Carlos Torres Vila, Group Executive Chairman:
"Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing fine.
We are facing a global health crisis with a huge impact. That’s why before I continue, I would like to wish a quick recovery to all those who are sick at the moment, and share a special message of encouragement for those with relatives or friends who are affected. I would also like to send my condolences to all those suffering the loss of a loved one.
In this situation we all have to step up and make a difference, and that includes the corporate sector. Banks play a particularly relevant role; we are an important part of the solution.
At BBVA we knew this right from the beginning. That’s why we have committed to focus on what is most urgent, helping to save lives, with a global donation plan of more than €35 million, earmarked for the purchase of essential medical equipment, support for social groups at risk and for scientific research on the disease.
At the same time, we have focused on supporting our customers, offering individuals flexibility in their payments, and providing companies the liquidity they need to face this crisis.
We had a good example of this in the first quarter. Prior to the introduction of public guarantee initiatives, we increased loans to companies by €10 billion. This help is crucial to protecting the productive sector, preserving jobs and preparing for a strong recovery.
Furthermore our digital capabilities have allowed us to remain operational. They permit us to continue providing banking services, services that are essential to our clients, and which we can continue to provide thanks to the use of remote channels.
Now, what is most important is to look toward the future and work on a plan to return to normal, prioritizing people’s health, but also accelerating the lifting of restrictions when the circumstances allow it. The low rates of new infections and the increased capacity in hospitals in many regions give us hope that this could be soon.
As for results in the first three months of the year, we have posted a profit of €292 million excluding one-offs. This figure is very much impacted by front-loaded loan-loss provisions of more than €1.4 billion related to COVID-19.
Our operating income reached €3.57 billion, with a 14 percent growth yoy [Operating income +14 percent vs 1Q19]. The result stands at €1.26 billion, without one-offs and not taking into account the COVID-19 provisions - a 6.4 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2019.
The recurrence of our pre-provision profit, our solid capital position, our strong liquidity position, our diversified business model and our digital capabilities have all allowed us to face this crisis from a position of strength.
Let me conclude by sharing a message of hope with all of you. I am sure that, with effort, we will emerge from this crisis stronger, both as individuals and as a society".