Banco Santander SA's plans to use a relatively hands-off approach for now with Sovereign Bancorp. reflects one of the many management styles foreign banking companies have adopted over the years for U.S. banking arms.

The Madrid company indicated its Sovereign strategy Tuesday, a day after agreeing to acquire the rest of it for $1.9 billion. A person familiar with the deal said Santander would leave the Boston company's brand and management team untouched while closely monitoring areas of risk.

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