LONDON | Spain's giant Santander must be doing something right. Santander was named best global bank while Deutsche Bank was awarded the title of best global investment bank at Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence ceremony in London last night.
The best global bank award was collected personally by Santander’s chairman, Emilio Botín, a gesture that probably intended to demonstrate his UK shareholders and clients that the British branch have a top place in Botín's agenda. Santander had an spectacular entrance in the City after buying up three failed British financial institutions between 2004 and 2008, two centenary building societies among them, and adding 25 million UK customers to its user base. Its presence was not always welcomed, and has been referred to as the modern Spanish Armada.
Particularly, some national newspapers in London have been critic with Santander's business model. Indeed, Euromoney recognised the choice of Santander will be considered debatable by banking services users, but though it was the right candidate for the prize:
“We have no doubt that our decision will cause controversy
in some quarters. But equally we are certain that our winner is one of the best-run banks in the world, and will continue to confound its sceptics.
“Santander has built a unique and diverse business, spread between developed and high growth markets,” the panel explained. “In each, its high market share enables the bank to produce not only strong revenues but also industry-leading efficiency.”
These qualities would have allowed the Spanish bank not only to withstand unprecedented turmoil in its home market, but be through that turbulence one of very few developed market banks to undertake a growth-driven acquisition in the past year, Euromoney concluded.
More than 500 bankers from across the globe attended the event, which launched in 1992. Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence were the first in the publishing industry to recognise achievement in the global banking industry, the magazine said in a press release.
Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, was named best global investment bank, being the second time the firm has won this accolade in the past three years. The award was presented to Colin Fan, Deutsche’s co-head of corporate banking and securities and head of markets.
“Over the past few years, Deutsche Bank has made more gains in market share than any other investment bank, and it has continued to do so over the past 12 months,” noted Euromoney.
“It has scored notable successes in both equity and mergers and acquisitions, winning many new clients, and organically built a real contender in the key US capital markets. It has built on and retained its leadership in sales and trading, all while dramatically dialling down risk.”
Peter Sands, the chief executive of Standard Chartered, was named banker of the year. Also, during the dinner, the banking industry raised £445,292 towards Euromoney’s charity project for 2012, which is to eliminate the disease trachoma in the South Omo region of Ethiopia.
Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence cover more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards in all regions and the best banks in close to 100 countries around the world.