Sovereign Bancorp Inc. is one of the largest savings-and-loans in the U.S. The thrift is a subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, one of the world's biggest banks. Sovereign is based in Philadelphia and has about 750 branches in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. and $90 billion in assets. Its offerings include retail banking, business and corporate banking, cash management, capital markets and wealth management.
Santander had a 24% stake in Sovereign and bought the remainder of the thrift in 2008 for $1.9 billion after it had been weakened by the credit crisis. The acquisition fit into Santander's strategy to fix and grow broken banks. Barron's magazine called Santander "the best bank you've never heard of," pointing to its solid retail-branch and deposit-taking orientation and geographic reach.
In December 2010, Jorge Moran was named CEO of the company after previous chief Gabriel Jaramillo took a position with the United Nations to help stop the spread of malaria. Moran had been head of Banco Santander's global insurance business. Jaramillo continue to serve at Sovereign as non-executive chairman of the board.