Banco Santander plans Asia expansion

One of the few banks to emerge from the financial crisis with its reputation enhanced is now setting its sights on Asia.

During the past year or so, Banco Santander has been one of the few banks with enough cash to take advantage of its rivals' troubles. It is bigger today, after the financial crisis, than ever before and now the acquisitive Spanish bank has its sights set on Asia.

Santander set up a small Asia head office in Hong Kong in 2008 and now has around 120 staff in the region, based in offices in Australia, China, Japan and South Korea. At the moment, the bank's Asia team is mostly kept busy servicing cash and trade flows between Asia and Latin America, where the bank has a formidable network and client base. But its long-term ambitions...

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