Banco Santander has stepped on the accelerator to reach July, just before the holidays, with all the technological integration of its offices with those of Popular ends and thus complete the last phase of the merger process of both networks and their brands. But before completing the integration, the bank has proceeded to modify its operational and zone structures, with the aim of being the first Spanish bank for companies, boosting the bank's digitalization and therefore the number of digital clients, and " closer relationships with high-value customers ", explains the bank itself.
The first step was the unification of the commercial management of both networks, which has led to a reorganization of the commercial areas and regional addresses under a single area management. In addition, changes have been established in the figures of the territorial staff to adapt their structure to the strategic objectives of the financial institution.
In this way, Santander has decided to strengthen the role of zone director, an intermediate position that controls the compliance and commercial agenda of an assigned group of offices. For this reason, new functions have been created that will report to the zone addresses.
Those responsible for business and companies are part of these new functions. They will be in charge of promoting the business and coordinating the commercial activity of high-value customers, executing and leading the corresponding action plans. Taking as a lever the advice and marketing of specialized products.
This also includes the new figure of the digital manager, whose function will be to increase the volume of digital clients, transfer the digital distribution strategy in the channels, carry out action plans to improve the multichannel service and increase the volume of transactions carried out by the channels digital
The third change in its functions is that of the manager named select and resources. This figure aims to implement business plans and promote and manage, through the sales forces of the office, the resource business (funds, plans and savings insurance), and offer value-added products to customers.
Meanwhile, the bank is closing stages in the union of Santander and Popular networks. This month, the entity will have already integrated the technological systems of 325 offices, corresponding to 17% of its clients and corresponding to those of Banco Pastor, almost the first to be integrated. Galicia, Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque Country make up the first four waves of integration. In May, the offices corresponding to 50% of the bank's clients will have already been integrated, in addition to those mentioned, to those of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands (in April), and those of Navarra, La Rioja, Aragón, Baleares, Valencia and Murcia ( in May).
In June the integration of the branches of Popular de Andalucía, Madrid and Extremadura will start, to end July with the rest of Madrid, Castilla León and Castilla La Mancha.
It will be in this process that it has begun to close part of the surplus offices, and that initially it seemed that they would not exceed 600 closures, but now the bank wants to promote digitalization taking advantage of the new strategic plan that will be announced on next April 3 in London and the end of the Popular network integration just two years after its acquisition.
In total, 1,500 offices from Popular will be integrated, although not all this number will go through its closure, much of it. At the time of Popular's purchase by Santander in June 2017 Popular's network amounted to 1,615 branches. It will also be after announcing the strategic plan and may be held the shareholders meeting of the bank on April 12, when it begins to negotiate the ERE for the more than 3,000 employees expected to leave the entity in Spain.
Does not change the operation. At the moment, the technological migrations that are taking place in the group's offices in the north of Spain are being carried out without incident. In fact, according to trade union sources, the client does not detect if his Popular branch has migrated or not to the Santander platform, since the user does not have to make any changes, nor do his products change.
Digital customers Spain is the main country of the Santander group with more digital clients proportionally. In fact, 51% of them already operate online, with 4.8 million digital customers. The second is Brazil, which has more than 30% of customers that operate online. Santander closed 2018 with 32 million digital customers in all the countries in which it operates, compared to 16.6 million in 2015.