Ana Botín, chief executive of Santander, the UK’s fifth-largest bank, has indicated the company’s intention to make Leicester – and the Carlton Park office – a ‘main site’ within the group.
In an interview published in the Leicester Mercury on April 19th, Ms Botin said:
“We have added 150 jobs in Leicestershire in the last 12 months and we are planning to bring other business to Carlton Park”
Ms. Botin, daughter of Santander’s charismatic group chairman Emilio Botín, was in the area to to meet staff at the bank’s Horsefair Street branch and the Customer Service Centre at Carlton Park, Narborough.
One of Santander’s main focuses after bringing Alliance &Leicester, Abbey and Bradford & Bingley together under the Santander brand last year is to increase its share of the small and medium-sized business (SME) market. One way it is doing this is through the acquisition of 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland, which will almost treble its share of the SME market, adding 240,000 corporate customers.
In the interview Ms Botín says she is looking to grow Santander’s share of this key market by 20 per cent a year. She went on to say:
“One of the objectives we have is to be more of a SME bank,” she said. “A&L brought some business in for us. But the SME market is the hardest thing to do right. How do you establish long-term relationships with small businesses that don’t have formal accounts? It’s a segment that’s very hard and it’s the one thing we need to get very good at.
Although the company is (according to Ms. Botin) “analysing” the extent of any job creation, she did remark that in the good times [the company] grows steadily and in the bad times it keeps its profile at a high level.The full interview can be viewed here (Page opens in a new window)