WYOMISSING, Pa. -- Sovereign Bancorp Inc. declared a six-for-five stock split and a regular quarterly dividend of 4 cents a share.

The company said that beginning next year the quarterly cash dividend would be increased from the split-adjusted 3.3. cents a share to 3.5 cents.

Sovereign said this increase means 18% higher cash dividends on an annualized basis compared with those aid this year.

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