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Finance

Finance

In a year marked by the pandemic, BBVA produced solid results thanks to its strong income and cost containment measures. The bank's results improved as the year progressed, mainly due to lower provisions in the second half of the year. “In 2020 we achieved excellent results in a year of great complexity. We have also announced a historic transaction for BBVA: the sale of our U.S. subsidiary. An operation that puts us in an unparalleled position of strength in the sector, allowing us to increase shareholder distributions,” said BBVA chairman Carlos Torres Vila.

Among the novelties in BBVA´s 2020 results presentation is its objective of repurchasing 10 percent of the shares once the sale of the subsidiary in the United States is completed with the capital generated by this operation. At the press conference, Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA Group´s Executive Chairman, stated that "we are saying loud and clear that we consider BBVA´s share the best investment we can make." In addition, he reviewed different strategic options that the bank was considering for investing that capital.

BBVA earned €1.32 billion between October and December, its highest quarterly result over the past two years. In 2020 BBVA helped three million clients affected by the pandemic, with about €63 billion in government-backed credit lines and loan deferrals. The sale of the U.S. subsidiary will provide some €8.5 billion in capital to grow in a profitable way across its footprint and increase shareholder distributions. BBVA will make a gross cash payment of €0.059 per share against 2020 earnings, and expects to resume its shareholder distribution policy in 2021 with a payout of 35-40 percent of profits. Additionally, the bank is targeting a buyback of about 10 percent of the Group’s shares, after the close of the sale of the U.S. franchise. All this subject to market conditions and the required approvals.

This year, the Davos Forum will be celebrating its most special and challenging edition, in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic. For this reason, the 51st edition of the World Economic Forum (World Economic Forum, WEF) will be held in two phases: An virtual one in January and another one, face-to-face, in August. The summit will convene politicians, businessmen and representatives of social and cultural organizations at a crucial time for the world, under the tagline 'The Great Reset'.

In 2020, BBVA took a step forward to protect its employees and support its customers and society as a whole, to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. In a year marked by the virus, the bank has launched initiatives across the world to alleviate the financial burden of those worst hit by the pandemic and provide funding for the economic recovery.

In an interview posted on BBVA’s corporate website, Carlos Torres Vila takes stock of 2020 and offers his vision for next year. The Chairman assures that, despite its complexity, "it has been a year of relevant strategic achievements” and “we face 2021 with an unparalleled position of strength to invest in growth and to increase shareholder distributions." In this sense, and after the recent sale of the franchise in the U.S. and the ECB decision on dividend payments, BBVA considers “a sizeable share buyback¹ as a very interesting option.”