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ALIL and Bradford & Bingley Intl name new directors, post 20% deposit growth

Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL) and Bradford & Bingley International (BBIL) have appointed two new directors to their boards, in what appears to be the clearest sign yet that their parent, S

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Alliance & Leicester International (ALIL) and Bradford & Bingley International (BBIL) have appointed two new directors to their boards, in what appears to be the clearest sign yet that their parent, Spanish banking group Santander, intends to keep both offshore operations. 

Earlier this year there were reports Santander was considering selling off either BBIL or ALIL, both of which are based in the Isle of Man, following its takeover of the ailing Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley parent banking groups last year.

The acquisitions left Santander, which already had a Jersey-based Abbey International operation, with two offshore operations on the IoM, leading to speculation that it would unload at least one of the IoM businesses.

But now, a bank spokesman said,  Santander has “concluded that the best future [for ALIL and BBIL) lies within the Santander Group”.

Both the ALIL and BBIL businesses have been placed within Abbey’s Jersey-based Wealth Management division, which is headed up by Colin Huelin, managing director of Abbey International in Jersey. Huelin has been given the added title and responsibilities of non-executive director of both ALIL and BBIL, and assumes responsibility for the oversight of their Isle of Man businesses.

The new directors are John Pearson, who has been named managing director for both ALIL and BBIL, and Simon Nuttall, the new finance, risk and compliance director of both. The appointments are subject to the approval of the Isle of Man Financial Services Commission.

Pearson had been managing director of BBIL and Nuttall had been acting managing director of ALIL. 

Separately, the banks reported that the combined savings balances of both ALIL and BBIL on the Isle of Man grew by 20% between the end of September 2008 and 30 June.

Much of this growth occurred while the Isle of Man was in the spotlight following the collapse of Iceland’s Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, which left  thousands of depositors with accounts in KS&F’s Isle of Man branch without access to their savings.

In a statement, Pearson said ALIL and BBIL form “an important part of the offshore businesses of the [Santander] group” and added: “We are now looking at integrating the best of both Manx businesses, as well as the Abbey National Plc IoM branch mortgage business, to present a strong presence in the market which will complement the Wealth Management services offered by Abbey International in Jersey.”

It was unclear from the most recent news whether the Abbey International, ALIL and BBIL names will remain. Earlier this year, Santander said it planned to keep these and other “specialised market brands”, even though it was re-branding as Santander the UK businesses of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.

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