BBVA Executive Chairman Francisco González shared his insights at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on some of most pressing issues in economics and current affairs.
Francisco González explained how technology is having a far-reaching impact on the banking sector. “The number of banks will dramatically decrease. There are currently 20,000 banks – there will be much fewer. There will be a new league of competitors and BBVA will be part of this new league of competitors consisting of some traditional banks that were able to transform themselves, some online giants and some startups.”
BBVA Chairman said the Group has been working on its transformation for more than ten years and that “the big winners are the customers. Therefore, it’s important we work based on the principles of prudence and integrity – with no conflicts of interest.”
The big winners are the customers. Therefore, it’s important we work based on the principles of prudence and integrity – with no conflicts of interest
Francisco González also addressed the issue of mortgage floor clauses, an issue tied up in the court system after the European Court of Justice’s recent ruling that ordered lenders to repay their customers. He said the bank “will proceed accordingly, speaking with our customers and seeking the best interest of both parties” and added that, “we are now waiting for the decree, which is pending the Spanish Supreme Court’s interpretation.” BBVA removed floor clauses in May 2013, as soon as Spain’s Supreme Court ruled them illegal. Francisco González also noted that “it is important to look at the big picture and preserve legal security.” He also underscored that the Spanish mortgage system has helped “many people to gain access to property.”
Regarding the Davos agenda, BBVA’s chairman said that one of the most pressing topics is the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on employment. He said that “every industrial revolution always produces the same effects: At first, many jobs are destroyed. Then, a significantly higher level of wealth is attained with much greater well-being across society.”
He noted that “it’s up to the public sector to adopt measures to defend people who have been affected – but measures that do not go against progress and technology.”