Francisco Gomez-Roldan will take control as chief executive after the takeover is completed next month.
The decision was taken by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting at which Santander gave the go-ahead for the £9bn takeover of the UK’s sixth largest bank.
Alfredo Saenz, Santander’s chief executive, said the takeover was a ‘magnificent opportunity’.
He said British banks ‘are among the most profitable in the world’.
Asked why a British banker was not appointed, Mr Saenz said: ‘An operation like this is so groundbreaking in Europe.
‘We could have a local expert but we prefer one of our own. We need a Spanish chief executive – the firm’s own guy. Someone who knows our culture and what our policies are.’
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