Santander to invest €20bn in digital and tech

Santander has announced that its European divisions, which includes Santander UK, will shoulder a reported €1.2 billion of cost cutting in the next four years, as the Spanish banking giant steps up plans to invest more than €20 billion in digitisation and technology.

Santander UK could face further cuts as its parent company looks to “simplify, digitalise and automate” the group.

Santander chairwoman Ana Botín said: “Technology is changing banking as we know it and we are positioning the company to capitalise on the world class assets we have across the group, including our technology, talent and scale.”

In January, Santander announced plans to close 140 branches in the UK, bringing its estate down to 614 units and putting around 1,270 at risk, as customers move to online banking.

Yesterday, in a presentation made in London, Botín set out plans for €1.2 billion of efficiencies across Europe, with the UK thought to be in line to absorb around a portion of that total. The group is looking to move more of its capital to increasingly profitable markets in Latin America.

Shared services across Europe, including the UK, would also be subject to the plan with an estimated saving of €220 million.

In a shake-up of the banking group’s overall governance structure, it was also announced that Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander UK, would no longer sit on the management committee, which will be cut from 24 to 11 members.

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