Emilio Botin, chairman of Spain's Santander, gestures during a news conference after the company's results presentation in Boadilla del Monte, near Madrid, January 30, 2014
Emilio Botin, chairman of Spain's Santander, gestures during a news conference after the company's results presentation in Boadilla del Monte, near Madrid, January 30, 2014Reuters

Emilio Botin, the chairman of Spain's largest bank Santander, has died at the age of 79.

A Santander spokesperson confirmed that he passed away during the evening of 9 September from a heart attack.

The group also confirmed that the bank will hold a special board meeting later on 10 September to appoint a new chairman.

Botin's Life

Botin comes from a long line of financiers in the family and is in fact a fourth generation banker.

He became the head of Banco Santander in 1986 while his daughter, Ana, is the chief executive of Santander UK.

Botin has faced a number of scandals over the years, including his family paying $264.2m in penalties to avoid avoid charges of tax evasion in 2011, related to a secret Swiss bank account of unknown size.

Botin enjoyed golf, hunting and fishing.