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BBVA: Living Our Values

BBVA has celebrated its first ‘Values Day.’ A day to embrace and live the values of the Group: Customer comes first; We think big; We are one team. BBVA Executive chairman Francisco González and CEO Carlos Torres Vila reaffirmed these values as “the heart of a long process of transformation that the bank is spearheading at a global level.”

For the first time the bank set aside a whole day to celebrate ‘Values Day’ during which all 132,000 Group employees in all the countries where the bank is present had the opportunity to embrace and live BBVA Values.

Francisco González said these values are a key element in the long process of transformation the bank undertook years back. “Many things had to be done to get where we are now.” The BBVA Chairman recalled that the Group set its six strategic priorities in 2015, followed in 2016 by its purpose of ‘Bringing the age of opportunity to everyone’ and in 2017 by adopting Values he defined as “universal and sustainable over time”: The customer comes first; We think big; We are one team.  

On the first value, The customer comes first, Francisco González said today more than ever “we have to amaze the customer, put ourselves in their place and work to gain their trust, always avoiding conflicts of interest and bad practices.”

BBVA celebrates its first Values Day

On the second value, he said that at BBVA “when we speak about Thinking big we are talking about doing things in a different way, seeking excellence.” He gave as an example BBVA Spain’s mobile banking app which in 2017 was chosen by Forrester as the best app in both Europe and the world while this year it retained the European accolade ahead of the outcome of the world winner.

On the third value, We are one team, Francisco González spoke about the new ways of working the bank is implementing such as Agile methodology. He said that while this means leaving our comfort zone, it also presents a huge opportunity for everyone.

“Our Values are a compass that guides us along the right way, amaze our customers and exceed their expectations”

BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila hailed the first ‘Values Day’ as “a truly incredible day that has allowed us to reflect on the meaning of our values”. He insisted “what really matters is to embody these values, to go through our day-to-day existence in keeping with them.”

‘Values Day 2018’ was actively celebrated in the 19 countries where the bank operates. In Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay it was held the previous day and in the United States it took place on June 26.

Employees in all these countries actively engaged in programmed activities. The main activity was the Values Workshop where, using the Agile methodology, they worked to identify challenges, opportunities and solutions in order to live the values in our day-to-day activities.

Other activities included the ‘customers panel’ in which participants had to put themselves in the shoes of the bank’s customers; the ‘kilometer chain’ where everyone pedaled as one team with the common objective of going around the world; and ‘high fly’, whose purpose was to  identify day-to-day hurdles by thinking big and finding ways to overcome them.

BBVA Values Day in Ciudad BBVA

BBVA Chairman Francisco González and CEO Carlos Torres Vila joined some of the activities and workshops. Francisco González wrote a phrase on the The customer comes first wall defining the spirit of ‘Values Day’: “Our Values are a compass that guides us along the right way, amaze our customers and exceed their expectations.”

Many employees took part in person and everyone was able to join in virtually through the Values App, the application created specifically for Values Day. It became the other star of the day with more than 70,000 downloads and close to 1.6 million views.

The first ‘Values Day’ included two conferences on BBVA Values. Mark Mullen, the CEO of Atom Bank — the mobile-only British bank in which BBVA is a leading investor — spoke about The customer comes first. He emphasized the importance of creating trust and learning from experience. “To put the customer at the center of your business, you have to first be the customer,” he said.

Rafael Yuste, neurobiologist, professor at Columbia University, and the driving force behind the BRAIN initiative of the Obama Administration, addressed the other two values. Yuste explained the BRAIN initiative is one that it is thinking big and working in multidisciplinary teams spread across the world, dividing up big projects into more manageable deliverables and tighter deadlines.

Francisco González and Carlos Torres Vila closed BBVA’s first Values Day with a motivational message. “We are clearly heading toward a competition league with just a few members and those few have to be excellent. Our values are a crucial element that will allow us to continue to lead the process of transformation at a global level.”

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