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Carlos Torres Vila: “Our excess capital opens the door for extraordinary distributions for our shareholders”

Following the release of 4Q20 earnings, BBVA chairman Carlos Torres Vila said on Friday that BBVA’s “excess capital opens the door for extraordinary distributions for our shareholders.” In this sense, he mentioned that the bank “is targeting a buyback of about 10 percent of the Group’s shares, following the closing off the sale of the U.S. subsidiary.”

Carlos Torres Vila underlined that the bank posted a net attributable profit of €3.08 billion in 2020, excluding one-offs, with an increase of 11.7 percent in the operating income. He also reminded the announcement a few weeks ago of a historic transaction for BBVA: the sale of its U.S. subsidiary. “An operation that generates €8.5 billion in capital, putting us in an unparalleled position of strength in the sector,” he added. This transaction increases the capital ratio to 14.6 percent, “well above our capital target.”

As for shareholder distributions, the BBVA chairman said that “regarding 2020, we will pay an amount of  €0.059 per share, and for 2021, we expect to resume our shareholder distribution policy with a payout of 35-40 percent of profits.” He added that “our goal is to target a buyback of about 10 percent of the Group’s shares, after the close of the sale of the U.S. franchise. All this subject to market conditions and the required approvals.”

Carlos Torres Vila said that 2020 has been a special year that has had highly severe consequences in the health and economic areas. He reminded that since the very beginning BBVA stepped up to help the most vulnerable groups. “In 2020, we have granted payment deferrals for €38 billion and financing through government-backed programs for a total of €25 billion, on top of other financing options,” he explained.

For BBVA’s chairman, the pandemic has reaffirmed our strategic priorities. In this sense, he added that all of the past efforts to be leaders in digitization have borne fruit, and in 2020, nearly two-thirds of the Group’s sales took place on digital channels. BBVA has also been recognized as the most sustainable European bank by the Dow Jones Index. “We are ahead of the game in our Pledge 2025, having mobilized more than €50 billion in sustainable financing in just three years. And we are helping our clients in their transition to a sustainable and inclusive future,” he affirmed.

Finally, Carlos Torres Vila said that “at BBVA we look at 2021 with the same commitment to our customers and society we had last year, and thanks to our tremendous strength, we will continue to support them throughout the pandemic, as well as in the recovery phase.”

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