People moves: Santander hires HSBC's Simões as regional head of Europe

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People moves: Santander hires HSBC's Simões as regional head of Europe

Santander, the Spanish international banking group, announced today the appointment of António Simões, currently head of global private banking at HSBC, as its regional head of Europe.

Simões joins Santander from HSBC, where he has led a number of businesses over the past 13 years in London and Hong Kong, at a time when the Spanish bank is focused on reducing its overheads in the UK and Europe by €1bn.

Simões will be a member of the Group management committee and report to the Group CEO, José Antonio Alvarez.

Under his leadership we will continue building on the progress already made in the region – simplifying our business model and leveraging our digital transformation to further improve the products and services we offer our customers.”

At HSBC Simões was most recently CEO of global private banking and before that was CEO for the UK and continental Europe.  Before joining HSBC, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company in their London office and was also at Goldman Sachs.

Santander's group executive chairman, Ana Botín, said: "I am delighted to welcome António to Santander and am confident that under his leadership we will continue building on the progress already made in the region - simplifying our business model and leveraging our digital transformation to further improve the products and services we offer our customers."

Commenting on his appointment, Simões said: "I am excited to be joining Santander. This is a critical time for the financial services industry when there are many societal and commercial factors posing both sizeable challenges, but also significant opportunities for us, not least the technology and innovation agenda."

"I am looking forward to continuing to build a ‘one Europe' platform in this evolving landscape, leading the transformation of the business and working with some of the most talented people in banking," he added

Simões will succeed Gerry Byrne who, after a career spanning nearly 50 years in banking, is retiring at the beginning of next year.  

Santander's European business employs 70,000 staff and generates upwards of 40% of the group's overall profits.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.