BBVA Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila said that during the COVID-19 crisis, the bank has been committed to “supporting our customers, offering individuals flexibility in their payments, and providing companies the liquidity they need to face this crisis.” In the first quarter of 2020, prior to the introduction of public guarantee initiatives, the Group increased loans to businesses by €10 billion.
BBVA’s Group executive chairman stressed the magnitude of the global health crisis we are facing. “I would like to wish a quick recovery to all those who are sick, and share a special message of encouragement for those with relatives or friends who are affected. I would also like to send my condolences to all those suffering the loss of a loved one,” he said.
“In this situation, we all have to step up and make a difference, and that includes the corporate sector. Banks play a particularly relevant role. We are an important part of the solution,” he said.
“At BBVA, we knew this right from the beginning,” Carlos Torres Vila said, “That’s why we are focusing on what is most urgent, helping to save lives, with a global donation campaign of more than €35 million, earmarked for the purchase of essential medical equipment, support for at-risk social groups and scientific research on the disease.”
“At the same time, we have also focused on supporting our customers, offering individuals flexibility in their payments, and providing companies the liquidity they need to face this crisis,” he added.
BBVA’s Group executive chairman offered a good example of this from the first quarter. “Prior to the introduction of public guarantee initiatives, we increased loans to companies by €10 billion.” This assistance is crucial to protecting the productive sector, preserving jobs and preparing for a strong recovery, he explained.
Carlos Torres Vila noted that BBVA’s digital capabilities have allowed the bank to continue providing services - services that are essential to customers, through the use of remote channels.
Looking to the future
Now, what is most important is to look toward the future and work on a plan to return to normal,” the chairman added, “prioritizing people’s health, but also accelerating the lifting of restrictions when the circumstances allow it. The low rates of new infections and the increased capacity in hospitals in many regions give us hope that this could be soon.”
As for results in the first three months of the year, Carlos Torres Vila said: “We have posted a profit of €292 million excluding one-offs. This figure is very much impacted by front-loaded loan-loss provisions of more than €1.4 billion related to COVID-19.”
“Our operating income reached €3.57 billion, with a 14 percent growth yoy. The result stands at €1.26 billion, without one-offs and not taking into account the COVID-19 provisions. This represents a 6.4 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2019,” he explained.
In this sense, “The recurrence of our pre-provision profit, our solid capital position, our strong liquidity position, our diversified business model and our digital capabilities have all allowed us to face this crisis from a position of strength,” he said.
Finally, looking to the future, BBVA’s Group executive chairman wanted to share a message of hope. “I am sure that, with effort, we will emerge from this crisis stronger, both as individuals and as a society,” he concluded.