Santander Bank names longtime MUFG Union executive its CEO

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The holding company for Santander Bank and the auto lender Santander Consumer announced a series of leadership changes on Wednesday, including the hiring of a longtime executive at MUFG Union Bank to run the Boston-based bank.

Timothy Wennes, the West Coast president and head of regional banking at San Francisco-based MUFG Union Bank, has been named president and CEO of the $74.5 billion-asset Santander Bank. Meanwhile, Juan Carlos Alvarez, currently the chief financial officer at Santander Consumer, has been promoted to CFO of both the holding company, Santander U.S., and Santander Bank.

Santander U.S., a unit of the Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, has one remaining regulatory matter to put behind it, a 2017 order by the Federal Reserve related to its oversight of Santander Consumer. Still, Scott Powell, the CEO of Santander U.S. and Santander Consumer, said the executive changes should set up Santander to be able to “do more interesting things” in the future.

“The remaining work that we need to do to operate at large financial institution standards is well underway and we feel really good about getting all those things resolved,” he said in an interview Wednesday with American Banker. “Adding Tim’s talent to the team prepares us for the future.”

At the $133 billion-asset MUFG Union Bank, Wennes oversees commercial banking, real estate industries, consumer banking and wealth management. He is also in charge of the bank’s enterprise marketing and corporate social responsibility programs.

Wennes joined the bank, a unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Tokyo, in 2008. At Santander, he will succeed Duke Dayal, who was named CFO of Santander U.K.

Santander also announced leadership changes at Santander Consumer. Fahmi Karam, currently the head of pricing and analytics, will succeed Alvarez as CFO. As with the other leadership changes announced Wednesday, the move will take effect Sept. 16.

Also, Shawn Allgood, currently an executive vice president at Chrysler Capital, will become head of Chrysler Capital and all auto relationships at Santander Consumer, effective immediately. Santander Chrysler is a preferred lender of Fiat Chrysler and Chrysler Capital is an internal unit that arranges loans for Fiat Chrysler customers.

Santander Consumer recently announced a new agreement with Fiat Chrysler under which it would pay $60 million to the automaker to remain its preferred lender. The future of that relationship seemed to be in peril last year when Fiat Chrysler said it was considering forming its own auto finance unit.

The Dallas-based Santander Consumer also announced its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, saying that net income rose nearly 10% to $368 million from the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share of $1.05 beat the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet Research Systems by 14 cents.

Total auto originations climbed 5% to $8.4 billion in the second quarter, with loans originated through its relationship with Chrysler more than offsetting a decline in other retail auto loan and lease originations.

Santander Consumer also originated more of Chrysler’s loans in the quarter, making 36% of its loans compared with 32% a year ago.

Santander Consumer also originated $1.9 billion in loans through a new relationship with Santander Bank, in which the auto lender originates loans for the bank while retaining the servicing.

The percentage of loans that were 30 to 59 days late fell 20 basis points to 9.4%, but the percentage of loans that were late by 60 days or more rose 20 basis points to 4.7%.

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C-suite Succession planning Auto lending Consumer lending Regional banks Santander Santander Consumer USA MUFG Union Bank