Banco Santander announced a strategic investment in Ebury, the best-in-class trade and foreign exchange facilitator for small and medium-sized companies, for £350 million (approximately €400 million).
Santander will purchase 50,1% of the U.K. payments company, according to bank officials. 70 million of the investment will be new primary equity to support Ebury’s plans to enter new markets in Latin America and Asia.
The bank said it expects a return on invested capital (RoIC) higher than 25% in 2024.
„The investment, which fits Santander’s digital strategy of accelerating growth through new ventures, will strengthen its Global Trade Services offer and further consolidate Santander’s position as the bank of choice for SMEs trading or aspiring to trade internationally in its markets across Europe and the Americas, and in Asia later on.”, according to the press release.
„Ebury, which operates in 19 countries and 140 currencies, has generated consistent average annual revenue growth of 40% in the last three years.”, Santander Said.
UK-based Ebury operates on a unique worldwide distribution platform underpinned by a data driven business model. The partnership will enable Ebury to improve its value proposition, supported by a leading financial institution.
Santander serves more than four million SME clients worldwide, of which more than 200,000 do international business.
Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are a major engine of growth around the world, creating new jobs and contributing up to 60% of total employment and up to 40% of national GDP in emerging economies. SMEs are becoming increasingly global and Santander is the best positioned bank to play a leading role to help them access global trade finance. By partnering with Ebury, Santander will deliver faster and more efficient products and services for SMEs, previously only accessible to larger corporates.”
„Though Libra has met with fierce resistance from central banks and supervisory authorities and might never see the light of day, in many other cases tech firms (both start-ups and established big players) have successfully captured bits and pieces of universal banks’ traditional value chain. This trend may only intensify in the coming years. In this environment, European banks remain squeezed.”