GORDON Brown’s closest financial adviser has been named as the new chairman of the UK arm of Spanish bank Santander.

Baroness Vadera spent 14 years at investment bank UBS and eight years as a Treasury advisor before becoming a labour peer during the 2008 financial crisis.

She will now replace outgoing chairman Lord Burns when he steps down in March 2015.

Banco Santander chairman, Ana Botin, said: “We’re proud and excited to welcome Shriti Vadera to Santander.

“Her deep expertise in UK and global economies as well as her banking experience add to her credentials as a strong, independent non-executive chairman.”

Vadera will become the first woman to chair a major British bank and just the fourth woman to chair a FTSE 100 company.