BOSTON, Oct. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Santander retail banking brand was launched in the United States today across the Northeast to 1.7 million retail, commercial and small business customers. Sovereign Bank, a top 25 retail bank by deposits, was rebranded today as Santander. The first retail branch in the United States sporting the Santander brand was unveiled by Emilio Botin, Chairman of the Santander Group, accompanied by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during a ceremony in New York City's Herald Square this morning.
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Emilio Botin, chairman of the Santander Group, said: "There is no better way to express our confidence in and commitment to the U.S., to our bank here and to our customers. There should be no doubt about our appetite for growth in the U.S. Being in the U.S. makes us a better bank."Roman Blanco, president and CEO of Santander US, said: "With the full strength and resources of the Santander Group behind us, we're now in an even better position to deepen relationships with the customers, communities and companies we serve. This change in our name sets the stage for a new phase of investment in our customers and growth for Santander in the United States." Mr. Blanco added that Santander will in coming weeks launch a retail banking product aimed at attracting new customers while enhancing the Bank's offering to existing clients. The bank's legal name has been changed to Santander Bank, N.A. Unveiling ceremonies also took place today in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Wyomissing, PA. Installation of over 10,000 interior and exterior Santander signs will be completed over the next few days at the Bank's 718 branches spanning Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Introduction of Santander as " a bank for your ideas" Today's rebranding of the US bank is in line with Santander's strategy of operating under a single brand in all the markets in which it does business. Since 2005, Santander has rebranded banks in the United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Chile, Portugal and Spain, in order to better leverage corporate resources and the Bank's strong global reputation. A substantial advertising campaign was also launched today in print, digital and broadcast outlets across the Bank's U.S. footprint. The campaign introduces the Santander brand and its corporate tagline, " a bank for your ideas" to consumers and businesses. The campaign was designed to familiarize customers with the Santander brand as approachable, easy to do business with and focused on enabling customers to bring their ideas to life through innovative financial products and services. Continued Focus on Improving Customer Experience As part of the Bank's $200 million investment, a series of enhancements are underway:
- A new release of its highly-rated mobile banking app providing additional functionality for its online banking customers, such as direct transfers to the accounts of other Santander customers, the ability to view transactions and pay credit card bills.
- Completion of a network-wide refurbishment of the Bank's branches, including nearly 1 million square feet of carpeting, 32,000 gallons of paint and installation of all new furnishings.
- Details of a new retail banking product will be announced on October 28.
- Emilio Botin announced that, through its U.S. division of Santander Universities, the Bank would invest $100 million over the next five years to its university and college partners in the U.S. The commitment will include funding for research grants, scholarships, global exchanges and entrepreneurship studies. As part of that commitment, Santander will contribute $1 million toward President Obama's "100,000 Strong in the Americas" initiative which aims to facilitate the annual exchange of 100,000 university students between United States and Latin America and the Caribbean. Globally, Santander Universities, supports higher education through cooperation agreements with over 1,050 universities worldwide and 27 institutions in the U.S.
- In recognition of the close connection between the Bank's customers and branch team members in the community, Santander kicked off a new charitable giving campaign. "Ideas for Good" will allow customers to cast votes for community non-profits at their nearest branch. On November 30, each of the Bank's 700+ branches will announce the selection of a local non-profit to receive a $500 donation.