Botín steers Santander ship into fresh water

Four months on, there is evidence that a new chapter being written, firstly with the changes on the bank board and subsequently the unexpected change in executive management, with the CFO becoming CEO. Added to this has been a radical start to the year: a €7.5 billion fresh share issue. A new dividend strategy was also announced.

In 120 days, Ana Botín has managed to go against the principle of Lampedusa’s masterpiece, The Leopard: If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change. A lot has changed at the euro zone’s third biggest bank without being noticed. The management team is similar, but at the same time different; they have added €7.5 billion of real capital to their balance sheet. And the market is aware of their commitment to dividend payments (20 cents per year, around 3% of the lender’s current capitalization) clearly linked to their profits.
It’s a simpler, modernised Santander. Now let’s see how the market responds when spring comes.

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.

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