Andrea Orcel is making a €100m legal claim against Santander after the Spanish bank withdrew an offer for him to be its chief executive, a source close to the matter said today. 

"Orcel is claiming €100m as part of a civil lawsuit for a breach of contract," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The job offer was dropped in January as Santander said it would not meet the Italian banker's pay expectations in an unusual u-turn for such a high-level banking appointment. 

Santander declined to comment, while former UBS banker Orcel and his legal adviser in Madrid Decarlos Remon could not be reached for comment.

Spanish online website El Confidencial, which first reported the news citing sources with knowledge of the matter, said that in his lawsuit Orcel demanded Santander fulfil its contract with him or pay damages.

The newspaper said the €100m included the salary he gave up at UBS and the earnings he would have received from Santander. 

At the beginning of March, Santander offered Orcel a senior advisory role in an effort to mend fences with the former president of UBS's investment bank, two sources said at the time.