Spanish bank Santander is cock a hoop with its latest figures, which show profits booming, and healthy business in Europe and Latin America. Santander is currently in the process of buying Britain’s second biggest mortgage lender Abbey National which, pending regulatory apporval will go ahead in two weeks time.
This 13 billion euro takeover is the largest cross-border banking takeover in europe. Third quarter profits leapt to 1.17 billion euros compared with the same period last year, boosted by disposals including stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland, Vodaphone, and Shinsei bank in Japan. The bank is Latin America’s biggest, where it is forging ahead with personal loans and consumer finance, both of which are also producing good returns in Europe. Once the sales of Santander’s stakes in the three companies are stripped out of the figures they still show a healthy 21 percent year-on-year rise. Profits from the Abbey National acquisition are due to come on stream by 2000, so Santander is looking well set for the immediate future.