Banco Santander has already started the process for the merger of Santander Consumer Finance and Openbank, an initiative announced a few days ago by the president of the group, Ana Botín. As the banker announced yesterday, “our objective is to build a global consumer finance business, digital, based on the leadership position of Santander Consumer Finance (SCF) in Europe and on the Openbank digital platform. SCF and Openbank have great growth potential and together they serve more than 20 million customers in 15 markets ”. With the combination of the SCF and Openbank businesses, the group intends to offer “a greater range of services to our consumer clients, and thus earn their trust. All this, using the best technology and at a lower cost ”, explain Botín and the CEO, José Antonio Álvarez.
Sebastian Gunningham, who joined the group in June as a senior advisor in the areas of digital and technology, and who is also president of Santander Consumer Finance and vice president of Openbank, will lead the integration.
The business combination will mean that Santander Consumer Finance has two CEOs, Ezequiel Szafir and José Luis de Mora. Mora will focus on the auto business, and Szafir will be responsible for the rest of the consumer business. Both will share responsibility for the business as a whole and the countries. Openbank will continue to report to Ezequiel.
In addition, the bank intends to “regionalize” the insurance business, the consumer business (checkout lending, cards, consumer finance), the technology and operations functions, and the human resources business ”.
The main report of these businesses and functions will be made at the regional level (instead of at the country level as had been done until now), following the same model that the group has established for Europe and respecting in each case the norms and criteria of the local supervisors, they point out in the internal statement. Sebastian Gunningham was yesterday in charge of announcing all the organizational changes involved in the merger of these two banks.
The countries will be organized into three new regions that will report directly to both CEOs: a) Germany (Vito Volpe); b) a bank based in Spain, in which Spain (Ángel Fernández de Bobadilla), France (Martin Thomas), Belgium (Manuel Menéndez), the Netherlands (Fernando Jañez), Portugal (Nuno Zigue), Austria, Italy (Alberto Merchiori), Switzerland (Silvia Martin) and Greece (Eleni Chronea) will report directly to both CEOs; and c) United Kingdom (Vik Hill), Poland (Przemo Konczal), Nordic countries (Michael Hvidsten), China (Jenny Zhang) and Canada (Tracy Graf) will report to Bruno Montalvo. Country managers will continue to be responsible for the management and business team in their respective countries, Gunningham explained.
With the union of the SCF and Openbank business, it is intended that the more than 6 million customers that Santander Consumer attracts per year through its loans for the acquisition of cars and consumer goods can consume Openbank products, which has more than 20 million consumer finance customers with a wide range of cloud banking services. SCF has $ 110 billion in loans and $ 40 billion in deposits.
Financing your activity is a key part of your business model. Openbank’s checking and savings accounts and its asset management services “will be the backbone for building a deposit base that supports the growth of credit activity.”
Increase. Openbank continues to grow in deposits “far above other digital banks in Europe, thanks to its innovative, scalable and efficient product offering, and to its digital platform, built in the cloud and developed by ourselves,” the bank explains.
The digital legs. Santander’s three priorities to generate profitable and sustainable growth “and win in the digital age” are: One Santander, Santander Global Payments and Global Native Digital Consumer Bank.
Services. Openbank brings a new series of commission-based services to SCF’s customer base, which added to its technology and operating model will improve profitability and efficiency.