ANA BOTÍN, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, has been appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE), for services to the British financial services sector.
The appointment reflects mother of three Ms Botín’s services to the UK during her time as CEO of Santander UK from December 2010 until September 2014, when she was appointed Executive Chairman of the Santander Group following the death of her father.
As CEO, she led the transformation of Santander UK following the merger of Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley building societies, and oversaw the steady growth of the business to its current position.
The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said:
“I am delighted that Ana Botin has received this honour, reflecting her exceptional contributions to the UK economy and society. The United Kingdom welcomes foreign investors – large and small – that wish to expand overseas, for the opportunities that it offers to those companies and the benefits that it brings to our country.
“In particular, Ms. Botin positioned Santander as a major provider of lending for small and medium-sized UK businesses, complementing the UK government’s wider efforts to boost overseas trade under the newly launched ‘Exporting is GREAT’ campaign.”
The award also recognises commitment to the voluntary sector. In 2010 she joined the Board of Trustees of the Mayor’s Fund for London, a foundation that focuses on projects to improve employment opportunities for disadvantaged children.
In 2013 she was appointed as one of five external members to the Financial Services, Trade and Investment Board, which was established by the Chancellor George Osborne to promote the UK’s financial services industry. In January 2014 she was appointed as a UK Business Ambassador by the Prime Minister David Cameron, and in July 2015, she was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.