Botín was born in 1936. His great-grandfather founded the Santander Bank. His Father Emilio Botín (1903–1993) and elder brother Emilio Botín have been chairman of the Santander Group, and following his death in 2014, was succeeded by his daughter (Jaime's niece) Ana Patricia Botín.
He is married to Adela Botín. They have five children. They reside in Madrid, Spain. He is the owner of Head of a Young Woman, a painting by Pablo Picasso. He acquired the Adix yacht from Alan Bond in 1989. In June 2017, he was indicted on charges of trafficking in art, in connection with his alleged attempt to illegally export the Picasso painting.
He served as Vice Chairman of the Santander Bank in the 1990s. He resigned in 2004.