Bankinter CEO Quits; Botin Takes Control of Strategy

Bankinter SA said Chief Executive Officer Jaime Echegoyen resigned and that Vice Chairman Alfonso Botin will be responsible for the Spanish bank’s strategy.

Maria Dolores Dancausa, who joined Bankinter in 1990 and was previously CEO of its Linea Directa insurance unit, will replace Echegoyen, who had been in his post since 2002, the Madrid-based lender said today in a statement, without giving a reason for the resignation. Botin is the son of Jaime Botin, the bank’s second-biggest shareholder.

Bankinter, with about two-thirds of its loan book in mortgages, faces pressure on margins and profit because of low interest rates and weak demand for credit as Spain emerges from its worst recession in 60 years. The bank tomorrow may say third-quarter net income fell 41 percent to 39.4 million euros ($55 million), according to the average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Paris-based Credit Agricole SA is the biggest shareholder in Bankinter with a 23.4 percent stake, compared with 19.9 percent for Jaime Botin’s investment company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Jaime Botin is the brother of Emilio Botin, the chairman of Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest bank.

Bankinter rose 2.2 percent to 5.10 euros at the close of trading in Madrid, valuing the lender at 2.41 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly fconnelly@bloomberg.net.

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