Expatica news

Santander UK names Ana Patricia Botin as new chief

Santander UK appointed Ana Patricia Botin, the daughter of the Santander chairman, as its new chief executive on Wednesday after its former head was poached by Britain’s state-rescued Lloyds bank.

Botin, a Spaniard who is currently executive chairwoman of Santander division Banesto, will formally replace outgoing chief Antonio Horta-Osorio on January 1, Santander UK said in a statement.

“We are delighted that Ana Patricia will be joining us as chief executive,” said Santander UK chairman Lord Terry Burns.

“Her appointment demonstrates how important the UK is to Santander and I am sure she will make a significant contribution to meeting the next phase of what has been a very successful entry into the UK market.”

Botin — the eldest daughter of Santander chairman Emilio Botin — promised to boost the bank’s standing in Britain.

“I am taking on the challenge with great enthusiasm,” she said in a statement.

“With the cooperation of our entire team, I am sure we will be the best bank in the UK, benefitting our shareholders, our customers and our employees.”

Ana Patricia Botin has been tipped by analysts as a possible successor when the 76-year-old steps down.

She will become the first female chief executive of a British high street bank, 22 years after joining Santander from JP Morgan.

Botin, 50, was already the highest ranking woman in Spanish finance and placed 38th in this year’s Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women.

Santander said last week that it wanted to float the UK subsidiary early in 2011.