Banking giant Santander is in a “good position” to deal with Brexit and will not need to move any of its operations, the UK subsidiary’s boss said today.
The lender also said “still resilient UK macro-economic conditions” are supporting “strong business performance, cost discipline and good credit quality” in its UK arm.
The comments came as the bank reported a €1.75bn (£1.57bn) second quarter net profit, up 37 per cent year-on-year, citing “particularly strong growth in Latin America, further improvements in Spain and robust performance in the UK despite ongoing challenges”.
Santander UK, meanwhile, reported a 13 per cent growth in pre-tax profit to £1.1bn.
UK chief executive Nathan Bostock described the figures as “resilient”, although he acknowledged the lender is facing uncertainty from the economy.
He did note, though, that the UK economy currently appears to be in “okay territory”, adding: “Actually businesses are continuing to operate, they’re continuing to actually do well.”
In addition to facing economic uncertainty, most big banks operating in the UK are busy drawing up operational changes to be implemented before Brexit in March 2019.
Santander UK will not need to make any operational changes. Bostock told City A.M.: “We don’t have to do anything.”
He added: “We’re in a good position. We’re a UK-focused bank. Our balance sheet is almost totally UK.
“But actually as a group… we have a Santander branch here in the UK, we’ve got Santander over Europe. So almost any operating model one wants to use already exists.
“So from that point of view, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do certain things as time progresses to do the best thing for customers, to make things as seamless as possible, but what it does mean is you start from all possible positions. And of course you’re ultimately used to also dealing with business in Europe.”