Abbey pledges to join big hitters

31 March 2008

The Abbey will take on the big UK banks and become a fully fledged commercial bank by 2012, said its chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio in an interview with the Times.

Mr Horta-Osorio has now completed the three year turnaround of Abbey, which is owned by Spanish financial institution Santander.

The Portuguese boss must now take market share in savings, investments, insurance and credit cards from the big five UK high street banks.

Equally, Mr Horta-Osorio must continue to develop Abbey's current account and mortgage sales.

He explained to the Times that the bank took ten per cent of all new mortgage business in 2007 as they seek to challenge market leader Halifax with 20 per cent of all mortgages.

"In the first half of this year, you can expect us to have a bigger market share," said Mr Horta-Osorio.

The chief executive has also previously overseen a rebranding of the bank and the migration of 11 million customer records to a centralised IT system.

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