Santander names Habis head of consumer, business banking

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Santander Bank in Boston has named an MUFG Union Bank executive as head of consumer and business banking.

Pierre Habis will report directly to President and CEO Tim Wennes, who joined Santander from MUFG last year. Habis begins the job on May 4 and will replace Michael Cleary, who left Santander in September and recently joined Wells Fargo as its head of sales practices oversight.

Pierre Habis, head of consumer and business banking, Santander Bank
Pierre Habis, the new head of consumer and business banking at Santander Bank, had most recently been head of the PurePoint digital banking unit of MUFG Union Bank.

As head of consumer and business banking, Habis will oversee retail banking and investments, business banking, residential and consumer lending, deposit products, first-line risk management and other functions.

“His appointment further strengthens our U.S. management team at a critical point as we embark on the next phase of our ambitious transformation plans,” Wennes, who is also CEO of the holding company Santander U.S., said in a press release this week. “Pierre’s deep banking and finance experience will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen our regulatory framework, deepen and improve customer relationships, increase profitability and enhance our culture.”

Habis has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry and worked at MUFG Union Bank in California for 11 years before joining Santander. Mostly recently, he was managing director and head of consumer banking and president of its online franchise, PurePoint Financial.

That experience running the West Coast bank’s digital brand was likely a draw for the U.S. subsidiary of Madrid’s Banco Santander, which has digital ambitions of its own. Santander Bank said last fall that it is working to establish an online money market account later this year. Additionally, Wennes has said that Santander will launch a digital, unsecured consumer loan this year.

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Consumer banking Consumer lending Digital banking Santander MUFG