Blythe Masters takes digital banking role at Santander

Masters, who was appointed as Santander Consumer’s non-executive chairwoman in July 2015, will move into a broader role with parent company Banco Santander with a focus on its global digital banking efforts. In her new roles, Masters will be senior technology adviser and will join Santander’s international advisory board. She also will be on the board of Santander’s online bank, Openbank.

Masters is chief executive of financial technology startup Digital Asset Holdings. Her previous experience includes senior executive roles at JP Morgan Chase, including serving as head of its global commodities business from 2007 to 2014, and serving as finance chief of its investment bank from 2004 to 2007.

She will be succeeded as Santander Consumer chairwoman by board member William Rainer. He is a former CEO of OneChicago and a former chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Masters’ resignation comes a week after the US Federal Reserve faulted Banco Santander’s US holding company for failing to meet regulators’ standards on a range of basic business operations. Regulators also faulted risk management at the US consumer-lending subsidiary, whose chief executive stepped down abruptly the previous week.

The Fed’s recent efforts to press the largest US banks to improve their risk management typically have targeted discrete problems, such as anti-money-laundering controls or mortgage underwriting, rather than reaching across an organisation, such as in Santander’s case.

Santander Consumer, one of the largest US auto lenders, also has faced a number of federal inquiries into its auto-lending practices.

Write to Tess Stynes at tess.stynes@wsj.com

This article was first published by The Wall Street Journal

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