Innovate or Die.
It has become a common refrain over the past decade or so for banks when it comes to technology, particularly when faced with fintechs wishing to disrupt what has traditionally been part of banking’s value chain. But in the U.S.,the challenges associated with innovation come not only from fintechs but also from the relatively glacial pace of regulatory change.
13 Oct 2018
José Manuel González-Páramo on Saturday took part in the annual meeting of the Institute for International Finance (IIF) in Bali held in parallel with the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. He called for a regulatory framework that treats all market participants equally by establishing a level playing field: “Activities with the same risks should receive the same regulatory treatment” without unnecessary barriers to competition, he said.
25 Sep 2018
The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) has been scrutinizing EU banks’ business and profitability models since 2016. Among the findings of the review, published in a report, the supervisor shines the spotlight on the factors that undermine bank profitability, as well as the levers that can help boost it, including digitization. However, the report argues that offering digital products is not enough. Banks need to prepare their platforms to migrate from the analogue to the digital world.
03 Sep 2018
More than six months have passed since the initial deadline for compliance with the EU’s PSD2, designed to increase openness, convenience, and competition in consumer banking. There has been criticism that the foretold open banking revolution has been slow to get off the ground. But is that fair? What has been achieved so far, is open banking on course, and what does the future hold?
17 Aug 2018
The European Commission enters the final stretch of its mandate. The commissioners who took office in 2014 will leave their posts after the next European elections (in May 2019). Before the current members of the Commission and the European Parliament are replaced, both institutions will conclude negotiations and approval of some of the EU’s priority measures.
16 Aug 2018
EBITDA, or Earnings Before Interests, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization, is an accounting measure that shows the gross income before financial expenses are deducted, and which allows financial analysts to assess the behavior and financial standing of companies.
13 Aug 2018
In a context marked by a loss of confidence in digital companies such as Facebook because of their handling of data who can users trust their information with? A report by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) studies the role of banks in this new scenario and goes over their strategies, their strengths and their commitment to protecting the data of their customers.
03 Aug 2018
Spain has just become one of the few countries in the European Union with a concrete proposal for launching a regulatory sandbox. The goal? To create a space for experimentation, temporarily unencumbered by regulatory measures, to promote innovation in the financial sector. In doing so, Spain thus has stolen a march on other countries in this area, with a proposed law that appeals to both the traditional financial industry and new fintech startups. Álvaro Martín, Chief Economist for Digital Regulation and Trends at BBVA Research helps us understand how it will function and if it benefits the consumer.
11 Jul 2018
Europe included cybersecurity as one of its priorities in the European Council meeting in June. Some 69 percent of European companies lack basic knowledge about their exposure to cyberattacks despite 80 percent of them having suffered some type of cyber-incident in the past year. With this in mind, the European Parliamentary Financial Service Forum (EPFSF) organized in the European Parliament a session for cybersecurity experts to suggest ideas to face the risks in the internet.
03 Jul 2018
After the bare minimum agreement on the banking union achieved at the recently held European Council, the debate about the future of Europe continues unabated. With this agreement still fresh, the Bank of Finland invited scholars, representatives of the financial sector and regulators talk about the future of the Old Continent. The experts gathered in Helsinki called for advancing towards a greater banking and capital markets union. The next date in the calendar: The European Council meeting in December.
07 Jun 2018
The new accounting regulation IFRS 9 aims to buttress financial stability against future crises. It obliges financial institutions to more faithfully reflect credit risk and calculate provisions for insolvencies following an expected loss model (versus the previous “incurred loss” model). For a majority of financial institutions, this has resulted in an increase in provisions and the subsequent impact on capital.
25 May 2018
In the future, artificial intelligence will, among many other things, allow to develop helpful customer products for unbanked segments of the population. “Artificial intelligence and financial technologies create opportunities for the democratization of finance,” said Álvaro Martín, Head Economist of Digital Regulation and Trends at BBVA Research, during the meeting of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), held in Brussels. In his opinion, “artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing will boost financial inclusion”.
23 May 2018
BBVA considers that it is currently in compliance with the MREL requirement, which today was notified by the Bank of Spain. BBVA also considers the possibility of refinancing the future maturities of senior debt and covered bonds (€6.5 billion through 2020) issuing MREL eligible liabilities. This issuance volume is very manageable.
José Manuel González-Páramo took part in a panel discussion on the future global financial regulation at the spring meeting of the IIF (Institute for International Finance) in Brussels. In his opinion, the new regulatory framework should be based on five pillars: 1) focus on risks and activities rather than institutions themselves, 2) have an holistic approach, 3) be transversal and coordinated, 4) be flexible y 5) have a skeptical approach to technology with regulators focusing not on technology itself but on its use and effects.
22 May 2018
The European Commission has initiated a review process of the three European Supervisory Authorities (the European Banking Authority, European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority), known as the ESAs. BBVA took part in a forum in Brussels that debated the present and future of these organizations, together with regulatory authorities and representatives of the financial industry.
14 May 2018
In Europe, 2018 has been off to a busy start in terms of regulation, with major changes that affect a broad range of industries, including the financial sector. First, in January, the second payments services directive came into force, while the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will kick into force in May 25. Although the connection between both regulatory initiatives may not be evident, they pursue common goals: To allow citizens to control their personal data and increase security.
08 May 2018
The ECB has published a guide in which it explains the unique fintech characteristics it considers when granting licenses.
04 May 2018
A little more than two years after its approval by the European Parliament, the new European Regulation on Data Protection or GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will go into effect on May 25, 2018. It is not just another regulatory change: it is the most important change to European data regulation in 20 years and involves new rights for consumers, such as the right to be forgotten and the right to data portability. It also strengthens the concept of consent.
23 Apr 2018
Recently Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, stated that he was going to subject his company to the standards of the new European data protection regulation that will be in force from May 25th, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) But, what impact will this legislation have on a technology company like Facebook? And on others?
16 Apr 2018
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new EU-wide law that will strengthen the data and privacy rights of EU citizens once it becomes effective on May 25, 2018. As a novelty, the GDPR introduces the right to portability of personal data, which will allow a customer to share the personal data which he/she has provided to a company with other companies with which he/she engages.
13 Apr 2018
Ten years after the crisis broke, has financial stability improved? In the opinion of Ricardo Gómez Barredo, Head of Accounting & Supervisors at BBVA, “clearly, we have come a long way,” but adds “regulation will have to continue to adapt itself to the new demands to ensure a level playing field for everyone”.
20 Mar 2018
The European Union has published its action plan for the promotion of the financial sector’s digital transformation. The plan includes the creation of an EU fintech laboratory to foster dialog between private and public sectors, the identification of best practices for regulatory sandboxes, and the creation of measures to facilitate the adoption of innovative technologies by the sector.
07 Mar 2018
We are reaching the point when the financial system regulation principally dedicated to correcting the shortcomings of the crisis is reaching its end. The approval of Basel III is “good news” and now is the time to implement reforms and make way for economic growth. This is one of the observations of María Abascal, BBVA’s Director of Institutional Relations, in the ‘Women in Finance’ forum.
05 Mar 2018
Top global banking regulators have shared their insights into the potential impact of fintech on the financial industry. A report by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision analyzes how fintech can impact the banks and supervisors. This is something that, at least in the short term, may have been overstated. “Despite the significant number of financial products and services derived from fintech innovations, volumes are currently still low relative to the size of the global financial services sector,” says the report.
02 Mar 2018
28 Feb 2018
BBVA has presented the case of its digital transformation at the 13th Asia-Pacific High Level Meeting on Banking, held in Singapore. José Manuel González-Páramo explained BBVA’s digital business model to representatives of Asia’s most important central banks and financial institutions. He also discussed some of the regulatory challenges the region is facing, noting the need for international coordination on digital regulation in the financial sector.
Digital identity is the online version of an individual’s physical identity. It consists of all of the individual´s personal data that is available online —not just an email or physical address, but also pictures, banking info, shopping preferences. This identity is not uniform, as we share different attributes in different platforms. In other words, we don’t share the same type of information on LinkedIn and Facebook, for example.
22 Feb 2018
Brussels attempts to organize member initiatives through the creation of the Blockchain Observatory—a technology the EU has invested in since 2013 through its Research and Development programs.
21 Feb 2018
Since it was launched in 2016, the FCA’s regulatory sandbox has supported 60 firms to test their innovation with real customers in the live market under controlled conditions. Now, it is assessing different options to scale up the model at global level to solve the challenges of operating internationally in the fintech market.
07 Feb 2018
BBVA took part in the first seminar organized by the Institute of Compliance Officers (IOC). Executives of Spanish multinationals addressed the main challenges facing the profession in applying current regulations within a company. They underscored the fundamental role of the compliance officer in companies committed to transparency and good corporate governance.
06 Feb 2018
PSD2 and GDPR are no longer strange-sounding terms. After digital regulation caught the attention of supervisors and financial regulators in Europe during 2017, it doesn’t look like 2018 will be any different, according to the Financial Regulation Outlook report from BBVA Research.
As BBVA Research points out, the digitization of finances offers opportunities and challenges not only to financial service providers and customers, but also to regulators and supervisors. Therefore, the “regulation and supervision frameworks need to evolve and adapt” to the new environment.
17 Jan 2018
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and APIs continue to dominate the forecasts of the leading experts in the fintech sector. However, there are some new caveats for 2018, due to regulatory pressure. As the digitization of financial services gathers force, BBVA stands among the banks that have invested most in their digital transformation.
03 Jan 2018
In December, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) announced the finalization of the review process of the Basel III framework, which will allow banks to better withstand financial crises. The new standards, which will enter into force in January 2022, should help clarify and bring more stability to the global regulatory framework.
20 Dec 2017
What is the future of fintech? A group of experts recently met in the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum (EPFSF) to discuss the European Fintech Action Plan. The meeting brought together about 60 representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission, consumer groups and the financial industry. BBVA was represented by Alvaro Martín, Head Economist for Digital Regulation at BBVA Research.
The debate revolved around the following questions:
13 Dec 2017
Customer experience, the new business models and investment in social commitment are the three opportunities for the banking industry, as it seeks to maintain a relevant role in society. “Investing in social sustainability is part of the banking industry’s responsibility,” said José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Executive Director and Head of Economy, Regulation and Institutional Relations, during the event entitled XIII Banking Industry Meeting organized by IESE (13th Meeting of the Banking Sector, organized by IESE) in Madrid.
BBVA Group Chief Risk Officer (CRO) Rafael Salinas analyzed the challenges of digital transformation and the rapid evolution of technological developments in risk management at the event entitled ‘CRO Forum, Rethinking Risk Management’ organized in Amsterdam by RiskMinds International.
04 Dec 2017
Regulators and supervisors are facing an enormous challenge: how to deal with digital innovation in banking. According to BBVA’s Head of Regulation, José Manuel González-Páramo, the three main short-term challenges are establishing a level playing field, creating regulatory sandboxes and guaranteeing cybersecurity.
27 Nov 2017
One of the biggest financial stories of 2018 will be the entry into force of the European Union’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). For customers, the measure will mean faster, simpler and more secure digital payments. And for banks and the fintech ecosystem, it presents a great opportunity.
23 Nov 2017
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has just published the list of Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs) for 2017. The number of institutions remains the same, but with three significant changes. Systemic banks have a major impact on the economy, but what makes them different from the rest?
22 Nov 2017
Banks and fintechs should compete on the same playing field, and this poses a great challenge to financial supervision and regulation. Santiago Fernández de Lis, Chief Economist, Financial Systems and Regulation at BBVA Research, in a recent report entitled Fintech: Key Regulatory Challenges reviews the regulatory priorities posed by the digital disruption of financial services. In his opinion, the focus of policy for regulating fintech companies should be to build “a level playing field for all providers to properly address the risks and guarantee fair competition.”
13 Nov 2017
The European Commission (EC) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) have published their work plans for 2018. The documents describe the specific activities and tasks the organizations plan to carry out next year. Both proposals place increasing importance on the fintech sector, since it could bring about a radical change the financial industry.
10 Nov 2017
07 Nov 2017
The finance industry will survive the disruption in the sector, but only a few banks will be able to offer the best customer experience, adapt to the new ecosystem and successfully achieve their digital transformation. “Competition with the fintech companies makes us better and stronger,” said José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Executive Member of the Board, Head of Global Economics, Regulation and Public Affairs, during the European Central Bank´s Forum on Banking Supervision.
06 Nov 2017
The European Commission has withdrawn its proposal for Banking Structural Reform. Although originally considered fundamental for the sector, its principal objectives have already been addressed by other measures. How should this news be taken? In a recent note, BBVA Research considers this withdrawal —after four years without much progress— to be positive, since it supposes greater regulatory certainty for banks. The BBVA Research note also underscores the negotiation of two large regulatory packages: i) the revision of the prudential banking and resolution framework for European credit institutions and ii) the finalization of the Basil III framework.
25 Oct 2017
BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González, and the Chairman of the CAF -Latin American Development Bank-, Luis Carranza, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that strengthens their ties in Latin America and formalizes the existing institutional relationship the two organizations have shared for many years.
24 Oct 2017
For the banking industry, the digital revolution has brought new technologies and new types of customers and competitors. But it has also created a new set of ethical responsibilities regarding cybersecurity and the use of data. José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Executive Director, talked about those ethics, and the opportunities and challenges of digitization, during a speech at the Atrium of the Gentiles, a cultural dialogue organized by the engineering school ICADE and the Ecumenical Social Forum of Madrid. He said these ethics will require acting from a triple perspective: educational, business and regulatory
23 Oct 2017
BBVA Executive Director José Manuel González-Páramo believes the success or failure of a bank in the age of digital disruption involves a combination of internal factors, such as changing the corporate culture, and external factors, like regulation. Speaking at an event organized by the U.S.-Spain Council – where participants analyzed the impact of digital disruption on both sides of the Atlantic – BBVA’s Executive Director recalled that the banking industry is today in the process of reinventing itself.
20 Oct 2017
BBVA Research has analyzed the potential regulatory scenarios that the financial industry will be facing in the next 5 to 10 years. In its Financial Regulation Outlook report, BBVA Research analysts address some of the questions being asked in Europe over the course and pace that regulators will choose in the medium and long term.