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Santander USA Holdings, Inc. Announces Jerry A. Grundhofer as New Chairman of the Board

BOSTON, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Santander Holdings USA, Inc. which wholly owns Sovereign Bank, has announced that Jerry A. Grundhofer will be appointed non-executive Chairman of the Board of Santander Holdings USA, Inc., and will be proposed for election as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sovereign Bank, effective July 1, 2011.  Jerry Grundhofer replaces Gabriel Jaramillo in this role.

"In the past two years, Sovereign has experienced significant progress and is well-positioned to continue on its path to growth.  Jerry's role as Chairman is opportune as Sovereign enters this new phase in its long-term plan," said Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botin.

Jerry Grundhofer most recently served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citibank, N.A., as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Citigroup, New York, New York.  He is Chairman Emeritus of U.S. Bancorp, retired as Chairman of the Board of U.S. Bancorp in December 2007, and served as Chairman of the organization since December 2002.   He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bancorp from the time of the merger of Firstar Corporation and U.S. Bancorp in February 2001 until October 2004, and continued as Chief Executive Officer until December 2006.   Grundhofer's stewardship at U.S. Bancorp laid the foundation for the bank to weather difficult financial conditions.  From 1993 until the merger, he served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Bancorp predecessors Firstar Corporation and Star Banc Corporation.

Prior to joining Star Banc in 1993, Grundhofer served as Vice Chairman of the Board for BankAmerica Corporation, headquartered in San Francisco, and was a member of the Board of Directors for Bank of America, NT&SA and BankAmerica Corporation.  In 1992, prior to the merger between BankAmerica and Security Pacific Corporations, Grundhofer was President and Chief Executive Officer of Security Pacific National Bank.

Grundhofer is highly regarded in the industry and well-respected by the investor community and regulators alike for his customer-centric business philosophy.  In 2008, Grundhofer was awarded the American Banker's Lifetime Achievement Award, eight years after he was recognized as the newspaper's "Banker of the Year."  In 1998, Forbes magazine named him "Banker of the Year."

"We are extremely proud of our accomplishments to date.  I am fortunate that Jerry has agreed to Chair the Board of Santander Holdings USA.  Jerry's extensive leadership experience in all aspects of retail and commercial banking will serve as a valuable asset as we continue to expand our presence," said Jorge Moran, President and CEO of Santander Holdings USA and Sovereign Bank and Country Head of Santander businesses in the United States.

Gabriel Jaramillo had served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Sovereign Bank and Santander Holdings USA, Inc. until June 2011, after having served as President and CEO for two years.  Jaramillo resigned that post in December 2010 in order to dedicate himself full-time to pursuing a lifelong interest in philanthropic endeavors by joining the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Health.  It was at this time that Gabriel Jaramillo was appointed Chairman of the Board of Sovereign Bank and Santander Holdings USA, Inc.

According to Jorge Moran, "Gabriel has had a long history of success throughout his career in financial services and specifically, during his tenure at Santander and Sovereign.  I am grateful for his friendship and for the leadership and dedication he has provided."

About Sovereign and Santander

Santander Holdings USA, Inc. (SAN.MC, STD.N) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. and is the holding company for Sovereign Bank and Santander Consumer USA, Inc.  Banco Santander S.A. is a retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a presence in ten main markets: Spain, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S.  Founded in 1857, Santander has 92 million customers, approximately 14,000 branches -- more than any other international bank -- and over 170,000 employees.  For more information on Santander, visit http://www.santander.com.

Sovereign Bank, a subsidiary of Santander Holdings USA, Inc., is a financial institution with principal markets in the northeastern United States.  Sovereign has more than 700 branches, nearly 2,300 ATMs, and approximately 8,000 team members.  For more information on Sovereign Bank, visit http://www.sovereignbank.com or call 877-SOV-BANK.

SOURCE Santander Holdings USA, Inc.



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