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Mr António Horta-Osório
Mr António Horta-Osório, CEO of Abbey
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Press Release - 07 October 2008

New branch opens as University celebrates partnership with Abbey

The Chief Executive of Abbey, Mr António Horta-Osório, is visiting the University of Bath this week to officially open a new campus-based branch of the bank.

He will be joined at the opening ceremony on Wednesday 8 October by Professor Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.

Mr Horta-Osório and Professor Breakwell will also use the occasion to sign an extension to a Donation and Co-operation Agreement between Abbey and the University that was put in place twelve months ago.

The generous support from Abbey, in association with its parent company Santander, already funds:

The extension provides for significant additional financial support that will fund a new Bath Awards programme; two sports scholarships; prizes for excellence in arts and the media; plus travel grants for students studying Spanish as part of European Studies or International Management degrees.

To conclude a busy visit, Mr Horta-Osório will give a lecture to staff, students and the general public on his perspective of managing a large organisation in challenging financial times.

In light of the recent dramatic changes in the finance sector, this should be of considerable interest. Mr Horta-Osório has impressive finance sector credentials: in addition to his role at Abbey, he is Executive Vice President of Grupo Santander and a member of its "Comité de Dirección".

Professor Glynis Breakwell said: “We are delighted that António has generously offered his time, at this critical moment for the financial services sector, to give such a topical lecture here at the University of Bath. I am looking forward to hearing his insight into managing large organisations in challenging times.

“The University is also very grateful to Abbey, and its parent company Santander, for providing such valuable financial support for our students. International links, exchanges and extra-curricular opportunities, are enormously enriching to the student experience. We are particularly proud of the Bath Award scheme, which is a new initiative. It recognises the achievements of students undertaking voluntary activities or part-time employment to develop their social and business skills.”

The new branch of the Abbey Bank, situated on the Parade Level of Wessex House, will offer a full range of banking services to students, staff and visitors to the Claverton campus. It is one of the first branches that Abbey is opening as part of its branch expansion programme and through its ‘Santander Universities’ scheme.

Mr Horta-Osório, Abbey Chief Executive commented: “This is a really exciting development in our Branch Expansion plan. The new branch is the first of Abbey’s new branches. We said we would open 300 new branches prior to the acquisition of Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley savings business. Even though we now have almost 1,300 branches in the UK, we are still committed to opening new branches, where appropriate, and I am delighted that Bath is the first of our new University branches, of which a further 20 are planned in the coming year.

“I am also delighted to announce an extension to the original agreement signed between Santander Universities and Bath University.

“Santander Universities is dedicated to supporting higher education. We recognise that good financial advice and support is a key part of our work with universities and at this branch all the team is committed to provide a tailored service to Bath University’s community.”

Places for Mr Horta-Osório’s lecture ‘A chief executive’s perspective on managing a large organisation in challenging times’ have already sold out.

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