Santander UK prepares for float with a board overhaul

SANTANDER UK has overhauled its board and appointed a new chief financial officer in a move widely seen as preparation for the float of the business when market conditions improve.

Stephen Jones, who the bank poached from Barclays last year, will join the board as CFO and head of regulation, so that the lender has the management structure of a listed company before it floats.

Steve Pateman, meanwhile, has been promoted from head of corporate banking to head of all UK banking, so that his brief now also includes retail banking and marketing.

Santander UK has been looking for a good opportunity to float in London for over a year in a deal expected to raise around £4bn.

Much of that cash will be used to pay back its parent company in Madrid for the £5bn it injected so that Santander UK could snap up 300 RBS branches.

But delays in integrating those branches and the moribund state of London’s capital markets have delayed the deal. The group is keen for the UK business to float as soon as possible but its management in London is inclined to wait for better conditions, with a deal unlikely until next year.