Emilio Botin
Emilio Botin is Santander's Chairman and wants to increase its US profit (Reuters)

Santander's Emilio Botin said he wants to double the Spanish bank's US profit over three years.

Speaking on a trip to the US, Chairman Botin said he hoped to increase Santander's profit in the country to $2bn "through organic growth", as opposed to via mergers and acquisitions, Reuters reported. In the first half of 2012, the US accounted for 12% of Santander's overall net profit.

Botin also confirmed again that Sanatnder intends to float its UK business, potentially as early as 2015.

US Recovery

The US economy, hit hard by the financial crisis, is recovering strongly. There has been a sustained increase in employment, increasing activity and prices in the housing market, and GDP growth is rising.

However, a political gridlock over the normally routine passing of the government's budget had caused a partial shutdown of the entire economy.

Republicans in the House of Representatives, where they hold a majority, were refusing to pass the budget because they want President Obama to row back on some of his 'Obamacare' health reforms.

Obama and the Democrats in the Senate, the second house where they instead hold the majority, were refusing to negotiate, saying the reforms had already passed and were then mandated by Obama's re-election in 2012.

Many feared the 16-day shutdown, which left hundreds of thousands of government employees sitting at home without work or pay, would derail the recovery.

Obama eventually saw his budget through both houses to end the shutdown, with minor tweaks to the Obamacare package securing an approved lifting of the country's debt ceiling so the government can borrow more money to pay for its increased spending.