October 26, 2017 / 4:20 PM / a year ago

Santander nears sale of TotalBank to Chile's BCI -sources

LONDON/MADRID, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Banco Santander is nearing a deal to sell its U.S. unit TotalBank to Chile’s Banco de Crédito e Inversiones (BCI), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, in a move to clean up its balance sheet by shedding non-core assets.

BCI owns City National Bank of Florida and was recently in talks with TotalBank’s former owner Banco Popular, the sources said.

If successful, a sale of Miami-based TotalBank to BCI could be worth more than $400 million, one of the sources said.

TotalBank has more than $2.9 billion in assets across 18 locations, according to its website, and a deal could be sealed in a few weeks, another source said.

Santander inherited TotalBank earlier this year as part of its takeover of struggling Popular which was cleared by EU regulators in August.

Santander’s boss Jose Antonio Alvarez confirmed earlier that the lender was in the process of selling TotalBank but declined to comment on BCI.

BCI Chief Executive Eugenio von Chrismar said in July that a deal for TotalBank was a “possibility.”

BCI declined to provide further comment. (Additional reporting by David French and Felipe Iturrieta Gonzalez; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Fenton)

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