The Santander retail banking brand was launched in the United States Thursday to 1.7 million retail, commercial and small business customers across the Northeast, with the rebranding of Sovereign Bank, company officials announced.
The rebranding is part of a three-year, $200 million investment Santander is making that calls for a series of enhancements and improvements, including office refurbishment, new automatic tellers, new products and channels — including the redesigned www.santanderbank.com website — and further applications for mobile banking. Details of a new retail banking product will be announced Oct. 28, bank officials said.
Emilio Botín, Chairman of the Santander Group, accompanied by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, unveiled the first stateside retail branch sporting the Santander brand during a morning ceremony in New York City’s Herald Square.
“There is no better way to express our confidence in and commitment to the U.S., to our bank here and to our customers,” said Botín. “There should be no doubt about our appetite for growth in the U.S. Being in the U.S. makes us a better bank.”
Unveiling ceremonies also took place in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Wyomissing, PA. Installation of more than 10,000 interior and exterior Santander signs will be completed over the next few days at the bank’s 718 branches spanning Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Thursday’s rebranding is in line with Santander’s strategy of operating under a single brand in all the markets in which it does business. Since 2005, Santander has rebranded banks in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Portugal and Spain, to better leverage corporate resources and its “strong global reputation,” bank officials said.
“With the full strength and resources of the Santander Group behind us, we’re now in an even better position to deepen relationships with the customers, communities and companies we serve,” said Román Blanco, president and CEO of Santander US.
“This change in our name sets the stage for a new phase of investment in our customers and growth for Santander in the United States,” said Blanco, who prior to taking over the stateside post headed Santander’s Puerto Rico operations.
While in New York, Botín also confirmed Santander’s commitment, through Santander Universities, to invest $100 million over five years in higher education. Santander Universities has cooperation agreements with 27 universities in the mainland U.S.