Fleet/BankBoston Branches" (Press release). Philadelphia and Boston. PR Newswire. 7 September 1999. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Justice department requires Fleet Financial and BankBoston to divest 306 branches in four new England states" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: Department of Justice. 2 September 1999. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  10. ^ "More than a century of history". corporate website. Banco Santander S.A. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  11. ^ "1985–1990". corporate website. Banco Santander. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  12. ^ Archived September 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Independence Community Bank Corp. to be Acquired by Sovereign Bancorp in Cash Transaction at $42 per Share" (Press release). Brooklyn, New York, and Philadelphia. PR Newswire. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Santander to Take Over Sovereign in $1.9 Billion Deal". Bloomberg News. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  16. ^ Dash, Eric (13 October 2008). "Spanish Bank Said to Be Close to Buying Sovereign Bancorp". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Moody's downgrades Sovereign Bancorp to 'Baa2' from 'Baa1'". InformedTrades. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Santander: Banking, Savings, Loans and Mortgages – Santander" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  19. ^ Wallack, Todd (16 August 2011). "Sovereign making Hub its home base". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 25 May 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  20. ^ Wallack, Todd (28 September 2011). "Sovereign changes its name to Santander". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  21. ^ "Sovereign becoming Santander". Sovereign Bank. 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  22. ^ Ryan, Greg (3 March 2015). "Santander's U.S. arm makes 2nd change at top in 2 years". Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  23. ^ Ryan, Greg (2 December 2019). "Santander CEO leaves for high-ranking role at Wells Fargo". Retrieved 10 December 2019.

External linksEdit