Banco Santander is to absorb Banesto and Banif Private Bank, combining its private banking brands in Spain under the Santander name.
The absorption of Banif, a 100%-owned unit of the group, will reinforce Santander’s specialised private banking network in Spain giving it combined assets under management (AUM) of €114bn ($150bn).
It is also understood that the consolidation could help drive the Spanish bank’s expansion plans in Latin America.

Branch closures
Banif has €36bn AUM and 550 employees in 52 branches. Santander group is the market leader in wealth management in Spain, with an about €78bn of AUM.
The integration of Santander, Banesto and Banif will drive the rationalisation of the branch network, with the closure of about 700 of the three banks’ 4,664 offices.
The merger will be completed in May next year. The operational and brand integration will be completed in 2013.