Sep 25, 2019

Santander takes €1.5bn hit on UK business as Brexit looms

Santander has taken a €1.5bn writedown on the value of its UK business, blaming new regulations and the expected economic fallout from Brexit. Santander said the writedown would not affect its underlying profits or the medium-term return targets it outlined at an investor day this year. This year Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock was removed from the group's management committee as it increasingly focuses on growing in more profitable areas - such as Latin America - and digital banking. Ana Botín, Santander executive chairman, insisted this week that the UK "Remains a critically important market, in which the group is investing significantly to service our customers and to continue to compete". The rules were designed to reduce risk by forcing banks to separate their investment banking and domestic retail divisions, but they have increased costs even for retail banking specialists such as Santander.

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