Santander cuts 320 US jobs in digital shift, source says

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Santander Bank logo

(Reuters) -Spanish bank Santander has cut around 320 jobs in the United States as it seeks to focus more on digital operations, a person familiar with the matter said.

The euro zone's second largest bank by market value laid off about 2.4% of its total workforce of 13,489 at the bank's group operations in the United States, the person said.

Santander said in a statement that the lender was evolving its U.S. business, investing in digital capabilities and simplified processes to adapt to changing customer needs.

"These steps have resulted in an update to our staffing model that impacts a small percentage of our branch colleagues," the bank said.

The staff cuts were first reported by Bloomberg News.

The move comes as Santander aims to launch a fully digital platform in the United States this summer in its consumer and commercial units.

The U.S. business has become the group's fifth-largest largest as it is trying to double its investment banking business in the United States, where its affiliate, including its consumer unit, has been hit by loan losses and higher funding costs.

In 2023, net profit in the United States fell 48% to 932 million euros after a 49% rise in provisions.

(Reporting by Disha Mishra in Bengaluru and Jesus Aguado in Madrid; Editing by Josie Kao and Susan Fenton)