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Carmen Álvarez

Today

12 Mar 2019

11 Mar 2019

In 2019, the Business 20 (B20) – considered to be the private sector’s voice of the G20 – is seeking to showcase innovative projects that contribute to the fulfillment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, business members of this advisory body to the G20 have submitted proposals for projects that make a significant social impact. BBVA is the only Spanish bank whose five project submissions are among those selected.

08 Mar 2019

All eyes were on the possibility yesterday that the European Central Bank (ECB) could make changes in the forward guidance on rate and on a potential announcement of new liquidity measures. And Mario Draghi didn’t disappoint: he answered both questions. He announced that the ECB will keep interest rates on hold until at least the end of this year and another series of auctions of long-term liquidity. BBVA Research has just released an ECB Watch report covering and assessing the measures announced by Draghi.

21 Feb 2019

Every parent has been in this position: the baby cries and cries, and we don’t know why. Is it hungry? Is it tired? Ana Laguna, data scientist at BBVA Data & Analytics, asked herself the same questions when her first child was born. Ana looked for an app that would help her understand why her baby was crying.  But she didn’t have any luck. Then she thought she could translate her baby’s crying and understand what it needed any time by using the artificial intelligence techniques that she uses everyday at work.

06 Feb 2019

BBVA’s commitment to technology has translated into an increase in the number of digital customers, which now represent more than 50% of the bank’s total customers, as well as climbing digital sales, now comprising 41% of all sales. But this digital journey means much more. Digitization has also contributed to greater customer satisfaction and a diminishing drop-out rate – 47% lower among digital customers.

01 Feb 2019

29 Jan 2019

Google recently obtained a payment license in Ireland and Lithuania in order to offer payment services. Alipay, the financial division of Alibaba, received a similar license in Luxembourg. Facebook has had one since 2017. These licenses open the door to Internet giants operating as payment service providers across Europe, allowing them to manage card payments and transfers, for example. Is this merely the first step to them becoming banks?

25 Jan 2019

Banks play a fundamental role in the planet’s sustainability due to their ability to finance sustainable activities and manage risks. This was the main topic discussed at a panel in Davos, Switzerland in which José Manuel González-Páramo participated. BBVA’s Executive Board Member and Head of Global Economics and Public Affairs encouraged all banks to join the Principles for Responsible Banking to press for this change. In his opinion, these principles give banks the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to society.

18 Jan 2019

10 Jan 2019

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The 49th World Economic Forum, known as the Davos Forum, is set to begin on January 22 in the Swiss district of Davos-Klosters. For four days politicians, businessmen, and representatives from social and cultural organizations will gather to discuss global problems and identify solutions. This year, the forum will place special emphasis on international collaboration, giving the world a voice.

26 Dec 2018

Francisco González was greeted warmly by the auditorium at Ciudad BBVA in Madrid where he was bid farewell with applause and a standing ovation. The bank’s executive chairman was interviewed by his successor, Carlos Torres Vila, in a memorable conversation that the Group employees could follow from more than 30 countries. After 22 years at the helm of the bank that has become BBVA, Francisco González declared that “with much effort,” the legacy he leaves behind is “a bank in solid financial shape, an extraordinary project, and an absolutely exceptional team.”

17 Dec 2018

Speaking at the Rome Investment Forum, José Manuel González-Páramo weighted on the future of three key projects for the European Union: the banking union, the capital markets union and the fiscal union. This discussion took place at a key moment for the European bloc, after the meetings held in the last Eurogroup, in the Ecofin and the European Council.  “During this year 2018 there has been a window of opportunity, which has clearly been missed by Europe to implement the necessary reforms,” he noted.

14 Dec 2018

13 Dec 2018

12 Dec 2018

Carlos Torres Vila took part in the ‘14th Banking Industry Meeting’ organized by IESE and EY in Madrid. BBVA’s CEO spoke about how digital transformation reflects on the outside, but originates inside organizations. In the current environment, he believes that banks need to harness the potential of new technologies to create opportunities for their customers. “We think big, not only in the sense of being ambitious, but of being innovative, breaking molds and surprising the customer,” he said.

11 Dec 2018

10 Dec 2018

How will banks be impacted by big tech (Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) entering the financial services industry? Can regulation promote a level playing field? These are some of the questions raised at the “Big Tech Banking” event organized by CUNEF (University of Financial Studies) and the Spanish Banking Association (AEB). BBVA joined financial experts and regulators participating in the event, where a common thought prevailed: data will play a key role in the battle between banks and Big Tech.

05 Dec 2018

A group of prominent innovation leaders and experts gathered recently in Paris to attend the Innovation Leaders Summit, organized by the MIT Technology Review. BBVA’s was the only major bank to take part as speaker at the event. Here, it debated on current topics, such as the role of blockchain in the emerging tokenized economy and the security challenges posed by quantum computing.

28 Nov 2018

BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman took part in a seminar organized by Spanish newspaper ABC on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution. In this four decades “Spain has become a consolidated democracy and from an economic standpoint, it has made great strides,” said Francisco González. “What has taken place in Spain over the last 40 years has been amazing”

27 Nov 2018

Flora Egea is BBVA’s Data Protection Officer (DPO). She has a critical assignment in her hands: to ensure that BBVA complies with Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which has revolutionized the way companies handle personal data. On the six month anniversary of its implementation, she believes the legislation has raised awareness among the general public about the need to protect their personal data, but there is still work to be done. In her opinion, GDPR is a positive step and positions Europe as a world leader given its unique treatment of data as a fundamental right.

23 Nov 2018

20 Nov 2018

BBVA is one of the first five banks invited to join a blockchain forum organized by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to, subsequently, join the launch of the IATBA, an European platform to promote the use of blockchain. The purpose of this publicly-sponsored initiative is to garner support from private blockchain and DLT experts to contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies.

08 Nov 2018

06 Nov 2018

The barriers keeping SMEs away from funding were one of the pivotal topics of the SME Finance Forum, held this week in Madrid. José Manuel González-Páramo analyzed how to improve access to financing for many micro, small and medium sized enterprises, as well as the regulatory framework for both banking and alternative funding sources,  “We need to eliminate barriers for SMEs’ to widen their funding sources,” he underscored.

30 Oct 2018

At a press conference Carlos Torres Vila released BBVA’s earnings for the January-September 2018 period. The forthcoming decision on who should pay the levy on documenting mortgages loans – banks or the customers – which is due to be made by Spain’s Supreme Court on November 5, was raised during the presentation. In regard to the possibility of the ruling being retroactive, he stated “You can’t penalize those who have followed the law. This is precisely what the principle of legal certainty embodies, which protects us all.”

22 Oct 2018

This week, Spanish newspaper El Español will honor Francisco González’s professional career with a Los Leones award. On the occasion of the award, the current BBVA Group Executive Chairman sat down for an interview with the online newspaper to discuss the present and future challenges facing the banking industry at large, and his bank in particular, including his retirement from office, scheduled to take place on December 31, 2018. At BBVA “we’re creating a new bank,” he says. Now the institution customers are more satisfied, more likely to recommend the bank and more loyal.

18 Oct 2018

With investments on artificial intelligence expected to reach €10 billion by 2020, it is evident that the financial sector is very optimistic about these technologies. However, the level of uncertainty surrounding AI remains almost too high to justify this degree of enthusiasm. In a recently published paper, the World Economic Forum warns about how overhyped misconceptions of what AI really is and what it can deliver may undermine the potential benefits derived from the use of artificial intelligence in finance. In contrast with this vision, other experts concur that AI contributes more to prevent and mitigate risks than to generate them.

13 Oct 2018

José Manuel González-Páramo on Saturday took part in the annual meeting of the Institute for International Finance (IIF) in Bali held in parallel with the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. He called for a regulatory framework that treats all market participants equally by establishing a level playing field: “Activities with the same risks should receive the same regulatory treatment” without unnecessary barriers to competition, he said.

08 Oct 2018

José Manuel González-Páramo called for Europe to move forward now, not “just when there’s a crisis”, and to conclude the banking union, the capital markets union and the fiscal union to have a “much more robust and genuine euro.” Speaking at the Círculo de Economía in Barcelona, he stressed the role that the ECB played in Europe’s recovery. However, the bank must now go back to its original purpose of “contributing to financial stability and separating supervision from monetary policy.”

05 Oct 2018

01 Oct 2018

After announcing that he will be stepping down as BBVA Group Executive Chairman, which is set to take place at the end of December, Francisco González granted an interview to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. During the interview he went over his almost 18 year tenure at the helm of the bank, but mostly spoke about the future. Francisco González leaves a bank set for “huge success” in the new digital scenario, managed according to clear principles, by the best possible leader, Carlos Torres Vila.

27 Sep 2018

25 Sep 2018

The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) has been scrutinizing EU banks’ business and profitability models since 2016. Among the findings of the review, published in a report, the supervisor shines the spotlight on the factors that undermine bank profitability, as well as the levers that can help boost it, including digitization. However, the report argues that offering digital products is not enough. Banks need to prepare their platforms to migrate from the analogue to the digital world.

20 Sep 2018

After the hike in interest rates by the Central Bank of Turkey on September 13 (625 basis points from 17.75 percent to 24 percent), the Turkish government today (Thursday) unveiled a new economic program for the next three years (2019-2021). BBVA Research in a report released Thursday believes that both monetary policy and fiscal policy are now better geared toward correcting inflation and the imbalances of the Turkish economy.

17 Sep 2018

As widely expected, the ECB concluded its monetary policy meeting yesterday without making any changes to its monetary policy stance. As BBVA Research’s ECB Watch report notes, there were other key takeaways that came out of the meeting, such as the end of the Asset Purchase Programming, and the confirmation that the bank is in no rush to hike interest rates. From an economic standpoint, the institution affirmed its inflation outlook but slightly lowered its growth expectations for the euro zone.

13 Sep 2018

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CRBT) decided today to raise the official interest rate by 625 basis points from 17.75 percent to 24 percent. As a BBVA Research report points out, the hike came in above market expectations (21 percent according to Bloomberg consensus estimates), and BBVA Research’s own forecast (22.75 percent). BBVA Research welcomes the move and believes it should be backed up by a medium-term coherent and detailed fiscal plan.

06 Sep 2018

Blockchain is one of the most disruptive new technologies in the world of finance. But currently its use in the sector is focused mainly on the underlying technology – Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)- to create applications or redesign processes rather than in creating cryptoassets. The reason? Blockchain applications have the potential to improve the efficiency, transparency and traceability of processes while cryptoassets are volatile.

13 Aug 2018

06 Aug 2018

The European Central Bank in 2018 began the turnover process in a number of key posts on its Executive Board. The crux will be the end of Mario Draghi’s term in office in October 2019 amid doubts about whether his departure will coincide with a hike in interest rates expected between the summer and the fall of next year.

03 Aug 2018

Spain has just become one of the few countries in the European Union with a concrete proposal for launching a regulatory sandbox. The goal? To create a space for experimentation, temporarily unencumbered by regulatory measures, to promote innovation in the financial sector. In doing so, Spain thus has stolen a march on other countries in this area, with a proposed law that appeals to both the traditional financial industry and new fintech startups. Álvaro Martín, Chief Economist for Digital Regulation and Trends at BBVA Research helps us understand how it will function and if it benefits the consumer.

27 Jul 2018

In the presentation of its results to the media, BBVA’s CEO Carlos Torres Vila emphasized the bank’s “strong push to business digitization not only drives sales but is fundamental to cost control.” This “digital push” is driving total revenues while keeping costs down. As a whole, this allows efficiency to continue to improve. In fact, the efficiency ratio stood at 49.2 percent as of June, 82 basis points below the figure for 2017 at constant exchange rates.

BBVA today released its second quarter 2018 financial results. What were the key figures? To begin with, the bank is close to meeting its goal of having 50 percent of its total customer base made up of digital customers. Customer digitization drives sales through digital channels, propels total sales and improves efficiency. BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila said,  “We were off to a very good start of 2018 last quarter, and this quarter we’ve managed to achieve some excellent results.”

25 Jul 2018

Answering this question is not easy. Academics and financial industry representatives met to discuss whether it would be appropriate for central banks to issue digital currencies. In the forum, BBVA executive board member, José Manuel González-Páramo, indicated that he believes it is probable that central banks will issue cryptocurrencies in the years ahead.  Future advances in blockchain technology will open the way to its use by financial authorities.

16 Jul 2018

13 Jul 2018

Banks have clearly opted for financial technology, or fintech, to take on their new rivals, be they small startups or internet giants. However, the use of these technologies is more limited than it might appear. According to a study by the European Banking Authority (EBA), currently the majority of banks are focused on two lines of actions: biometrics for the identification and authentication of customers and the launch of mobile payment systems using NFC technology.

12 Jul 2018

In 2015, the ECB launched its Bank’s Integrated Reporting Dictionary, or BIRD, a project ultimately intended to organize the data that it gathers from EU financial institutions for its statistical area. This project is part of a broader strategic approach aimed at improving the system that banks and other players use to report statistics to the European supervisor, known as IReF (Integrated Reporting Framework). BIRD is one of the pivotal milestones in the list of achievements by the Statistical area of the ECB. And just as the rest of the organization, BIRD is celebrating its anniversary.

11 Jul 2018

Europe included cybersecurity as one of its priorities in the European Council meeting in June. Some 69 percent of European companies lack basic knowledge about their exposure to cyberattacks despite 80 percent of them having suffered some type of cyber-incident in the past year. With this in mind, the European Parliamentary Financial Service Forum (EPFSF) organized in the European Parliament a session for cybersecurity experts to suggest ideas to face the risks in the internet.