Banco Santander is the financial services company most prolific at making international expansions, followed by HSBC Holdings and Citigroup. GlobalData’s financial services foreign direct investment (FDI) company report highlights the current foreign investments made by leading financial services investors. Buy the report here.

Banco Santander has been the most active financial services greenfield investor between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. The parent company has been actively investing through several of its subsidiaries/company divisions.

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Greenfield foreign direct investment is when a company invests abroad to establish a new physical presence or expand an existing operation. Greenfield investments create jobs and/or involve a capital investment into the foreign location. Other forms of FDI, such as mergers and acquisitions, are not included as part of this definition.

The majority of Banco Santander investments were in the commercial banking subsector. In fact, 77.8% of its total foreign investments were in this subsector. It also created projects across a further nine subsectors.

By business function, most (77.8%) of Banco Santander projects were related to financial services.

The company has been active across eight world regions, mainly focused on Western Europe which received 27.8% of the company’s greenfield investments between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024. Its top three destination countries (by number of greenfield FDI projects) were the US, the UK and Brazil. Combined these three countries account for 41.3% of its total number of financial services investments.

Banco Santander created more FDI projects in 2022 compared to any other year between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

Other leading FDI project generators in the financial services industry include HSBC Holdings, Citigroup, Allianz and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The US is the leading source market for outbound financial services greenfield FDI projects. The country accounts for 21.2% of total outbound financial services investment projects. There have been 429 unique parent companies from the US that have announced financial services FDI projects between between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

To further understand the top financial services FDI companies, access GlobalData’s Top financial services Foreign Direct Investment Companies report.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database records greenfield FDI throughout the world in real-time. The data can be used to analyse company cross-border expansion activities as well as identify industry, thematic and geographic trends.