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Santander added ex-Marcus head...


Santander added ex-Marcus head to lead retail banking and digital push

Santander ex-Marcus head digital push
The Silicon Review
29 March, 2024

Swati Bhatia is the new head of retail banking and transformation at Santander U.S.

Swati Bhatia, formerly the head of Goldman Sachs' digital brand Marcus, has been appointed as the new head of Santander's retail banking and transformation in the U.S., announced the U.S. arm of the Spanish banking giant. Bhatia now joins the executive management team of Santander U.S., reporting to both CEO Tim Wennes and Daniel Barriuso, global head of retail and commercial banking and group transformation. Bhatia takes over from Pierre Habis, who departed last year and now serves at Synchrony Financial. Her appointment comes as Santander U.S. pursues a three-year growth plan to boost profitability and enhance shareholder returns. This strategy, outlined by Banco Santander Executive Chair Ana Botín, aims to evolve into a digital bank with branches, blending digital banking with the existing branch network for improved customer service.

Santander U.S. recently unveiled a new branch format known as "financial centers," offering both in-person assistance and digital support in select cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. While details of Santander U.S.'s digital transformation efforts have yet to be fully disclosed, CEO Tim Wennes emphasized the company's shift towards becoming a national digital bank with branches. Santander U.S. comprises two primary businesses—Santander Consumer USA, a leading auto financing provider, and Santander Bank, a retail bank with 410 branches mainly in the Northeast, serving approximately 1.8 million customers and holding about $75 billion in deposits. Efforts are underway to align these two businesses more effectively.