Best Banks Awards: Banco Santander

Banco Santander has retained its crown for the Best Bank for Latin American Currencies at the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards

Map of Latin America
“We are very much a Latin American-led and deeply customer-focused business,” says Andrew Brown, global head of FX at Santander Corporate & Investment Banking

Banco Santander recaptured the Best Bank for Latin American currencies award this year, making it the third time that the Spanish banking group will take home the coveted title in the last four years.

“We are very much a Latin American-led and deeply customer-focused business, so this is a very natural process for us to want to be involved in,” says Andrew Brown, global head of foreign exchange at Santander Corporate & Investment Banking.

LatAm is one of Santander’s main growth engines, with the region contributing some 51% of the group’s total income. Santander’s significant exposure to LatAm is evident in its more than 6,000 branches in the region, serving more than 44 million customers. The bank’s top markets include Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

“A significant competitive strength for the bank is our strong local presence, from Mexico down through South America, and I am very grateful to all our clients for voting Santander as the Best Bank for Latin American Currencies. We have a large number of very committed professionals throughout the business and it is excellent when those efforts are recognised,” says Brown.

Still, operating in those markets this year was not easy. Growth in the region has been uneven and some currencies experienced a massive rout against the greenback this year. The Argentine peso, for example, lost approximately half of its value against the dollar, while the Brazilian real hit a 31-month low in August, ahead of the country’s October election. The real has since recovered nearly 14% of its lost ground against the greenback.

I am keen to build on our existing G10 capabilities through Hong Kong, Madrid and New York
Andrew Brown, Santander Corporate & Investment Banking

Much of the rout in LatAm currencies has been down to central banks in the US, UK and Europe moving away from post-crisis monetary policies, and gradually normalising financial conditions in their respective economies.

This, however, presents liquidity challenges in emerging market and Latin American currencies as investors pile into the dollar and other developed units. That Santander has a European presence and a strong footing in the LatAm region has its advantages: the bank can benefit from regions that are, in the interim, relatively stronger than LatAm, and investors are able to benefit from both the global and local market expertise.

“Whilst LatAm is clearly an area where we feel very comfortable, I am keen to build on our existing G10 capabilities through Hong Kong, Madrid and New York,” says Brown.

“We also have an excellent business in Poland, and access to the CNY/CNH markets through Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively. FX remains a very logical asset class for large commercial banks and here, at Santander, we are optimistic for the asset class going forward,” he adds.


Interviews with the 2018 FX Week Best Banks Awards winners


JP Morgan

Best Bank Overall for Foreign Exchange Dealing

Best Bank for FX for Banks

Best Bank for FX for Investors

Best Bank for Spot FX

Best Bank for FX Forwards

Best Bank for EUR/USD

Best Bank for USD/JPY

Best Bank for EUR/JPY

Best Bank for E-Trading



Best Bank for FX for Corporates

Best Bank for Currency Options

Best Bank for Structured Products

Best Bank for FX Prime Brokerage

Best Bank for FX in North America

Best Bank for Emerging European, Middle Eastern and African Currencies

Best Bank for FX Research and Strategy



Best Bank for FX in Asia-Pacific

Best Bank for Renminbi

Best Bank for Emerging Asian Currencies


Deutsche Bank

Best Bank for FX in the Eurozone



Best Bank for Australian Dollar



Best Bank for GBP/USD

Best Bank for EUR/GBP

Best Bank for FX in London



Best Bank for Swiss Franc


NatWest Markets

Best Bank for FX Post-Trade Services



Best Professional e-Trading Venue

Best Vendor for Dealing Technology



Best Broker for Forward FX

Best Broker for Emerging Markets FX



Best FX Clearing House



Best Broker for Spot FX



Best Market Data Provider for FX


Danske Bank

Best Bank for Scandinavian Currencies


Standard Bank

Best Bank for South African Rand

Best Bank for African Currencies excluding ZAR


BMO Capital Markets

Best Bank for Canadian Dollar


Banco Santander

Best Bank for Emerging Latin American Currencies



Best Vendor for Risk Management/Options Pricing Software


Saxo Bank

Best Prime-of-Prime House


BGC (no interview)

Best Broker for Currency Options

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