Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1,271 billion in managed funds at the end of 2008. Following the acquisition of Sovereign Bancorp. of the U.S. in January 2009, Santander has 90 million customers, around 14,000 branches – more than any other international bank – and over 170,000 employees. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America, with leading positions in the United Kingdom and Portugal and a broad presence in Europe through its Santander Consumer Finance arm. In the first half of 2009, Santander registered €4,519 million in net attributable profit.
Since 2007, Santander has been a Corporate Partner of the McLaren Mercedes team; enjoying 34 race wins and one Formula 1 World Championship win with the team. It has also become title sponsor of the British, German and Italian grands prix, as well as having a large presence at the Spanish, European and Brazilian grands prix, further bolstering its high-profile international brand presence in Formula 1.