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Santander now servicing $9B NY real estate portfolio previously held by

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Boston-based Santander Bank, which has 20 locations across Long Island, is now servicing 100% of a $9 billion multifamily New York-based real estate portfolio, which was previously held by the failed Signature Bank.

Santander, in December of 2023, had closed a transaction with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), forming a joint venture to manage this portfolio. The bank acquired a 20% equity stake of the joint venture for $1.1 billion.

Michael Lee, Santander’s senior executive vice president and managing director of commercial banking, will serve as CEO and managing member of the multifamily joint venture.

Diego Gonzalez, who has been with the bank for nearly seven years, has been named chief operating officer. Gonzalez previously served in various leadership positions in Strategy and Corporate Development at Santander, in the United States and Mexico.

“Santander Bank has a $13.5 billion multifamily real estate portfolio and is a leading multifamily bank real estate lender in the United States,” Lee said in a news release about the joint venture. “We’re well positioned to service this portfolio and look forward to serving as a financial partner to these clients today and in the future.”

Signature Bank was the second bank to fail in last year’s banking crisis, roughly 48 hours after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Signature, based in New York, was a large commercial lender in the tristate area, but had in recent years gotten into cryptocurrencies as a potential growth business.

After Silicon Valley Bank failed, depositors became nervous about Signature Bank’s health due to its high amount of uninsured deposits as well as its exposure to crypto and other tech-focused lending. By the time it was closed by regulators, Signature was the third largest bank failure in U.S. history.

When the transaction with Santander was announced in December, the FDIC, as receiver of Signature Bank, said it had statutory obligation to maximize the preservation of the availability and affordability of residential real property for low- and moderate-income individuals. Santander will be responsible for the management, servicing and liquidation of the venture’s assets and will be required to manage the portfolio in accordance with the terms of the transaction, subject to comprehensive monitoring and oversight by the FDIC–receiver.

The bank also announced additional initiatives, including updates to online banking and the development of a self-service escrow platform. Among the initiatives are the launch of Santander Digital Checks will enable clients to upload checks to private label URLs, and the introduction of an international payment tracker that will allow clients in the United States to track where their payment is in real time.

In addition, the bank named Ellen Marshall as head of corporate and middle market banking. Marshall is an industry veteran, having already held leadership roles at…

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