In an interview with the Financial Times, BBVA Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila stressed that: “If we want to avoid a deeper economic impact that may be irreversible, measures should be compatible with controlling infection rates, [keeping] contagion at bay [while] reactivating the economy. The best way to reconstruct is not to destroy.”
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.
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).
BBVA, in partnership FinIQ, a market leading fintech company, is announcing the launch of BBVA epricer, a website for its equities and credit linked structured products. The website is designed to help professionals structure and obtain prices for equity and credit linked investment products that aim to either provide an enhanced yield or exposure to the underlying investment. In the current environment, where remote work has become the new normal, the website provides a digital channel for BBVA clients to request from the simplest to the most exotic investment proposals.
Social bonds, as debt instruments that enable project financing with a positive social impact, have been gaining traction among issuers in recent years. In 2019, these kinds of issuances outpaced previous volume records, and issuance activity of this type will undoubtedly be driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This is the view of analysts at BBVA Global Markets Research.
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.
Analysts praised BBVA’s foresight as the group booked €1.43 billion in provisions during the first quarter to cover the expected impact of COVID-19 on its business. The Group’s capital ratio was another one of the quarter's standouts. The reports published by analysts also focused on BBVA’s strong top-line growth and the soundness of the messages conveyed by the bank’s management, particularly in connection with its expectations regarding provisions and capital generation.
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”.
BBVA’s recurring revenues (net interest income and net fees and commissions) grew strongly during the first quarter and the operating income was the highest of the past ten years. Also, the attributable profit absorbed the provisions established to anticipate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. According to BBVA Group Executive Chairman Carlos Torres Vila, “the recurrence of our profits before provisions and our solid capital and liquidity position allow us to face the crisis from a position of strength and to front-load in this first quarter the provisions to hedge against the impact of the pandemic”.