SANTIAGO – Spain’s Banco Santander said it had sold its U.S. unit Totalbank to Chile’s BCI for US$528 million as part of moves to sell non-core assets it inherited when it bought Banco Popular.
BCI owns City National Bank of Florida and had been in talks with TotalBank’s former owner Banco Popular before it was acquired by Santander.
TotalBank, which has more than US$3 billion in assets across 18 branches and employs around 300 people, was acquired by Banco Popular in 2007 for US$300 million.
Santander’s chief executive Jose Antonio Alvarez confirmed last month that the lender was in the process of selling TotalBank. Santander took over Popular for a nominal one euro on June 7 after European authorities stepped in to avert a collapse of the lender following a run on the bank.
Since then Santander has undertaken a US$ 7 billion euro capital increase to strengthen Popular’s balance sheet.
The Spanish lender also said the sale of TotalBank was incorporated in Santander’s valuation of Popular at the time of acquisition and would contribute five basis points to Santander’s capital ratio.
It said the deal was subject to regulatory approvals and other usual condition.–MercoPress