Chairman: Santander's U.S. unit can double profits in 3 years

New York, Oct 17 (EFE).- Banco Santander Executive Chairman Emilio Botin said Thursday he had great expectations for the U.S. market and was confident the Spanish group's subsidiary in that country could double its net income to $2 billion in three years without making any acquisitions.

Another goal for Santander's U.S. unit is to obtain a 10 percent market share in the country's northeast, according to Botin, who did not rule out acquisitions to achieve that aim.

Speaking at a ceremony in New York to mark the rebranding of Sovereign Bank as Santander, the chairman said the group would invest $200 million over three years to improve customer service and bring the Santander brand to 718 branches spanning Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Botin and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took part in the rebranding ceremony Thursday morning at one of the group's main Manhattan branches.

"There is no better way to express our confidence in and commitment to the U.S," Botin said of the rebranding strategy.

The group's goal is for Santander, a brand known by millions of people all over the world, according to Botin, to become a household name in the United States.

The bank also announced the launch of a $27 million advertising campaign in the United States through the first quarter of 2014.

The United States currently accounts for 12 percent of Grupo Santander's net income, making it one of the bank's main markets along with Spain, Brazil, Britain and Mexico.