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OVER 350 BUSINESS LEADERS DISCUSS ECONOMY AT JOINT SANTANDER AND GREATER BOSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EVENT

OVER 350 BUSINESS LEADERS DISCUSS ECONOMY AT JOINT SANTANDER AND GREATER BOSTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE EVENT
Nearly 82% of Attending Corporate Executives and Business Owners Plan to Expand Operations or Increase Hiring over Next 12 MonthsSantander Bank, N.A., one of the largest retail banks in the United States by deposits, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce hosted their 14th annual meeting for the business community focused on the region’s economic outlook. Attending corporate executives and business owners were surveyed regarding their expectations for the local economy in 2014 as well as plans for their respective businesses over the coming year.Roman Blanco, president and CEO of Santander US, said: “Massachusetts is at the forefront of the recovering US economy. Unemployment has fallen, tax revenues are up and average home prices have risen—all very positive trends. This region is poised for continued growth. ”Attendees of the annual Economic Outlook Breakfast responded to a series of economic and business-related questions during a real-time poll. “It’s encouraging to see that 82% of business leaders plan to expand their business in the year ahead—that’s a 25% increase over last year,” said Michael A. Lee, managing director of Commercial Banking and Real Estate at Santander. “Today’s results support the optimistic trajectory we’ve been seeing in business sentiment.”  Nearly 46% of respondents plan to increase their capital spending in 2014 and respondents cited attracting new customers, retaining existing customers and the cost of health insurance and other employee benefits as the most significant challenges facing them over the next two years. The poll was conducted in real-time with attendees using automated response devices. In addition to questions about the U.S. and Massachusetts economies, the survey queried attendees about their local and international business expansion plans, employer hiring plans and top challenges facing regional enterprises.“We’re seeing median household income rising and unemployment coming down. That bodes well for the local economy,” said Steve Andrews, senior vice president and director of fixed income at Santander. “Indicators show that Massachusetts is adding new jobs and that office vacancies are declining—a clear sign that the economy is on the right track.”Following the survey, attendees listened to a panel discussion about regional business issues.  The panel included Brian Kavoogian, founder and president of Charles River Realty Investors; Lee Pelton, president of Emerson College; Shirley Singleton, president, CEO and chairman of Edgewater Technology; and Kevin Tabb, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. About SantanderSantander Bank, N.A. is a top 25 retail bank in the United States by deposits.  Its main corporate offices are in Boston and it operates principally in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander’s 9,469 employees serve its 1.8 million customers through the Bank’s 706 branches, 2,084 ATMs, call centers, website and mobile app. Supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Santander in the United States is a wholly-owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), a global commercial and retail bank. For more information about Santander, visit www.santanderbank.com or call 877-768-2265.

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