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Carlos Torres Vila Updated: 12 Dec 2017

Carlos Torres Vila: “It’s essential to create a circle of trust with the customer”

BBVA aims to become the bank that customers trust, the one that helps them make the best financial decisions by offering them tailored advice.  Data is the essential raw material for making those decisions. In this regard, customer consent is necessary and to obtain it, “it will be essential to create a circle of trust with the customer,” said BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila. He spoke during a breakfast meeting in Madrid organized by the Association for Management Progress (APD - Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección) and sponsored by AXIS, on the challenges facing the financial sector.

Carlos Torres Vila explained how the BBVA Group was one of the first financial institutions to realize how profoundly technology would change the business, and to commit decisively to delivering what the new social reality demands. “At BBVA we grow digital sales and interactions by putting more online ,capabilities at the disposal of our customers,” he said. In third quarter 2017, digital sales accounted for 25.4% of the Group’s total sales, and the global digital customer base totaled 21.1 million customers.

Data, a key asset

Carlos Torres Vila also noted that data will be the key raw material for making decisions. By applying intelligence to data, it is possible to generate the type of value added recommendations that can help the company earn its customers’ trust, thus closing the circle.

BBVA’s CEO is convinced that people need to interact with others at very specific times, and that the same will happen in banking and in the world of the digital giants. For this reason, BBVA is evolving towards a branch network model that supports transformation. Today, many of our customers are digital, but they also visit branches (spawning what Carlos Torres Vila calls a hybrid model). And branches drive digitization by offering advice for higher value added transactions.


​Carlos Torres Vila,, CEO of BBVA, at a meeting organized by the Association for Progress in Management (APD). - BBVA

New players: an opportunity

Regarding new fintech entrants and big tech players, Carlos Torres Vila believes that the financial industry here has an opportunity for success. On one hand, by bundling offers from different providers and, on the other, by completely overhauling its value proposal to offer solutions to the real problems that people have with their money. For that purpose, it’s essential to put innovation at the customers’ disposal and to partner with the new ecosystem.

Asked about the future challenges facing BBVA, the CEO noted that BBVA is a bank with over 150 years of history and more than 130,000 employees. The big challenge in this transformation journey is changing the company´s mindset, culture and ways of working. For that reason, the big challenge is the internal transformation of the organization. There are several drivers of innovation at BBVA and they all build on the bank´s values: The customer comes first, We think big, and We work as one team.