Banco Santander Names Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair to Board

Banco Santander (SAN) SA, Spain’s biggest bank with 1.2 trillion euros ($1.64 trillion) of assets, hired Sheila Bair, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., to join its board.

Bair will replace Lord Terence Burns, who resigned Jan. 8, as an independent member of its 15-seat board, the Santander, Spain-based bank said in a filing to regulators in Madrid today.

Bair, who ran the U.S. FDIC from 2006 to 2011, has been among those calling for steps such as breaking up the biggest banks, imposing higher capital or standards for long-term debt. At Santander, Bair will help advise on the running of a bank whose asset base is as big as the Spanish economy and with the biggest market value of any lender in the euro zone.

Santander values Bair’s experience and knowledge of financial markets in the U.S. where the bank runs retail banking and auto-loan businesses, the bank said in a statement. Shareholders will have to ratify Bair’s appointment at their next meeting, the bank said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at

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