Meet Marta Echarri, our new general manager for Spain and Portugal!
Echarri will be spearheading N26’s growth in the Spanish market—and the future has never looked brighter!
3 min read
We begin the year with a new addition to our N26 family—Marta Echarri is joining us as the new general manager for Spain and Portugal. Marta will take over the role from Francisco Sierra, who, after having led the launch of N26 in Spain and overseeing our European growth, will begin a new professional project in the technology sector at the end of January.
With over 15 years of experience in international banking, Marta joins us from the Swiss banking group Lombard Odier, where she held the role of Senior Vice President. Previously, Marta held a number of senior roles in the asset management division of JP Morgan, where she spent 12 years between their New York and Madrid offices.
As the new general manager of N26 in Spain and Portugal, Marta will report directly to our Chief Growth Officer, Alex Weber, and will be in charge of delivering our new growth strategy in both markets. Marta will be the leading manager of the recently opened Madrid office, where she’ll manage Strategy and Operations, Marketing and Communication, and be the legal representative of the Spanish N26 Branch for the Bank of Spain. She will also play an important role in the technological hub that we have in Barcelona’s 22@ District.
Echarri joins the 20%* of women who hold management positions in the international financial industry, reaffirming our commitment to diversity and supporting women in leadership.
2021 goals for Spain: reach 1 million customers and grow N26 Spain’s workforce by 50%
Together with our entire team in Spain, Marta will be in charge of delivering the next phase of growth in Spain, where she’ll work toward our goal of surpassing 1 million customers in the country. Other goals include leading the charge towards making mobile banking become mainstream, and providing customers with a banking experience that is 100% online, transparent, and tailored to their lifestyles and needs.
We’re continuing to invest in Spain as one of our four core European markets. This means that we’ll continue to update our current range of products, and add new functionalities and advantages for our premium and business bank accounts—with this being the key strategic focus for the upcoming financial year.
Our commitment to the Spanish market also extends to our desire to continue to grow and expand the strength of local staff, while attracting the best talent from across the country. We intend to focus on growing our product and technology team by more than 200 new hires globally, of which a significant portion will be located in Spain. Under Echarri’s leadership, we plan to grow the Barcelona Tech Hub workforce by 50% in the coming year. In doing so, the city will become one of our key technological centers in Europe.
N26’s impact in the Spanish market
In less than 3 years, we’ve positioned ourselves as the leading mobile bank in Spain. Since our arrival in Spain in 2018, and under the leadership of Francisco Sierra, N26’s director of European markets, N26 has become one of the most competitive and transparent alternatives to traditional banking, thanks to its “freemium” subscription model and a great user experience via a smartphone.
We arrived in Spain with a disruptive offer that has convinced many Spanish customers—most of whom are tired of the lack of transparency, hidden fees, and increasing commissions charged by major traditional banks.
“At N26, we have contributed to the transformation of the financial sector in Spain, shaping a new digital model for banking in our country. In less than three years,” he continued, “N26 has evolved from a financial app to a true alternative to a traditional bank account, offering an excellent 100% digital banking experience. It has been an honor and an exceptional adventure spearheading our growth in the market, and to have played an important role in transforming the face of banking in Europe.” Sierra explains.
Over these past three years, we’ve experienced exponential growth in Spain, and are continuing to penetrate the market, growing at a rate of over 140% since the launch of bank accounts that come with a local Spanish IBAN in April 2019. The pandemic has also served as a catalyst for us, which, thanks to our fully-digital and transparent approach, led to over 60% growth during 2020 in Spain with nearly 600,000 Spanish customers.
Looking ahead at N26’s future in Spain
With fees, account requirements, and T&Cs from major banks in the country becoming more and more complex, we continue to offer our customers the freedom to choose the account and banking services which best suit their needs—ranging from 100% free accounts to premium subscription services that bring additional value.
“Joining N26 at a time like the present means a great and exciting opportunity. Mobile banking is not only more relevant than ever, but also has significant potential for growth. N26 has laid down the foundations of a transformation within the banking sector in Europe, and it has done so from a disruptive, challenging, and pioneering position. With more people turning to digital banking than ever before, I’m convinced that we must continue to lead the way toward an excellent, fully-digital banking experience that can set the standard for the future of this industry.” says Marta.
The Mobile Bank
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