BBVA has updated the Group's Tax Strategy, last published in 2015. The bank thereby addresses rising interest among analysts, investors and wider society in corporate decisions with an impact on environmental, social and good governance issues. The new strategy strengthens the governance, oversight and control structure by creating a specific tax compliance body and integrating ESG criteria in tax decision-making.
"For us, taxes are more than just a legal requirement or a line item on the income statement. They constitute one of BBVA's key contributions to social welfare," said José María Vallejo, BBVA Global Head of Tax.
BBVA is firmly committed to paying taxes. Its Tax Strategy underscores this commitment. "We've updated our Tax Strategy to spell out that we conduct an ESG analysis for all our tax
decisions, and to reinforce the certainty that taxes are paid properly in the jurisdictions where we create value," Vallejo added.
In addition to the principles of integrity, prudence and transparency in force since 2015, the BBVA Board of Directors decided to add three further principles in this update of the Group's Tax Strategy:
- Achieving a profitable and sustainable business over the long term, for which the support to the business areas from the tax function is critical.
- Including environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impacts in the tax area to enable true long-term value creation for all stakeholders.
- Compliance with current legislation, considering not only the letter of the law, but also its spirit. BBVA's displays a strong spirit of cooperation in its dealings with the tax authorities and in the clarification of the interpretation of tax rules.
In addition, the Group's revised Tax Strategy enhances the framework of tax governance, oversight and control. BBVA will now have a specific tax compliance body, composed of the Group's Global Head of Tax, the person responsible for the non-financial risks area and the person responsible for the Group’s internal financial control. The role of the new unit will be to step up monitoring, facilitate coordination and propose improvements in tax compliance and risk control.
Finally, it is important to stress the role of all employees as key players in the tax compliance model. En este sentido, BBVA's Code of Conduct reflects its tax policy, and existing reporting and whistle-blowing channels are made available in this area.
BBVA is always at the forefront of the most stringent tax standards
In 2012, BBVA was the first Ibex 35 company to release its Total Tax Contribution Report, as part of its commitment to tax transparency. In 2022, BBVA paid a record tax contribution of almost €11 billion comprising its own and third-party taxes, 33 percent more than in the previous year.
The bank took a further step forward in 2015 with the approval and publication of its first Group-wide Tax Strategy. This document placed BBVA at the forefront of the most stringent tax requirements, at a time when the OECD and the G20 were debating BEPS standards to fight against base erosion and profit shifting.
More than a year ago, BBVA became the first Spanish bank to achieve AENOR's tax compliance certification, awarded in accordance with the requirements of UNE 19 602, the most demanding international standard. The bank has been acknowledged on many occasions for its good tax practices.