French banking group Credit Agricole and Spanish bank Santander have agreed to merge their custody and asset servicing operations.

Under the agreement, Santander’s asset servicing arm Santander Securities Services (S3) would be combined with Crédit Agricole unit CACEIS.

The merged entity would have nearly €3.34 trillion in assets under custody and €1.83bn in assets under administration.

It would retain the CACEIS brand.

Crédit Agricole would own a 69.5% stake in the combined group, with the remainder held by Santander.

In addition, CACEIS would purchase the entire share capital of S3 Spain.

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CACEIS would also acquire a 49.9% stake in S3 Latin America that covers Brazil, Mexico and Colombia operations.

CACEIS CEO Jean-François Abadie said: “CACEIS and S3 are highly complementary from a geographic, client and service offering perspective.

“With very similar cultural and industrial approaches, our two organisations, once united, would deliver significant value for all our stakeholders.”

The deal, which is pending regulatory nod, is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this year.

Abadie would continue to lead the enlarged group. Existing S3 general manager Carlos Rodriguez de Robles would spearhead operations in Spain and Latin America.

Santander chairman Ana Botin said: “S3 and CACEIS are highly complementary businesses, and by working together we can create a custody and asset servicing platform that leverages our collective scale and global presence, and offers clients a comprehensive service that can support their ambitions and help them to prosper.”