Letter from the Chair
In 2021 the world started to emerge from the pandemic and found its way back to growth: around 6.0% compared to a 3.2% contraction in 2020. At BBVA we posted our best recurring profit of the past decade, €5.07 billion, nearly doubling the figure from 2020, and we ended the year with a solid CET1 capital ratio of 12.75% - well above the regulatory requirement and our target range of 11.5% to 12.0%.
Thanks to these results and our strong capital position, we have increased the distributions to our shareholders quite considerably. On the one hand, through a €3.5 billion share buyback program - one of the largest in Europe. And on the other, through our dividend policy, which we have increased to 40% to 50% of our profit. The corresponding payment for 2021 will be €0.31 per share - the highest cash dividend of the past ten years. Taking into account the share buyback program and dividends, this amounts to a total of €5.5 billion.
We expect the recovery to continue throughout 2022, although the uncertainties remain elevated, especially in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We are following the events with great concern and unease - not so much for the very significant economic effects, but for the human tragedy that comes with war - something we thought we had long overcome in Europe.
In addition to its immediate impact, the invasion will have important long-term repercussions geopolitically and in the global economy, affecting the relationshipbetween blocs and international trade.
This ill-fated historical interruption comes at a time of an unprecedented wave of disruption driven by innovation and sustainability. New technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain technology, the internet of things and major advances in the genetics and robotics field, are transforming the economy and will have a huge impact on all sectors.
Our pioneering commitment to digitization over a decade ago is an enormous competitive advantage that continues to bear fruit. Today, nearly 40 million customers use their mobile phones to do their banking, and practically three-quarters of the Group's total sales take place on digital channels. Furthermore, in 2021, 40% of the nearly nine million new customers signed up using digital channels - this figure was just 4% five years ago.
Innovation and digitization offer extraordinary advantages for society as a whole, but we all need to do our part to ensure that no one is left behind in the process. We need to be especially careful with vulnerable groups and make sure that the undeniable benefits that digitization provides reach everyone.
Thanks to data and technology, we can help our customers make better decisions with their money thanks to financial health features that offer personalized and proactive advice. This is the reason that BBVA is the unquestionable leader in Europe for digital experience on mobile banking for the fifth consecutive year, according to Forrester Research.
Our strategy and digital capabilities also allow us to grow in new markets. Our investments in digital banks such as Atom Bank in the United Kingdom, Solarisbank in Europe, Neon in Brazil, and our recent launch of a fully digital bank in Italy are all good examples.
At BBVA, we believe in innovation as a driver of growth. We want to be the bank of the companies that are defining the future.
The other main pillar of our strategy is sustainability - an area in which we have also been pioneers. It represents a key driver of growth for the Group.
The decarbonization of the economy is perhaps the most significant disruption in history. We have 30 years for our society to function without greenhouse gas emissions- an enormous challenge that requires drastic changes in our habits and behaviors. It also requires colossal investments, which some estimates put at 8% of global GDP every year for the next 30 years. This represents a figure of around $275 trillion. For this reason, decarbonization, apart from a challenge, is also an important source of opportunities.
We want to help our clients in their transition toward a sustainable, greener and more inclusive future. With this goal in mind, we already offer a wide range of sustainable products. In recent years, we have launched green products for the purchase of homes with maximum energy efficiency, special financing for the purchase of electric and low emission hybrid vehicles, special loans for the installation of solar panels or financing for sustainable projects in the agricultural sector
Since we launched our Pledge 2025 in 2018, we have made significant progress. In 2021, we raised sustainability to the highest executive level of the organization. We also channeled €86 billion in sustainable financing - €35.4 billion in 2021 alone. This was also the year we doubled our target of channeling €200 billion through 2025.
In 2021, we also made progress in aligning our loan portfolio with the Paris Agreement on climate change in order to be carbon neutral by 2050. Not only in direct emissions - which has been the case since 2020, but also in indirect emissions - those of the clients we finance.
Furthermore, we have launched the most ambitious social plan to date. Along with our Foundations, we will devote a total of €550 million to social initiatives through 2025, and grant over €7 billion in micro-loans through the BBVA Microfinance Foundation.
Because of all this and much more, BBVA holds the top position in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index’s global banks ranking category, which is the world’s benchmark index for sustainability.
Without a doubt, we had a great year in a complex environment, and we look to 2022, confident in our strengths. Thanks to our financial standing, leading franchises in attractive markets and cutting-edge strategy, we are in an unmatched position to meet the ambitious goals that we have set for 2024: 42% cost to income, 14% ROTE, 9% average annual growth in tangible book value per share plus dividends, 10 million new target customers and €200 billion in sustainable finance through 2025.
All because we have the best and most committed team, as the U.S. consulting firm Gallup recognizes positioning BBVA as one of the 30 most exceptional places to work in the world.
At BBVA, we want to be catalysts for change in order to create a more inclusive and sustainable society that leaves no one behind. Our contribution to communities where we have a presence is an essential part of this commitment. Everything we do is guided by our purpose: “to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.”
In 2022, we will continue to accompany our customers, supporting families and businesses, to have a positive impact on society while strengthening our profitable growth, which will in turn be reflected in an attractive return to you, our shareholders.
Thank you very much for your trust and support.
Letter from the Chief Executive Officer
In a context of gradual recovery in the health and economic sectors, BBVA was able to produce excellent results - once again demonstrating the strength of its diversified business model.
In 2021, the BBVA Group's net attributable profit amounted to €5.07 billion, excluding non-recurring impacts. This is the highest figure in the last decade, thanks to excellent performance from recurring revenues and lower impairment on financial assets provisions. If non-recurring impacts are taken into account, (i.e. the result of discontinued operations and the net costs related to the restructuring process) net attributable profit was €4.64 billion.
Gross income, or total revenue, ended the year with double-digit year-on-year growth at constant exchange rates, (i.e. excluding the impact of the exchange rate) thanks mainly to strong performance from recurring revenues, which grew by 9.1%. This growth in recurring revenue was primarily due to greater business activity, which has been gaining momentum in all countries, leading to a 7% year-on-year increase in lending and a very positive impact on net interest income and net fees and commissions.
The strong performance of the operating income has allowed us to more than offset the increase in operating expenses, above the Group's average inflation, and improve the efficiency ratio, which stood at 45.2% at the end of 2021. This represents an improvement of 53 basis points compared to the ratio at the end of December 2020, at constant exchange rates, and we continue to lead in this metric among our European competitors. All this has led to a solid growth of 10.8% in the operating income, compared to last year, in constant terms.
At the bottom of the P&L account, the lower amount of impairments on financial assets and provisions stands out - a figure that was especially high in 2020 due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The normalization of the situation has resulted in risk indicators performing better than expected.
The cost of risk stood at 0.93% - a decline of 62 basis points from the end of 2020, and below pre-pandemic levels. The NPL ratio stood at 4.1%, 10 basis points below the figure recorded in December 2020. Finally, the NPL coverage ratio remained at high levels, ending the year at 75%.
For yet another year, our profitability metrics were ahead of our competitors. Excluding the one-off impacts from the year, i.e. the result of discontinued operations and the net costs related to the restructuring process, Return on Equity (ROE) stood at 11.4% and Return on Tangible Equity (ROTE) was 12%. We were also able to continue to create value for shareholders, with a tangible book value per share plus dividends of €6.66, which is 10.1% higher than a year ago.
In terms of capital adequacy, BBVA boasts an excellent capital position with a fully-loaded CET1 ratio of 12.75% - well above the regulatory requirement of 8.60% and the Group’s target range of 11.5% to 12%.
These results were possible thanks to BBVA's significant strengths, such as our leading franchises in attractive markets, our leadership in digitization and sustainability, and the best team.
These strengths also allowed us to make progress in our objectives of becoming a larger and more profitable bank, a distinctive bank for our clients, based on a unique value proposition, and continue leading efficiency through operational excellence.
With regard to the main business areas, I would like to highlight the following:
- In Spain, GDP experienced a significant recovery, which grew 5.1% according to BBVA Research estimates, after falling 10.8% in 2020. This led to greater momentum in activity, which increased by 1.7%, mainly due to solid performance in SMEs and consumer loans. Within this context, net attributable profit totaled €1.58 billion, up 143% from the previous year, thanks to the higher contribution from fees and commissions, net trading income (NTI) and lower impairment on financial assets and provisions. As a result, operating income grew by 14.5%, driven by net fees and commissions income, NTI and lower operating expenses. The cost of risk continued its downward trend, ending the year at 0.3%. The NPL ratio improved to 4.22% and the NPL coverage ratio ended the year at 62%, at high levels.
- In Mexico, economic growth slowed in the second half of 2021 after a strong expansion in the first half of the year, bringing the closing estimate for GDP growth to 5.3% in 2021 compared to a contraction of 8.5% in 2020. Lending grew by 5.1% over 2020 levels thanks to the performance of retail, especially mortgages, credit cards and SMEs. Within this context, the area's attributable profit was €2.57 billion, up 43%, at constant exchange rates. This is due to the strong performance of recurring revenues and lower impairment on financial assets provisions following the higher level of provisions in 2020 for COVID-19. As a result of the latter, the cost of risk fell to 2.67%.
- In Turkey, GDP boomed, growing up to 10.8%, according to BBVA Research estimates, bolstered by the strong rebound in the fourth quarter of the year. Lending increased by 39.7% between January and December 2021, driven by growth in local currency loans. Net attributable profit reached €740 million. Excluding currency fluctuations in the year, this is 71% more than the previous year in constant terms. Particularly noteworthy was the solid performance of all revenue lines, which led to gross margin growth of 25% and lower impairment on financial assets provisions following the higher level of provisions for COVID-19 in 2020. Consequently, the cumulative cost of risk decreased from 2.13% at the end of 2020 to 1.33% at the end of December 2021.
- In South America, the positive performance by the main countries (Argentina, Colombia and Peru) in activity is particularly noteworthy. The area's net attributable profit amounted to €491 million in 2021, up 23% in constant terms, thanks to the strong performance of recurring revenues and the improvement in credit quality, which has led to a significant reduction in the cost of risk.
None of this would have been possible without the efforts of the more than 110,000 people that make up BBVA, whom I would like to thank for their sustained commitment, and continued effort and contribution to these results, in what was still a complicated year for all of us.
And of course, my thanks also to you, the shareholders, for your ongoing trust and support, as it helps us make our purpose of bringing the age of opportunity to everyone a reality.
History of BBVA
The history of BBVA is the history of many different people; people who have been a part of the more than one hundred financial institutions that have joined our corporate journey since it first began in the mid-19th century. Today at BBVA, we work to create a better future for people. We seek to build long-lasting relationships with our customers that change the way we look at the business. As a result, BBVA has become a global leader and one of the most highly regarded banks in the world.
BBVA is firmly committed to the future and is a pioneer in adapting to the needs of an increasingly global market - especially to the banking industry of the 21st century.
Over 160 years of experience support this commitment.
The history of BBVA dates back to 1857 in the city of Bilbao, in northern Spain, where the Board of Commerce promoted the founding of the Banco de Bilbao as an issuer and discount bank. It was a pioneering initiative at the time, driven by the region’s economic growth. In fact, it was the city’s only bank until the end of the 19th century.
In the second half of the 19th century, Banco de Bilbao financed several important infrastructure and steel industry projects. In 1878, it lost the right to issue its own banknotes and was restructured as a loan and discount bank. Banco de Vizcaya was founded in 1901; it carried out its first transactions in Bilbao and little by little, began to expand across the country. Apart from its activity as a commercial and depositary bank, Banco de Vizcaya participated in the creation and development of a large part of Spanish industry. In 1902, Banco de Bilbao and the Banco de Comercio merged, although both institutions maintained their status as legal entities.
In 1909, Caja Postal was created as a public-law entity and in 1916, it began to issue and administer savings account passbooks.
A consortium of bankers and industrialists founded the Banco de Crédito Industrial (BCI) in 1920, for the express purpose of promoting the installation and consolidation of industries by granting long-term credits. Banco de Bilbao and Banco de Vizcaya were part of this consortium.
In 1923, the National Agricultural Credit Service was created. Under the umbrella of the Ministry of Agriculture, it granted loans to agricultural and livestock associations, under the joint and several liability of its associates.
During the economic development of the 1960s, Banco de Bilbao acquired other banks and began to create a financial group. Meanwhile, Banco de Vizcaya continued to grow and establish itself as a modern, universal bank and an important financial group. More flexible rules on opening offices allowed the bank to expand its commercial network.
Caja Postal added more customer services, including checking accounts, stock purchases/sales, and lending in certain areas. The 1962 Banking Law nationalized BCI, BHE and BCL and transformed the National Agricultural Credit Service into the Banco de Crédito Agrícola (BCA). All four banks became entities governed by public law. But in 1971, they became official credit institutions (under the Law Regulating Official Credit) as limited companies.
In the 1980s, Banco de Bilbao based its strategy on reaching a size that would allow it to access the financial business that was emerging at the time from the technological advances, deregulation, securitization and the interplay between national and international markets. Banco de Vizcaya contributed to the rescue of banks that were affected by the economic crisis and developed a policy of strong growth through acquisitions, which led it to create a large banking group. Its most significant operation was its purchase of Banca Catalana in 1984.
Meanwhile, official credit institutions continued to expand their business through market operations. In 1982, BEX lost its exclusive rights to export credit, redirecting its business to universal banking, and forming a financial group. It acquired Banco de Alicante (1983) during this process. In 1988, Banco de Bilbao and Banco de Vizcaya merged to create BBV.
Corporación Bancaria de España was established in 1991 as a state-owned enterprise and credit institution with the status of a bank. Its history began with a federated banking model, but in 1988, Corporación Bancaria de España (now privatized through public offerings), BEX (merged with BCI), BHE and Caja Postal merged into a single bank under the brand Argentaria.
BBVA unified its network of offices in Catalonia in May 2013 after the acquisition of Unnim Banc was complete.
The merger of BBV and Argentaria
In an effort to continue adding value, BBV and Argentaria announced their merger on October 19, 1999, creating the new bank (BBVA). It was of a substantial size, with strong solvency, a large financial structure, ample geographic diversification of business and risks, and as a result, greater potential for raising its profits.
Customers now had access to an extensive distribution network, a wider range of products, new channels and a stronger international presence. Employees, meanwhile, had greater opportunities for professional development.
The integration of the two banks was exemplary for multiple reasons:
- Strategic decisions were made quickly. The organizational structure was defined immediately and a framework agreement was established with workers.
- Working groups were formed and plans for the different areas of activity were defined quickly.
- Ambitious deadlines were met, sometimes ahead of schedule.
- The effort benefited from the excitement, participation and team spirit shown by everyone in BBVA.
The integration process received a major boost when a single BBVA brand was adopted in January 2000. This allowed the bank to create an image based on its own unique identity in very little time. BBVA’s integration process took place quickly and efficiently and concluded in February 2001.
The integration of the group’s retail businesses in Spain (BBV, Argentaria, Banca Catalana, Banco del Comercio and Banco de Alicante) allowed the bank to take advantage of the potential offered by an extensive network of branches with the BBVA image.
Prestigious financial publications recognized the efficiency of BBVA’s integration, naming it the best bank in the world (Forbes) and in Spain (The Banker) and in the year 2000, the best bank in Latin America (Forbes) and the best bank in Europe (Lafferty) in 2001.
The international group
BBVA in the world
BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, it has leading franchises in South America. It is also the leading shareholder in Türkiye’s Garanti BBVA and has an important investment, transactional and capital markets banking business in the U.S. Its purpose is to bring the age of opportunities to everyone, based on our customers’ real needs: provide the best solutions, helping them make the best financial decisions, through an easy and convenient experience. The institution rests in solid values: Customer comes first, we think big and we are one team. Its responsible banking model aspires to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable society.
Data at the end December 2022. Those countries in which BBVA has no legal entity or the volume of activity is not significant, are not included
Relevant data of the BBVA Group (consolidated figures) at 31-12-2022. This section contains all the updated quarterly figures on the balance sheet and income statement, and other relevant data.
More financial information is available on the Shareholders and Investors website.
Business Units Business Units
Global Functions Global Functions
Legal and Control Legal and Control
BBVA Organizational chart
At the end of 2018, the Board of Directors of BBVA approved a new organizational structure to foster the Group’s transformation, while further specifying responsibilities for executive roles.
The main aspects of the new organizational structure are as follows:
The Chair is responsible for the management and proper functioning of the Board of Directors, the supervision of the Group’s management, institutional representation, and leading the Group’s strategy and transformation process.
The areas reporting directly to the Chair are those related to key levers in the transformation: Engineering, Talent & Culture and Data; as well as those related to the Group’s strategy: Strategy & M&A, Communications, and the figure of Senior Advisor to the Chair; and areas related to legal issues and the Board: Legal and Secretary General.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is in charge of the daily management of the Group’s businesses, reporting directly to BBVA’s Board of Directors.
Reporting to the CEO are the business units in the different countries, Corporate & Investment Banking, Client Solutions and Sustainability, as well as the following global functions: Finance, which includes the functions of accounting and taxes, and Global Risk Management.
Additionally, certain control areas are given greater independence, reporting directly to the Board of Directors through its corresponding committees. These control areas include Internal Auditing and the newly created Regulation & Internal Control, an area in charge of relations with regulators and supervisors, monitoring and analysis of regulatory trends, and developing the Group’s regulatory agenda, and managing compliance-related risks.
In 2019, BBVA carried out a strategic review to continue its transformation and continue adapting to the major trends reshaping the world and the financial services industry:
- A challenging macroeconomic outlook, characterized by rising uncertainty at a global level, lower economic growth, low interest rates, greater regulatory requirements, geopolitical tensions and the emergence of new risks (cybersecurity, etc.).
- An evolution in clients’ behaviors and expectations. Clients are demanding more digital, simple and personalized value propositions, based on expert advice, to make the best decisions.
- A strong competitive environment, where digitization is already a common priority for banks and the role of big tech companies and ecosystems is rising. They offer financial services within their global solutions and an excellent customer experience.
- Society is concerned about achieving a sustainable and inclusive world. Climate change is a reality and all stakeholders (consumers, companies, investors, regulators and public institutions) have made achieving a more sustainable world a priority. The transition toward this sustainable world has major economic implications and the financial sector must play a very active role to ensure the success of this evolution.
- Data has become a key differentiating factor. Data management produces solid competitive advantages as it makes it possible to offer customized value propositions, improves automation to enhance the efficiency of processes and reduce operational risks. Data also entails the management of new risks with relevant implications in terms of privacy, security, ethics, etc.
In this context, BBVA’s strategy has evolved with six strategic priorities which aim to accelerate and deepen the Group’s transformation and the achievement of its purpose.
Our purpose and strategic priorities
In this context, BBVA’s strategy has evolved with six strategic priorities that aim to accelerate and deepen the Group’s transformation and the achievement of its purpose:‘to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.’
1. Improving our clients’ financial health
Help our clients, through personalized advice, make better decisions and manage their finances to achieve their life and business goals.
2. Helping our clients transition toward a sustainable future
Progressively align our activity with the Paris Agreement and use our role to help our clients transition toward a more sustainable future inspired by selected Sustainable Development Goals.
3. Reaching more clients
Accelerate profitable growth by being where clients are, leveraging our digital channels and those of third parties.
4. Driving operational excellence
Provide the best customer experience with simple, automated processes and a continuous focus on risk management and optimal capital allocation.
5. The best and most engaged team
A diverse and empowered team guided by our purpose, values, and behaviors, propelled by a talent development model that creates growth opportunities for all team members.
6. Data and technology
Advanced data analytics coupled with secure and reliable technologies to build distinctive high-quality solutions and deliver on our strategy.
The BBVA Group has developed new people management models and new ways of working that have enabled the bank to continue transforming its operational model, while also also promoting a cultural transformation and fostering the ability to become a purpose-driven company, or, in other words, a company where staff’s actions are guided by the values, and are genuinely inspired and motivated by the same purpose.
BBVA engaged in an open process to identify the Group’s values, which took on board the opinion of employees from across the Group’s global footprint and various units. These values define our identity and are the pillars for making our Purpose a reality:
Customer comes first
BBVA has always been customer-oriented, but the customer now comes first before everything else. The bank aspires to take a holistic vision of customers that goes beyond financial aspects. This means working with empathy, agility and integrity, among other things.
- We are empathetic: we take the customer’s viewpoint into account from the outset, putting ourselves in their shoes to better understand their needs..
- We have integrity: we always act honestly, in accordance with the law and BBVA's rules and policies.We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior and always put the customer's interests first
- We meet their needs: We are swift, agile and responsive in resolving the problems and needs of our customers, overcoming any difficulties we encounter.
We think big
It is not about innovating for its own sake but instead to have a significant impact on people’s lives, enhancing their opportunities. The BBVA Group is ambitious, constantly seeking to improve, and not settling for doing things reasonably well, but instead always striving for excellence.
- We are ambitious: we set ourselves ambitious and aspirational challenges to have a real impact on people’s lives.
- We break the mold: we question everything we do to discover new ways of doing things, innovating and testing new ideas that enables us to learn.
- We amaze our customers: we seek excellence in everything we do in order to amaze our customers, creating unique experiences and solutions that exceed their expectations.
We are one team
People are what matters most to the Group. All employees are owners and share responsibility in this endeavor. We break down silos and trust others as we do ourselves. We are BBVA.
- I am committed: I am committed to my role and my objectives. I feel empowered and fully responsible for delivering them, working with passion and enthusiasm.
- I trust others: I trust others from the outset and work generously, collaborating and breaking down silos between areas and hierarchical barriers.
- I am BBVA: I feel ownership of BBVA. The bank’s objectives are my own and I do everything in my power to achieve them and make our purpose a reality.
Sustainability and responsible banking model
BBVA has a unique way of doing banking based on the purpose “to bring the age of opportunity to everyone”, always acting in line with its corporate values and its goal of having a positive impact on the lives of people, businesses and society as a whole.
It is a commitment to a responsible way of doing banking and to creating value for all its stakeholders over the long-term, which is reflected in the different bank policies - especially in the General Sustainability Policy and in the Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.
- The General Sustainability Policy on sustainable development aims to achieve economic development, social development and environmental protection in a balanced way.
- The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy focuses on managing the responsibility of BBVA’s impact on people and society..
BBVA will abide by the following general principles for corporate social responsibility:
- Having a positive impact on society.
- Respect for people’s dignity and inherent rights.
- Community investment.
- Involvement as an agent of social change.
The Group will also carry out its activities in the sustainability and corporate social responsibility area based on the following general principles, which are already applied in its different management policies:
- Prudent risk management.
- Achievement of a profitable and sustainable long-term business.
- Creating long-term value for all stakeholders.
- Compliance with applicable law at any given time.
All the business and support areas integrate these two policies into their internal regulations and activities. The Global Sustainability Office and the Responsible Business department coordinate and support them in their implementation.
Banks play a crucial role in the fight against climate change and in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals thanks to their unique position in mobilizing capital through investments, loans, issuance and advisory functions. They have effective measures in place to help tackle these challenges: first, providing innovative solutions to help customers transition to a low-carbon economy and driving sustainable finance; and, second, systematically incorporating social and environmental risk into their decision-making processes.
BBVA’s commitment to sustainable development is reflected in its global-reach Environmental Commitment. In 2018, BBVA announced its strategy on climate change and sustainable development to help the bank meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Pledge 2025 will help the bank to progressively align its activity with the Paris Agreement on climate change and strike a balance between sustainable energy and investments in fossil fuels. The strategy is based on a threefold commitment:
- To finance: BBVA is pledging to mobilize € 100 billion in green finance, sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness, entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.
- To manage the environmental and social risk associated with the bank’s activity in order to minimize potentially negative direct and indirect impacts.
- To engage all stakeholders in order to increase the financial sector’s collective contribution to sustainable development.
BBVA’s environmental commitment and strategy on climate change and sustainable development are both approved by the Chief Executive Officer and backed by senior management.
Investment in social programs
Through its social programs, BBVA acts as a driver of opportunity for people, seeking to have a positive impact on their lives, and delivering on its aim of making the opportunities of this new era available to those facing the greatest difficulties, the vulnerable. In 2019, the BBVA Group allocated €113.8 million to social initiatives that benefited 11.5 million people. This figure represents 2.4 percent of the bank’s net attributable profit.
BBVA channeled its investment through its local banks and corporate foundations. We contribute to the development of society in the countries where we have a presence. The foundations play a fundamental role in channeling a vital part of the group’s social investment initiatives.
The BBVA Foundation focuses on promoting knowledge, culture, the dissemination of science and art, and the recognition of talent and innovation. Its activities can be grouped into five strategic areas: environment; biomedicine and health; economy and society; basic sciences and technology; and culture. In each of these areas it designs, develops and finances research projects - either individually or in teams; facilitates advanced and specialized training through scholarships, courses, seminars and workshops; awards prizes to researchers and professionals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge; and communicates and disseminates this knowledge through publications and conferences.
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2007 by BBVA within the framework of its corporate social responsibility to support vulnerable people and provide them with access to productive activities. It has a budget of 300 million dollars and over 150 years of experience. Its objective is to create opportunities for people in vulnerable situations, expanding and facilitating access to financial services. For this, it uses a proprietary methodology called “Productive Finance”, which seeks to develop the customer and offer personalized attention to the entrepreneurs to whom it provides. That is, it provides not only financial products and services, but also advice and training for the administration and financial management of their small businesses.
Its overall objective is to promote a concept of financial education in a broad sense through the Global Financial Education Plan, which is based on three lines of action:
- Financial education for society: Promote the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes in all countries where BBVA has a presence through its own programs and in collaboration with third parties. The aim is to achieve greater knowledge of financial concepts and create a change in behavior in terms of financial decision-making, helping to improve people’s financial health. In 2019, a total of 1.9 million children and young people, adults and SMEs benefited from local initiatives.
- Financial education in customer solutions: Integrate financial capabilities in the customer's experience in order to facilitate informed decision-making, which will result in an improvement in their financial well-being and allow them to access greater opportunities.
- Financial education in customer solutions: Integrate financial capabilities in the customer’s experience. In order to facilitate informed decision-making, which will lead to an improvement in their financial well-being and allow them to access greater opportunities, financial education content was integrated into customer solutions in 2019. In 2019, 20,110 users accessed financial education content published on bbva.com and 288 people attended events held by the Center for Education and Financial Capabilities. In 2019, €7.7 million were spent on financial education.
BBVA has a long-term commitment to financial education, with €89 million invested and 15.5 million people benefiting from different programs since 2008.
In 2019, BBVA allocated €9.8 million to entrepreneurship initiatives that benefited 2.2 million people. The following are among the global initiatives related to entrepreneurship:
BBVA Momentum is a global program that helps social entrepreneurs grow and broaden their impact. It includes training, strategic accompaniment, networking and access to funding. 167 entrepreneurs from Colombia, the United States, Mexico and Türkiye participated in the program in 2019.
BBVA Open Talent is a fintech startup competition that aims to foster innovative technological solutions and raise awareness of emerging projects capable of transforming the financial sector. In 2019, 770 startups from 95 countries participated, with 290 professionals involved.
Knowledge, education and culture
Regarding the knowledge, education and culture activities, €77.6 million were invested, benefiting 7.2 million people in 2019. BBVA contributes to the dissemination of knowledge through BBVA Research, the BBVA Foundation and BBVA OpenMind.
BBVA’s Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct establishes the behavioral guidelines that, according to the principles of the BBVA Group, ensure that conduct adheres to the internal values of the Organization. To this end, it establishes the duty to respect applicable laws and regulations for all its members in an integral and transparent manner, with the diligence and professionalism that correspond to the social impact of financial activity and to the trust that shareholders and customers have placed in BBVA.
The Code was approved by the BBVA Board of Directors on February 9, 2022.
BBVA's Whistleblower Channel
A fundamental mechanism to guarantee the effective application of the regulations and guidelines of the Code of Conduct is the Whistleblower Channel, through which not only BBVA employees, but also other third parties not belonging to the BBVA Group can can confidentially and, if they wish, anonymously report any conduct that does not adhere to the Code of Conduct or that violates applicable legislation, including human rights-related complaints.
The Compliance area will handle complaints diligently and promptly. The information will be analyzed objectively and impartially and the identity of the whistleblower will be kept confidential. Those who report facts or actions in good faith through the Whistleblower Channel will not be subject to retaliation or suffer adverse consequences for this communication.
This Channel allows you to maintain, if you wish, a dialogue with the Manager of your complaint. For this purpose, we have designed a system (secure mailbox) that will allow you to communicate with BBVA, preserving your anonymity at all times.
The Whistleblower Channel is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from any computer or cell phone.
If you observe or someone informs you of an action or situation related to BBVA that may be contrary to the regulations or the values and guidelines of our BBVA Code of Conduct, please report it through:
The Whistleblower Channel is not the appropriate channel for dealing with customer complaints.
BBVA’s tax strategy
BBVA’s corporate principles for tax issues and fiscal strategy, approved by the Board of Directors.
U.S. Patriot Act
The USA Patriot Act is a U.S. law approved in 2001 following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Its main purpose is to increase government control to fight terrorism and improve different U.S. security agencies’ capacities through coordination and granting the agencies greater monitoring power.
One of the ways in which the USA Patriot Act combats terrorism is by monitoring banks to prevent money laundering, a source of funding for terrorist groups.
According to the requirements of the USA Patriot Act, all banks located outside the U.S. that wish to engage in or maintain international relations with a U.S. bank or broker/dealer are required to provide certain information about the nature of their business and their supervision.
That’s how the USA Patriot Act applies to BBVA.
Global USA PATRIOT ACT Certificate – PDF Document / (2745 KB)
Global USA PATRIOT ACT Certificate for use by any financial institution that provides, or could provide services to any institution in the BBVA Group or the entire BBVA Group.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a law introduced by the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to encourage enhanced tax compliance and transparency with respect to U.S. citizens or residents. FATCA requires financial institutions around the world to identify U.S. persons that have foreign bank accounts, among others, and report them to the U.S. tax authorities. To ensure compliance, a 30 percent withholding tax will be imposed on certain payments to non-compliant institutions and individuals.
BBVA, along with its subsidiaries and branches, is committed to helping guarantee international tax compliance while maintaining high standards of customer data security. BBVA is therefore proactively implementing changes in its current business practices to ensure compliance with FATCA.
BBVA institutions affected by FATCA have already been registered with the IRS and will appeal in the next official IRS list of participating financial institutions.
FATCA requires financial institutions across the globe to fulfill certain requirements:
- Identify the following customers with a BBVA account:
- U.S. citizens or residents
- U.S. corporations
- Certain legal institutions, mainly private equity entities owned by U.S. citizens
- Report information on account holders listed above to the IRS or local tax authorities. This information includes:
- Personal information: name, address and U.S. Tax Identification Number (US TIN)
- Account information: account number, account balance and payments made or received in the account
- Withhold 30 percent from account holders on certain payments from the U.S. (mainly interest and dividends) that fail to comply with FATCA.
However, It is not expected that FATCA will affect most of BBVA’s customers. FATCA entered into force on July 1, 2014. Reporting began in 2015.
Please note that BBVA does not provide tax advice. If required, we recommend that our customers seek independent advice on FATCA from a professional tax advisor. BBVA and its subsidiaries are not liable for any errors, omissions or opinions contained within this document.
BBVA Due Diligence
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