Santander awarded World's Best Bank in 2012 by Euromoney magazine

- The magazine also named Santander Best Bank in the UK, Poland, Portugal, Mexico and Argentina.

- Euromoney highlighted the Group's diversification, model of subsidiaries and cost/income efficiency, the best among international Banks.

- "It is hard to think of a bank that could have faced the challenges that Santander has already overcome better than Botin and his colleagues have done. And the smart money has to be on them doing so again," Euromoney said.

Jul 12, 2012, 13:43 ET from Banco Santander

MADRID, July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Euromoney has named Banco Santander Best Bank in the World in 2012, the third time in seven years that the magazine has chosen Santander for this award.

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The publication highlighted Santander's capacity to generate recurrent profits, even in economically difficult moments, and the soundness of Santander's balance sheet. The magazine attributes this to "two main reasons:" its international diversification and its efficiency ratio, "the best in international banking."

Santander has also been named Best Bank in five of its core markets: The UK, Poland (Bank Zachodni WBK), Portugal, Mexico and Argentina.

Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botin, who received the award for the bank in a ceremony in London yesterday, said: "We are the most diversified international bank and aim to be the best bank for our customers in the ten core markets. Santander will continue to put balance sheet strength, in capital and liquidity, above any other priority in coming years."

Botin added that no other bank has leadership positions in 10 core markets, spread between emerging and mature markets. "This smoothes out our revenues and diversifies risks, so that even if one country is weak, the Group remains strong."

Banco Santander chief executive Alfredo Saenz said: "This award is particularly gratifying, given the economic and financial backdrop. Euromoney's decision is a clear vote of confidence in the Group's strategy and capacity for execution."

Euromoney said: "Over the past decade, chairman Emilio Botin and his management team have overseen a dramatic transformation of Santander's business, which has enabled the bank to deliver impressive and consistent growth and profitability while withstanding the shocks in its domestic market." The magazine pointed out Santander has been able to act quickly when it has been required to raise capital.

"Santander is a bank that shows the benefits of a subsidiary model, in which its businesses are autonomous in terms of capital and liquidity and locally supervised. Santander is a key player in all of its core markets," the magazine added.

Euromoney concluded, "It is hard to think of a bank that could have faced the challenges that Santander has already overcome better than Botin and his colleagues have done. And the smart money has to be on them doing so again."

To see video of Clive Horwood, Euromoney magazine Editor-in-Chief, discussing Santander's performance and its selection as Best Bank in the World in 2012, please click on the following link:

Euromoney, founded in 1969, is a recognized leader in business and financial news and commentary. With readership of 145,000, Euromoney is seen by top executives, regulators and officials in more than 170 countries. The magazine's subscribers are mainly in Europe, with about 30%, the UK, 23%, and the US, 23%. Euromoney's annual Awards for Excellence are a banking industry benchmark. The award winners are selected by the Euromoney editors according to objective measures including profitability, growth and efficiency, as well as subjective criteria.

About Banco Santander:
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone and is among the fifteen in the world by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.383 trillion in managed funds, more than 102 million customers, 14,760 branches – more than any other international bank – and 193,000 employees at the close of 2011. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. Furthermore, it has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the U.S. northeast.  Santander Consumer Finance operates in the Group's core markets as well as in the Nordic region. In 2011, Grupo Santander registered EUR 7,021 million in recurring net profit.

SOURCE Banco Santander