Banco Santander is a retail bank based in Spain and present in ten major markets. It is the eurozone's leading bank and is among the top 15 financial institutions worldwide in terms of market capitalisation, with more than €50 billion at the close of 2011. Founded in 1857, Banco Santander manages €1.383 billion in funds for more than 102 million clients through its network of 15,000 offices. With 3.3 million shareholders and 193,000 employees, the bank is the leading financial institution in Spain and Latin America, and holds important positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland, and the northeastern United States. In addition, its Consumer Finance division operates through Scandinavia and other European countries. Its shares are listed on the stock markets of Spain, New York, London, Lisbon, Mexico, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Milan, and are featured on 62 different indices.
This data reflects Santander's unique position in international banking: by combining recurring retail business and a high degree of geographical diversification, year after year, the company demonstrates its capacity to consistently increase revenues and generate value for its shareholders, clients, and the business. In 2011, the Bank strengthened its balance sheet, both in terms of capital and credit quality, in order to meet the new capital requirements imposed by national and international regulatory bodies months ahead of schedule. Santander distinguishes itself within the global financial sector to the extent that, in the last five years, remuneration to Santander's shareholders has exceeded €24 billion.