Santander appoints Swati Bhatia to lead next chapter

Santander sign on a building.
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Santander has bolstered its leadership team, naming Swati Bhatia as its Head of Retail Banking and Transformation in the US.

As part of this role, Bhatia will spearhead the US Consumer and Business Banking business while overseeing all associated digital initiatives. Her main responsibilities will include developing fresh capabilities, streamlining existing procedures and enhancing customer experiences, all while aiming to reduce service costs.

Additionally, Bhatia will report to Tim Wennes, Santander Bank CEO and Santander US Country Head and to Daniel Barriuso, Global Head of Retail and Commercial Banking and Group Transformation.

Wennes commented: “The Bank has reached an inflection point as we progress towards becoming a national, digital bank with branches, and I am delighted to have Swati leading the business during this next chapter. 

“Her track record of innovation in consumer banking, coupled with a strong background in risk and controls, provides her with the right combination of experiences to scale the digital platform and grow the business nationally.”

Bhatia has stated she aims to bring her extensive experience in digital banking and product management to her new role, having previously served as the Head of the Marcus business at Goldman Sachs. 

Before that, she held the position of Chief Payments Risk Officer at Stripe, playing a key role in establishing the company’s risk and compliance framework. 

Her career also includes various leadership positions at PayPal and Capital One, where she contributed across a range of areas, including digital banking platforms, product development, marketing, customer experience, governance, risk management and operations.

Bhatia said: “Santander is a respected and innovative global banking leader, and I am excited to be joining the Retail Bank business at this pivotal moment of transformation and growth. 

“Santander’s globally connected technology platforms and depth of digital expertise provides a competitive advantage and positions the business for profitable growth in the US market.”

In the US recently, there has been a $30bn settlement between Mastercard, Visa and the court-appointed class counsel over credit and debit card fees for merchants, following 20-years of litigation.