Awards for Excellence 2009: UK
Best Bank: Santander
Santander lags behind Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland in its share of customer deposits in the UK and ranks only fourth in its share of lending but all the momentum in UK banking lies with the group the Spanish bank is building on the foundations of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.
The latter two acquisitions, secured at the height of the crisis last year, have propelled the bank far ahead of its already ambitious plans to transform Abbey from a conservative mortgage and savings bank into a powerful full-service commercial bank. They helped to grow its deposit base by 80% last year and that in turn allowed it to grow the loan book further, with notably high shares of new SME lending and net new mortgage lending.