In 2018, the Board of Directors approved the succession plan appointing Carlos Torres Vila and Onur Genç as Group Executive Chairman and CEO, respectively. In December, these changes came into force and a new organizational structure was approved, thus completing a process that ensures the continuity of BBVA’s transformation strategy.
In the year as a whole, the BBVA Group earned €5.32 billion in 2018, up 51.3% from the previous year. The diversified business model and transformation strategy are the foundation of this positive trend and improvements in efficiency. Also in 2018, BBVA completed two highly relevant transactions in 2018: the sale of BBVA Chile and the transfer of the bank’s Spanish real estate business to Cerberus.
BBVA contiued making progress in its digital transformation in 2018. Specifically, the bank reached a tipping point in the digitization of its business. At the end of the year more than half of the bank’s customers (51%) used digital channels to interact with the bank. Mobile customers hit 43% and the goal is to surpass 50% in 2019.
In 2018 BBVA Spain’s mobile banking app was selected as the best in the world for the second year in a row by Forrester Research. Also, Turkey’s Garanti Bank’s application claimed the second spot in the global ranking.
Additional breakthroughs in BBVA’s digitization last year include the signing of the world’s first blockchain based corporate loan in April, the launch of the first globally developed mobile banking platform in May and the opening of BBVA’s app to products from other banks in September.
In terms of sustainable finance, one of the biggest milestones of the year was the announcement of Pledge 2025 in February 2018. Through this initiative BBVA commits to mobilize €100 million in green financing, sustainable infrastructure, social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion. BBVA will also work to mitigate environmental and social risks and involve its stakeholder groups to encourage the financial sector to make a greater contribution to sustainable development.
What will BBVA shareholders vote on?
Following the presentation of the bank’s results and a summary of the year’s main events by the Executive Chairman and the CEO, the first item on the agenda is for BBVA shareholders to vote on the approval of the annual accounts and the management report, the appropriation of earnings and the approval of corporate management.
BBVA offers its shareholders a gross cash payment in April of €0.16 per share as a 2018 supplementary dividend. This dividend represents a 7 percent increase from the dividend paid in April 2018. BBVA’s policy is to allocate between 35% and 40% of the year’s results to dividends, 100 percent of which are paid in cash.
Shareholders will also vote on the reelection of Carlos Torres Vila and Sunir Kumar Kapoor and the appointment of Onur Genç as BBVA Board Members.
The third item on the agenda is the approval of BBVA’s compensation policy for Board members. The next proposal is to approve a maximum variable compensation of up to 200 percent of the fixed salary for certain employees whose work has a significant impact on the Group’s risk profile.
The fifth proposal is of a recurring nature and entails the delegation of authority to the Board to formalize, rectify, interpret and execute the agreements adopted at the Annual General Meeting.
Finally, the last item on the agenda is a consultative vote on the annual report regarding Board member compensation in 2018.