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For Immediate Release

Title: Sovereign Bank Collecting Funds to Aid Victims of the Earthquake in Haiti


BOSTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Sovereign Bank announced today that it has opened a special account to collect monetary donations for the American Red Cross to aid victims of the earthquake in Haiti.  Cash and check donations will be accepted at all Sovereign Bank branches.

 ”We are saddened by the loss of lives and devastation in Haiti,” said Gabriel Jaramillo, Sovereign Bank President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We hope that providing the public with this opportunity to donate will help bring some relief to the victims of this tragedy.”

 Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross.  Donors should write “Haiti Relief & Development Fund” in the memo section of their check.

 About Sovereign and Santander

 Sovereign Bank, a subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A., is a financial institution with principal markets in the northeastern United States. Sovereign has more than 723 branches, over 2,300 ATMs and approximately 9,000 team members.  For more information on Sovereign Bank, visit http://www.sovereignbank.com or call 877-SOV-BANK.

 Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain. At the end of 2008, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and third in the world by profit. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1,271 billion in managed funds at the end of 2008. Following the acquisition of Sovereign Bancorp in January 2009, Santander has 90 million customers, around 14,000 branches — more than any other international bank — and over 170,000 employees. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America, with leading positions in the United Kingdom and Portugal and a broad presence in Europe through its Santander Consumer Finance arm.