“Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — Banco Santander SA hired Sheila Bair, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman from 2006 to 2011, to join the board at Spain’s biggest bank.
“Bair replaces Lord Terence Burns as an independent director on the 15-person board, the Santander-based company said today in a regulatory filing in Madrid. Burns resigned Jan. 8.
“Bair, 59, has been among people who have called for breaking up the biggest financial firms and imposing tougher safety standards. At Santander, she will advise a bank with the richest market value of any euro-zone lender and an asset base as big as the Spanish economy.
“I respect the way Santander successfully navigated through the financial crisis by sticking to a more traditional banking business model,” Bair said in an e-mail. She’ll help Santander strengthen risk management, she said.”
“As a persistent critic of the pernicious revolving door, I am not worried about Sheila Bair being a lapdog for the CEO, who’d better be ready for a watchdog in the board room,” said Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets Inc., an advocacy group based in Washington that has pushed for tougher financial regulations.”
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