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Awards for Excellence 2009: Spain

Best Bank: Santander
Best Investment Bank: Lazard

In Spain, Santander operates through two large networks, one carrying its own name, the other that of Banesto in which it has the majority stake. Either bank could win this award in its own right. Together they are extremely powerful and, combined, give the bank leading shares in the domestic market for loans, customer funds under management, numbers of individual customers, assets and profits.

It’s a leading position but not a dominant one. The proliferation of savings banks, which have opened some 5,000 branches in the past seven years, leaves Santander with an overall share of around 14% of the Spanish banking market.

As the Spanish economy entered a recession, the Santander and Banesto networks – amounting to more than 4,800 branches – turned their emphasis from loans and investment products to deposits and management of risks, margins and costs, yielding impressive financial results: 16.2%