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Coronavirus

06 Oct 2020

In the last part of the BBVA USA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness Series, final tips and advice are given, based on the frequently asked questions submitted from actual small business owners who received a PPP loan. Questions were submitted as part of the BBVA USA Forgiveness Webinar, developed to walk small businesses through the forgiveness process.

02 Oct 2020

28 Sep 2020

In an interview with ‘La Linterna’ de COPE, BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman said that the EU funds to face the health crisis represent “a great opportunity”. In his opinion, if invested “productively in long-term growth and combined in combination with structural reforms”, they can help tackle key problems of the Spanish economy, such as structural unemployment. “We also need to invest in education, focusing on the world of the future: the digital world, the world of data and addressing the transition to a more sustainable world, socially and environmentally.”

22 Sep 2020

17 Sep 2020

16 Sep 2020

03 Sep 2020

02 Sep 2020

31 Aug 2020

BBVA Executive Chairman Carlos Torres Vila has described the European recovery plan (Next Generation EU) as “a landmark opportunity for Spain.” He asserted that “if the aid is complemented by appropriate reforms, Spain could put an end to its elevated structural unemployment, which has hovered above 16 percent over the last four decades, while laying the foundations of an economy based on green and digital growth, a data-driven economy.”

27 Aug 2020

20 Aug 2020

The coronavirus crisis has proven to be a catalyst for workplace flexibility. Companies around the world urgently accelerated their digitization processes in order to first cope with the lockdown measures established in the early days of the pandemic, and going forward to design a new approach to the world of work. If technology served as the primary ally during the initial phase of this transformation, work-life balance is now positioned as the most significant challenge to overcome. BBVA is already preparing for this new reality, evolving its flexible work model, which it implemented two years ago, to cater to the new reality. The bank is responding to important challenges like the use of physical space, goal setting, the new profile of leadership, and employee empowerment and engagement.

05 Aug 2020

31 Jul 2020

30 Jul 2020

28 Jul 2020

24 Jul 2020

Many institutions and world players have spearheaded initiatives that are pursuing a common goal: to emerge from the coronavirus crisis with a sustainable and green recovery. Manifestos, letters, commitments, institutional statements, and calls to action have proliferated as the impacts of the crisis have worsened. Many of these initiatives are supported by the European Union; its leaders have approved a historic agreement to address the deep recession caused by COVID-19. It’s the era of green partnerships, and BBVA is an active participant.

20 Jul 2020

15 Jul 2020

The uncertainty triggered by COVID-19 has led to a rise in cyberattacks against individuals in Spain. BBVA has therefore hosted several webinars in recent months to offer practical advice to customers and non-customers and thus alert the general public to the risk of fraud on the Internet. During these online events, involving members of the BBVA Cybersecurity team, including Roberto Ortiz, Global Head of Security Culture and Training at BBVA (People Information Security), speakers addressed the need to educate, inform and raise awareness of cyber attacks to protect the identity and finances of network users.

06 Jul 2020

01 Jul 2020

29 Jun 2020

In June, BBVA’s Group executive chairman held a round of meetings with the bank’s teams in Spain, Mexico, the U.S. and Turkey. At the meetings he went over the situation in each country and shared future challenges. “The pandemic will serve to accelerate our strategic prioritiesdigitization, data and sustainability – as well as the search for new ways of working,” he explained.

25 Jun 2020

BBVA’s digital development strategy of the past several years is now strongly supporting the digital management of customers’ finances. The implementation of agile work methodologies, DevOps practices—coordination across different teams throughout software development—and a global perspective were key for digital solutions to provide value and become scalable among business units and countries. Thanks to BBVA’s commitment to technology and new ways of working, the bank was able to guarantee service quality, adapt its way of working—with 90% of employees working from home—and, at the same time, enhance its response capacity.

24 Jun 2020

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The future will never look the same. If one were to scour news articles and studies around the current health situation, one will find that a good portion of medical experts will convey this concept. It’s difficult to say what the future will look like in multiple facets of society, but it’s safe to say that the ripple effects will be prominent, at least in the beginning.

23 Jun 2020

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Over the past few months, the whole world is making an extra effort amidst the sanitary and economic crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Banking is an essential service and as such it has a key role in economic activity. Peru was no exception, and BBVA continued to serve its customers and clients with all their financial needs.

18 Jun 2020

BBVA’s executive chairman joined CEO Onur Genç at the bank’s headquarters in Madrid to participate in an employee meeting where they reviewed lessons learned from the crisis and how the bank’s strategic priorities have proven their resilience in the face of the recent challenge. Carlos Torres Vila believes that, in the current context, BBVA’s purpose, strategy and values “are more relevant than ever.” Together with Ricardo Forcano, global head of Engineering and Organization, and Carlos Casas, head of Talent & Culture shared further details about the bank’s plans for Spain and Turkey where the pandemic statistics favor a return to the workplace.

15 Jun 2020

BBVA’s Group executive chairman underscored the urgency of reactivating the economy to prevent damage that could be irreversible – something we should do standing “united and with consensus.” At an event organized by the Spanish Federation of Businesses (CEOE), Carlos Torres Vila indicated that “private investment is crucial to a digital, data-based, social and sustainable future.”

12 Jun 2020

According to last week’s data on credit and debit card spending, consumption has recovered in regions where pandemic restrictions have been lifted. This improvement is observed in the U.S., Turkey and Spain, and in recent days in Latin America. In Spain, increased spending has been seen in those regions that first moved into phase two of the country’s reopening. BBVA Research points out that there was also an increase in ATM cash withdrawals.

11 Jun 2020

Francisco Herrera, Computer Science Professor at the University of Granada, is leading research that aims to diagnose COVID-19 in less than a second using chest x-rays. The project, which is in advanced stages, uses artificial intelligence as a tool to interpret biomedical images more effectively than the human brain. This technique would greatly help health clinics that do not have sophisticated diagnostic imaging systems.

10 Jun 2020

How does BBVA manage the evolution of the pandemic across its footprint? After monitoring the news report began emerging earlier this year about a new virus, on March 9, the bank’s Corporate Continuity Committee decided to create a global war room, led by Ricardo Forcano and Carlos Casas, the heads of Engineering & Organization and Talent & Culture, respectively. War room is a military term that is increasingly used in the business world to describe a group of people who are totally dedicated to tackling a crisis, to make timely and agile decisions.

09 Jun 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the financial industry and consumers have been well-chronicled in traditional and social media alike. Banking may never be the same moving forward, in many different ways. That could also include an expedited disappearance of cash, a mode of payment that was already on the decline. 

The relaxation of pandemic restrictions has given consumption a boost in those Spanish regions that first moved into phase two of the country’s reopening. BBVA Research’s weekly analysis measuring debit and credit card spend reveals that for regions remaining in phase one, previous consumption improvements (coming out of the transition from phase zero to one) stalled, with declines last week of May standing firmly at between 10 and 15 percent.

08 Jun 2020

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The COVID-19 healthcare crisis has changed all of our lives, both personally and professionally. The situation in the financial markets has not been easy; it has required new ways of doing things and has forced us to rapidly adapt to a context where both client demand and the type of products they need has changed. Many corporate clients have needed liquidity and have looked to banks to take exceptional steps to help their businesses weather the crisis. BBVA has been there for our clients the whole time. In a new installment from the series ‘The Essentials of BBVA,’ Cristina, Sandra, and Maria tell us about their experiences during the crisis, what kind of support they have provided their clients, and how they have faced the unique challenges of this situation.

During the coronavirus crisis, digital functionality has been critical for keeping the financial system up-and-running and facilitating quality customer care under extraordinary circumstances, even while the pandemic dictated minimal physical contact. This represents a sign of success for the sector’s digitization efforts and should also serve to make further regulatory progress.  So concluded a virtual meeting dedicated to Europe’s future digital finance strategy, ‘Digital Finance Outreach,’ organized by the European Commission in collaboration with Spain’s Treasury Department.

04 Jun 2020

03 Jun 2020

Ricardo Forcano, the Global Head of Engineering and Organization at BBVA, participated in a digital meeting organized by the Association for Managerial Progress (APD) entitled ‘Innovation and culture for organizational growth’.  During the event, the director explained how the current situation can serve as an impetus to redesign work methods in organizations. He also explained that BBVA is using collective intelligence and data to face the current crisis.

02 Jun 2020

29 May 2020

BBVA’s CEO sat down with Turkish news agency Anadolu to discuss the current scenario facing Turkey’s economy and banking system. Onur Genç expressed his optimism regarding Turkey’s progress at the economic level and considers that banks are in good shape to face this crisis. Digitization, in his opinion, will be key for banks in the current scenario. In this sense, he cited Garanti BBVA as an example of a digital leader, with almost nine million digital customers, eight million of whom are mobile.

Collaboration between banks and financial technology startups could be key for finding solutions in the new environment that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about. The digital event ‘BBVA Open Talks Global: Fintech Post-Covid’ included how the innovation ecosystem is reacting in the various countries where BBVA is present. Where Spain is concerned, innovation has accelerated and there are already tech solutions on the table to build a post-pandemic future.

28 May 2020

BBVA’s emblematic headquarters building in Madrid will be lit with a black ribbon for the 10 day mourning period decreed by the Spanish government, which began yesterday. The bank, which has devoted its efforts to help combat the health emergency, is therefore joining the tribute to the victims of the disease.

27 May 2020

BBVA placed a €1 billion  inaugural COVID-19 social bond on the market today, making it the first private financial institution in Europe to do so. Demand was close to €5 billion, nearly five times more than the initial offer. The funds will be primarily allocated to mitigating the severe economic and social impact caused directly and indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The interest rate was set at 112 basis points over mid-swap, 33 basis points below the initial target price (145 bps over mid-swap).

26 May 2020

Essential remote working has forced a change to on-site employee training plans. BBVA had already espoused a culture of online learning before the pandemic, offering its staff a comprehensive digital training catalog via the Campus BBVA platform. The platform has been refreshed to adapt to employee needs during the weeks of confinement. Employee response has been positive: traffic to the training portal shot up 96 percent with more than two million sessions during the first month of lockdown. A review of the most consumed topics reveals employees’ growing interest in developing new competencies (data, design, sustainability), which are priority for BBVA and and even more apropos given the new reality that awaits.

Joaquín Dopazo is leading a project that uses a machine learning algorithm to identify proteins involved in the illness and cross match this information with a database of drugs used to treat other conditions. “We checked if some of the proteins detected are therapeutic targets of other medications approved for other uses, and we concluded that these treatments could act on the mechanisms that COVID-19 uses to cause harm,” says the researcher, who in 2018 won a BBVA Foundation team grant in the Big Data category.

Fewer mobility restrictions are beginning to bear fruit and some countries are starting to show signs of recovery, although at different speeds. The U.S. Sunbelt and Turkey are leading the way. In Spain, lifting the lockdown restrictions in different phases is leading to unequal recovery among the regions. These are the main conclusions of a weekly study that analyzes the dynamics of expenditures in the countries where BBVA operates during the COVID 19 pandemic.

21 May 2020

20 May 2020

The coronavirus crisis may lead to a series of changes forcing many companies to rethink their business models. Startups frequently depend on funding, and some may be critically impacted. Still, others may find themselves in a stronger position thanks to their capacity to adapt to the changing landscape or because they provide digital services that have proven invaluable. Could the coronavirus crisis set the stage for the next big startup?

19 May 2020

18 May 2020

Laura Lechuga, research professor at Spain’s National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and group leader in the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), is heading up the ambitious CoNVaT project. CoNVat aims to produce a rapid, inexpensive, and highly sensitive test for diagnosing COVID-19 from the first day of infection. “It won’t only indicate if the virus is present or not, but it will also reveal its concentration. This is important because it gives an idea about how  advanced the infection is,” she explains. The new test should be ready in less than a year, in time for future waves of the pandemic.

15 May 2020

What does a company bring to society? What role does it play? Why does a brand exist? These questions can be answered in many ways, each answer hinting at the company’s “what for”, the reason that drives it and defines how it engages with society, its purpose.

14 May 2020

In an interview published by the financial newspaper Expansión, BBVA’s CEO explains what the coronavirus crisis has been like for him, and how the bank has adapted its operations to continue providing customers the same service. “It is very rewarding to see how our teams have adjusted to the challenges posed by this scenario,” he said. Onur Genç thinks the crisis is going to have a major impact on the economy and businesses, and that now is the time  “when we – the banks – need to stand by our customers more than ever before, and be part of the solution to this crisis.”

A BBVA Research study leverages big data technology to monitor worldwide media treatment of COVID-19. Analyzing more than 80,000 online news publications in more than 100 languages, the study concludes that both the extent of news coverage and its sentiment provides valuable information about the pandemic’s development and the degree to which it impacts the economy and politics. Furthermore, a correlation between increased number of infections and ‘media stress’ has been observed.

13 May 2020

The ‘RRSSalud’ project is researching the dynamics and types of fake news regarding coronavirus on social networks, thus helping to alleviate the negative effects of this health crisis. Coordinated by the researcher Ramón Salaverría, the initiative is part of the BBVA Foundation’s 2019 program to assist scientific research teams in economics and digital society. One of the first conclusions of the study has determined that one-third of current fake news stories refer to the health crisis contain health or scientific content.

12 May 2020

It’s technically complicated, but yes, if the webcam user doesn’t follow some security precautions, it is possible. Furthermore, exploiting the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increase in teleworking, online classes, and all kinds of virtual meet-ups, cyber criminals are looking to profit by stepping up their attacks. Find out how to prevent others from unauthorized access to your web camera or videoconferences.

11 May 2020

Between last week and this week, the bank will reopen an additional 250 branches, to coincide with Spain’s careful easing of confinement restrictions. BBVA has also initiated the gradual return to work for those employees who fulfill critical business functions. The health of the bank’s customers and staff is the fundamental factor guiding this process. In the next few days, 200 employees and external contractors will return to their posts in central services, and 1,300 staff will return to branch offices throughout Spain.

In many ways, the coronavirus crisis marks a turning point in human behavior. One of the lessons this pandemic is teaching us is the essential need to change the way we interact with nature. “We will open the door to new pandemics if we continue maintaining a toxic relationship with nature,” states the ecologist Pedro Jordano. For the secretary of the jury for the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge in Ecology and Conservation Biology, biodiversity “works like a shock absorber”. If it is altered, “it leads to all kinds of problems,” like the spread of COVID-19.

07 May 2020

The arrival of COVID has forced many companies to figure out new ways of working, and to accepting the idea of allowing, where feasible, employees to work from home. These new alternative work arrangements may yield substantial sustainability, cost saving and productivity benefits, but also expose of corporate confidential information to new threats. In this context, adopting increased security habits becomes more important than ever.

06 May 2020

Many people are taking advantage of their time in quarantine to brush up on their knowledge, and massive online open courses (MOOCs) provide a good alternative. In this article, we describe the major platforms for online education and what they have on offer, both for professional development as well as purely for the fun of learning.

05 May 2020

Nearly two months after Spain declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus crisis, the population has slowly begun to adapt to the lifting of some lockdown restrictions amid lots of questions and fear of a new outbreak. In an initiative promoted by the BBVA Foundation, Dr. Jordi Vila, the Head of Microbiology Services at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, gave a videoconference for BBVA employees to answer some of these questions. Among his responses regarding how to return to work in a safe manner, he indicated that “massive testing would be ideal, but it’s impossible from a logistical standpoint,” in his opinion.

BBVA has joined the manifiesto ‘Green Recovery. Reboot and reboost our economies for a sustainable future’, promoted by the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Pascal Canfin. This alliance defends a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and is comprised of politicians, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and unions, among others. “In order to tackle the challenge of a quick recovery, we should start with a more sustainable development model,” said BBVA Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila.

30 Apr 2020

Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Group executive chairman and Onur Genç, BBVA CEO, presented the results for the first quarter of 2020 at an online press conference from their homes. Carlos Torres Vila stressed that now, “The most important thing is to look ahead and return to activity” to foster the economic recovery. This reopening should prioritize health, but “reactivate our productive network and employment.” In this sense, “everyone’s collaboration – governments, the private sector and society in general – will be fundamental to overcoming this crisis.” A recession that he predicts will last “for a limited time”.

Garanti BBVA’s posted a net income of 1.68 billion Turkish lira for the first quarter of the year. The bank’s total amount of assets stood at 456.17 billion Turkish lira, 65% of which are funded through deposits. Deposits grew by 7% percent in the first quarter, reaching 295.92 billion Turkish lira. The bank also contributed a total of 346.58 billion Turkish lira to the economy through cash and non-cash loans. Garanti BBVA’s capital adequacy ratio was 16.6%, with a return on average equity (ROAE) of 12.4% and a return on average assets (ROAA) of 1.5%.

29 Apr 2020

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How does a bank manage to secure 2,813 ventilators just at the peak of global demand for priority health care supplies during the coronavirus pandemic? How is €19 million paid from Spain within one week, and what are the arrangements required to bring the first 1,013 ventilators from over 9,000 kilometers away over closed air space? This is the account of how urgently needed medical supplies were secured in the middle of a global pandemic, as told by some of the people who made it possible.

28 Apr 2020

Egon Zehnder, a global consulting firm, is holding a round of digital meetings with CEOs of banks around the world to hear about their strategies to navigate the COVID-19 crisis and their insights into unprecedented situation. During a meeting held on April 4, BBVA CEO Onur Genç detailed the Group’s priorities in the face of the health emergency caused by COVID-19: safeguarding customer and employee health and continuing to deliver its services and supporting customers.

27 Apr 2020

Children and young people are particularly susceptible to the risks of the Internet. These risks are even more pronounced as the coronavirus imposes social distancing, causing our children to spend more of their day online than normal. Here are some suggestions that will help keep children safe when they are on social media.

Maintaining financial health once the lockdown is over will be important for our savings goals and for having a financial cushion that makes it possible to handle any emergency, thus ensuring peace of mind with respect to financial matters. That’s why it’s a good idea to continue some of the habits that have become widespread during the lockdown, habits that have proven effective for saving money.

24 Apr 2020

Donations from BBVA employees around the world to fight coronavirus have reached one million euros. As part of its campaign ‘Your contribution is worth double’, BBVA has matched the amount donated by each employee, for a total of two million euros. The donation will be used to purchase healthcare materials, to support vulnerable communities across the bank’s footprint, and to research a cure for the disease. At the outset of the crisis, BBVA announced that it would contribute 35 million euros to fight the pandemic. This figure includes the bank’s one million euro contribution to the campaign in solidarity against COVID-19.

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of COVID-19 and the new reality it has imposed: telecommuting hitting peak levels and huge amounts of information — and misinformation — circulating the Internet. Scammers are ramping up their activities as they try to maximize ill-gotten gains. We explain how these organized groups work, what attacks are the most common, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

23 Apr 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered our habits. Bars, restaurants, and entertainment spots have temporarily closed down and are being forced to consider how they might have to restructure in response to a new, post-pandemic world. “Seeing an empty restaurant is a bit sad: such a vital space, normally with so much energy and young people from all over the world working, but we want to be optimistic,” says chef Joan Roca, owner of El Celler de Can Roca, one of Spain’s most celebrated gastronomic venues. The hospitality industry is facing a considerable challenge, and insight from industry leaders like the Roca brothers can shed some light on what we might expect from restaurants in a post-COVID-19 reality.

22 Apr 2020

More than 700 people have responded to BBVA Next Technology’s invitation to participate in Tech4Change. The initiative is grounded in a spirit of solidarity and seeks collaborators who want to contribute to the development of two technological solutions, both of which have been conceived by BBVA employees with the goal of helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis. Over the coming weeks, the assembled teams will work together on two solutions: a platform that allows small businesses to manage orders from home and an application that cuts down on customer traffic in establishments that provide essential goods or services.

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The COVID-19 health crisis is bringing out the best of society. The solidarity and efforts of the workers the country needs at their regular places of work – known as essential workers – also represent a significant boost toward stopping the epidemic, and help make this quarantine easier to handle. One of the essential sectors for the economy is the financial sector. This new series on BBVA’s corporate website starts off with testimonies from Henar, Sergio and Nuria, employees at the bank’s network of branches in Spain.