Santander unveils ringfencing plans

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Santander has revealed how its UK business will meet the ringfencing rules for banks, appointing heads of new retail and corporate divisions.

The UK branch of the Spanish bank will split into a retail arm for personal and small business customers and a corporate division for institutional clients and its markets business, according to the FT.

Global head of retail Javier San Felix is to move to London to head the ringfenced retail bank, while head of UK banking Steve Pateman will run the non-ringfenced bank.

The new structure is expected to be in place from the end of September, with detailed work continuing on the new divisions so that they are fully implemented by January 2018.

In a staff memo explaining a reshuffle across the wider group, Santander UK chief executive Nathan Bostock said: “This will also prepare us, over time, to conform with the new regulatory regime under the Banking Reform Act.”

But he warned the new structure would take “quite some time” to fully establish.

Ringfencing rules stipulate retail banking must be separated from higher-risk activities, such as investment banking, by 2019.

In 2014 HSBC wrote to Chancellor George Osborne asking for a delay in the introduction of the requirements.