Banco Santander Brasil is a subsidiary of Banco Santander in Brazil, its largest division in Latin America and one of the world's most important, accounting for 50% of the total profit of the group. The bank was founded in 1982 in São Paulo, where its headquarters are located.
Santander is the fifth largest commercial bank in Brazil by assets, after Banco do Brasil, Itaú Unibanco, Bradesco and Caixa Econômica Federal. With more than 9 million customers, it operates in all segments of financial markets, with a network of 3696 branches and service centers and 18,312 ATMs
In 1997, Santander purchased Banco Geral do Comério S.A., initiating the wave of acquisitions through which it earned a position among the largest financial groups in Brazil. In 1998, it acquired Banco Noroeste S.A.. In January 2000, the Southern Financial conglomerate (Banco Meridional and Banco Bozano, Simonsen) joined the group. In November of the same year, Santander made its largest acquisition yet, taking control over Banespa, previously owned by Brazil's wealthiest state, São Paulo.
After the Banespa acquisition, the financial conglomerate Santander Banespa was formed. While a strong franchise, Santander's position was still heavily concentrated in the Southeast region of Brazil.
In 2007, Banco Santander participated along with Royal Bank of Scotland and Fortis in the acquisition of the Dutch financial conglomerate ABN AMRO. Santander took over ABN AMRO's Brazilian assets, mainly formed by the latter's acquisition of Banco Real, and developed a truly national platform, dropping the Banespa name and adopting the Santander Brasil franchise.
On October 7, 2009 the bank went public in the São Paulo Stock Exchange, also issuing ADRs in the NYSE. In Brazil, the IPO raised R$ 14.1 billion, or US$ 8.9 billion, the largest stock offering made in the BM&F Bovespa that year.