One of Europe’s biggest banks, Banco Santander, has poached the head of investment banking at UBS to be its next chief executive.

Andrea Orcell will replace José Antonio Alvarez, who has been at the helm since January 2015.

He has been a long-standing adviser to the Botin family that controls Santander.

The move raises succession issues at UBS, where Mr Orcell was a potential replacement for chief Sergio Ermotti.

Mr Orcel has been in charge of UBS’s investment bank for nearly six years. Before UBS he was at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a number of senior roles, including advising Santander.

But he goes from investment banking to the top of a diversified global bank with big retail operations, including in the UK.

He will leave UBS at the end of this month, replaced by Piero Novelli and Robert Karofsky, who will become co-presidents of the investment bank, with seats on the executive board.

“I want to personally thank Andrea for the outstanding work he did while at UBS,” said Mr Ermotti, who described Mr Orcel as a friend.