Lord Burns steps down from Santander board


Lord Burns, the former civil servant turned serial company director, is step down from the board of Banco Santander after more than a decade.

But he will stay on as chairman of Santander UK, which is significant as the unit prepares for its long awaited flotation on the London Stock Exchange.   

A former permanent secretary to the Treasury and current chairman of Channel 4, Lord Burns has enjoyed a string of high profile roles since quitting the public sector including a stint as chairman of Marks & Spencer.

Santander has had a habit of spinning off its subsidiaries in various countries, while retaining majority control of the newly floated businesses. The flotation of the UK arm has been complicated by various issues including the huge weight of banking shares coming to market including the Government's stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds. While the former faces a host of challenges and is unlikely to see any change in its status until well into the next Parliament, the taxpayer's stake in Lloyds is set to be further sold down this year after the successful disposal of the first tranche in 2013.