Best Bank: Santander
The rivalry between Santander and Banco de Chile continues, with the Spanish bank just edging this year’s award with a stronger overall performance. In 2006 Santander had a record year, with net income up to Ps239.7 billion ($466 million). This was a 20.6% increase year on year, compared with an average of 16.9% for the sector. This growth comes mainly as a result of increased client revenues, and the increased importance of cross-selling. Banco de Chile’s win last year was largely a result of its targeting of the lower income retail market but Santander has been particularly focused on increasing the number of middle/upper income clients that hold both a cheque account and use at least three other products. This figure grew by 27% year on year.
Santander claims to have opened 43% of all new accounts in the Chilean market in 2006, leading it to a total client base of 2.52 million – up 12% year on year.