Javier San Félix, senior executive vice president and global head of retail and commercial banking at Banco Santander, will help to drive Efma’s global, digital strategy as it aims to cement its position as the world’s leading industry association

Global retail banking association Efma is pleased to announce that it has appointed Javier San Félix, as its new chairman. He succeeds Hans van der Noordaa, former member of the board at ING and soon-to-be CEO of Delta Lloyd, who held the position as chairman for two years.

 Javier San Félix
Javier San Félix

In his current role as senior executive vice president and global head of retail and commercial banking at Banco Santander, Javier San Félix is responsible for leading the bank’s worldwide retail and commercial banking operations. Prior to that, he held a number of senior positions within the industry, including manager of Santander’s Americas division; CEO of Banesto, until its merger with Santander; senior executive vice president of Non Euro Markets in Santander Consumer Finance; and executive member of the Santander Consumer Finance Board of Directors.

San Félix’s experience in the industry, as well as his deep understanding of what it takes to run one of the largest banks in the world, will be invaluable in helping Efma to move forward into the next phase of its global and digital strategy.

“Javier really understands where our industry is heading and is a fantastic representative for our organisation, which is continually looking to deepen its relationships with retail banks worldwide,” said Patrick Desmarès, Efma’s secretary general. “Not only will Javier support us as we keep on growing our global presence, but he realises the importance of building strategic relationships with businesses outside of our industry, such as retailers. His knowledge and experience will help us to build on our core strengths and develop a truly global Efma. I am delighted to have him on board and look forward to sharing the future successes that we will undoubtedly achieve together.”

Javier San Félix’s appointment comes at a time when Efma is actively driving its global presence, developing its digital agenda and evolving its business model to strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading industry associations – something that Efma’s previous chairman, van der Noordaa, has played an active role in.

“Hans has been a delightful person to work with,” said Desmarès. “He was always good at listening to all our stakeholders and taking into account each and every point of view. From day one, Hans has been committed to helping Efma build a sustainable and healthy strategy. He has played an invaluable role in getting us to where we are today.”

Since it was founded over forty years ago, Efma’s mission has been to promote innovation in retail finance by fostering debate and discussion among peers. Over the last decade in particular, it has significantly expanded its global presence to broaden the scope of information and networking services it provides.

“Today, we have offices all around the world, including in Singapore, India and Dubai, and our members include some of the top retail banks from across the globe,” said Desmarès. “We are the only truly global retail banking association, and we remain committed to strengthening our relationship with banks in all regions and understanding each and every one of the unique challenges they face.”

Looking to the future, the organisation is focused on digitising its content and is also in the process of carrying out a complete overhaul of its information systems to support its evolving business model. This will allow its members to have more choices in terms of the way they consume and pay for the content and services they wish to receive.

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