Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Santander boosted by UK bank arm

Santander is a globally diversified bank

Spanish banking giant Santander says profits at its UK banks during the first nine months of the year have risen by more than third.

Santander owns the Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley banks.

These UK businesses made 1.3bn euros ($1.9bn; £1.2bn), 38% more than the 943m euros they made a year earlier. In sterling terms, profit rose by 58%.

Overall, Santander said it had made a profit of 6.74bn euros in the year to date, down slightly on a year ago.

For the July to September period, it made a profit of 2.2bn euros, almost unchanged from a year ago.

'Fragile' economy

Santander said that UK retail banking, which "set a new record in all revenue items and profits", performed particularly well.

It added that pre-tax income rose by 65%, and the three UK businesses as a whole became more efficient over the period.

Despite this strong performance, the bank said the UK economy was "still fragile".

Santander bought Abbey in 2004 and Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley last year.

Profits at the bank's continental European operations rose by 16%.

Santander also has operations in Latin America. Profits in this region fell by 2%.

Earlier this month, the Brazilian unit of Santander raised 14.1bn reais ($8.1bn; £5bn) in the country's biggest share offering.

The flotation was the biggest in the world since Visa's offering in March 2008.

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