BBV and Argentaria announced their planned merger on 19th October 1999. The goal was to continue creating value. The new group had the advantages of significant size, a strong capital base, a considerable financial structure and appropriate geographic diversification of its business and risks. As a result there was a greater profit potential.
Customers now had access to a bigger network and a wider range of products. They also enjoyed easier access to new channels and a considerable international presence. Employees also had more opportunity for career advancement.
The integration of BBVA went very smoothly. This was attributed to the following:
- the speed of strategic decisions
- the immediate definition of the new organisation and a framework agreement with employees
- the speed with which working groups were set up and plans were made for each area of activity
- the successful achievement of ambitious timetables – with time to spare in some cases
- the enthusiasm, commitment, effort and co-operative spirit of everyone at BBVA
The integration process was given an important boost in January 2000 by the roll-out of the single BBVA brand. This helped the group to generate quickly an image that was strongly positioned in terms of identity and distinguishing characteristics. The BBVA integration process was carried out with rapidity and efficiency and concluded in February 2001.
The integration of the group’s retail businesses in Spain (BBV, Argentaria, Banca Catalana, Banco del Comercio and Banco de Alicante) led to the creation of a significant branch network under the BBVA banner.
The efficiency of the BBVA integration was recognised by top financial publications. In 2000 it was chosen World’s Best Bank (Forbes) and Best Bank in Spain (The Banker). In 2001 it was Best Bank in Latin America (Forbes) and Best European Bank (Lafferty).