In recent months, the term MREL (which stands for Minimum Required Eligible Liabilities) has been appearing more and more frequently in business and economic news outlets. We see it being used repeatedly in bank-related reports, but what is behind this acronym?
28 Oct 2019
Now that the reporting season in the banking sector is underway, it may be the right time to take a look at some of the most commonly used, but more frequently misunderstood, financial terms. One of these terms is the expression “positive jaws,” which is used, for example, by BBVA CEO Onur Genç during the results presentations.
17 May 2019
BBVA received two awards from the specialist publication, ‘International Tax Review’ this Thursday in London. First, José María Vallejo was recognized as the best in-house tax director in Europe in 2018; and second, the BBVA tax team was acknowledged for its contribution to one of the most notable corporate deals of the year: the transfer of the bank’s property business in Spain to Cerberus.
16 May 2019
The European Council announced this Tuesday that it has approved a series of regulatory changes previously approved by parliament, which aim “to reduce risks in the banking system.” The legislative package, known as CRD-V, revises capital requirement legislation and the recovery and resolution framework that governs financial institutions within the eurozone.
29 Apr 2019
During today’s first-quarter earnings presentation to analysts and journalists, BBVA CEO Onur Genç underscored the strength of BBVA’s diversified business, which has allowed the company to grow its operating income by 10 percent yoy, in constant euros. “Diversification helps markets balance each other. BBVA’s power lies in its diversified model,” he explained.
24 Apr 2019
Carlos Torres Vila studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is where he gave his first interview since becoming BBVA’s Executive Chairman. He was in Boston to present OpenMind’s new book, ‘Towards a New Enlightenment? A Transcendent Decade’ and sat down with the Spanish newspaper, ‘El Mundo,’ to discuss the explosion of technology in the banking industry. He believes data is fundamental: “It is crucial that the data revolution is universal. The most vulnerable in society cannot be left behind.”
22 Apr 2019
As the General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Agustín Carstens, said, “New technology is not the same as better, or more efficient technology.” However, you don’t have to be a techno-optimist to recognize that the evolution of technology is unstoppable and improvements can be expected to address things like the volatility of cryptocurrencies. In fact, solutions are already being considered for this problem, such as stable digital currency, or “stablecoins”.
15 Apr 2019
In general, businesses use the customer data they access for internal purposes, creating value-added services. Yet, there is greater potential for society as a whole beyond corporate “closed doors.” Public-private sector collaboration using data sources for external initiatives can produce significant benefits. For example, a door could be open that would facilitate the use of data to help fulfill the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
11 Apr 2019
José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Head of Global Economics and Public Affairs, at a meeting organized by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Washington, D.C. defended a regulatory framework for the financial sector that promotes the potential benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Blockchain, as the first fully functional DLT, was key to the discussion.
08 Apr 2019
Current progress in finalizing the Banking Union has been insufficient. There are still a number of elements to be settled, fundamentally resolution, insolvency, and the deposit guarantee scheme. “It will not be easy to reach an agreement on the most important aspects prior to the European elections for parliament, but it is critical to do so as soon as possible to avoid jeopardizing member countries’ commitment to the Banking Union,” maintains José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA executive board member.
05 Apr 2019
The Juncker Plan, which was launched in 2004, has helped reduce the investment gap caused by the economic and financial crisis. Looking forward to the next decade, Europe should focus on a two-pronged strategy: implementing a greener sustainable investment model and backing key digital capabilities. According to BBVA’s executive board member, José Manuel González-Páramo, Europe must develop a forward-looking sustainable finance model.
01 Apr 2019
Mario Draghi reiterated this week that the ECB could tentatively delay the planned rate hike until next year. At a conference in Frankfurt, Draghi responded to banks’ concerns by saying negative rates could impact bank profitability, although it “is not an inevitable consequence.” Given these statements, we asked Olga Gouveia, Lead Economist for Financial Systems at BBVA Research, what is the impact of the decision to keep negative interest rates. In her opinion, it is reasonable the precautionary tone of the ECB, provided that there is a planned hike on the horizon.
26 Mar 2019
NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, one of the world’s most popular hackathons, has, once again, awarded a group of Spaniards, in this case the time behind ‘Galaxy Quest.’ The project helps processing real data collected by the Hubble telescope through a ‘gamification’ process. But not only that: It is the first step in developing an artificial neural network using these data, and a new communications channel between NASA and users. José Luis Martín-Oar, service designer at BBVA and one of the team’s members, tells us everything about the project.
BBVA Group paid €4.5 billion in worldwide tax on its own business activities in 2018, 10 percent more than in 2017. According to BBVA’s Total Tax Contribution Report, its total contribution (which is the total of the bank’s taxes and those made on behalf of third parties) rose to €9.8 billion. Since 2011 BBVA, in accordance with its commitment to transparency with customers, shareholders, employees, and society as a whole, has voluntarily released its tax information.
21 Mar 2019
One lesson from the crisis is just how important it is for international standards like Basel to be applied uniformly across countries. Furthermore, decisions related to compliance with standards, such as equivalence or mutual recognition through which countries declare that their regulations are aligned, should not be left to the full discretion of national authorities. Reports international authorities already carry out could be used for this purpose, allowing countries in adherence with the standards to receive equivalence, or mutual recognition.
14 Mar 2019
12 Mar 2019
The Shareholders General Meeting is one of a capital company’s fundamental governing mechanisms. During the meeting, the shareholders of the company adopt resolutions about matters required by law or by the company’s corporate bylaws. In the case of listed companies, AGMs have a defined structure established by the corporation law.
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
What are the main highlights of BBVA’s earnings for 2018? First of all, BBVA set a goal of having more than half of its customers bank through digital channels in 2018. And it met this goal. As of the end of December, 51 percent of the bank’s customers do their banking on digital channels, such as smartphones, tablets or on the bank website.
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
The Global Economic Forum, which starts January 22nd in Davos, Switzerland, will unite the world’s political and economic elite. Yet the U.S. President, French President and British Prime Minister will not be in attendance. The organizers say this event is taking place at a crucial moment of transformative change.
10 Jan 2019
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
If December is the month with the highest sales for traditional shopping, for the last two years November has become the star of Internet shopping. The recent phenomenon of Black Friday brings forward by one month the arrival of Christmas to online shopping, according to a study by BBVA Data & Analytics and BBVA Research.
13 Dec 2018
The world has recently taken a turn toward trade protectionism. Given this situation, at a forum in Madrid, BBVA Executive Board Member José Manuel González-Páramo proposed committing to multilateralism through the World Trade Organization. He expects “Europe to play a relevant role” in this movement. These efforts are essential, he maintained, because protectionism threatens global growth.
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
BBVA customers can now use an app that predicts their future income and expenses (Bconomy). Now, BBVA has developed —together with Google Cloud— an artificial intelligence model that would allow them to improve the accuracy of predictions. This model is explained in a white paper that also offers users recommendations on ways to protect the privacy of their data.
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
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) recently published its list of Global Systemically Important Banks, or G-SIB. A BBVA Research paper takes a look at the three key changes in this year’s list compared to the 2017 list: on the one hand, two banks exit the list and one is included, while, two banks have been shifted to a lower bucket.
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
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has just released its work programme for next year. Understanding the risks and opportunities arising from financial innovation and a better handling of data are some of the priorities the institution has outlined for 2019.
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.”
BBVA today presented its earnings for the January-September 2018 period. What stands out in the bank’s quarterly financials? In the words of BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila: “In spite of a challenging situation in Turkey and Argentina, the results we are presenting today reveal the strength of our business model and geographic diversification.”
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
Buenos Aires is currently welcoming the annual summit of the B20, or Business 20, as part of the Argentinian presidency of the G20 in 2018. Over 1,500 representatives of the business community have gathered in the Argentine capital to put forward their recommendations to the world’s main leaders.
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
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has launched its European banking transparency exercise for 2018. This is the fifth time the European supervisor has carried out this probe of the banks in the euro area. It will reveal its findings of 130 banks covering 900,000 data points in December.