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Finance

Finance

picture ofperson writing on a computer BBVA

In 2015, the European Parliament passed the new digital payment services directive, more commonly known as PSD2. The directive laid the groundwork for the emergence of the open banking concept: a solution to allow contextualized access to banking services, wherever and whenever needed. The regulatory framework set forth by PSD2 has driven a true transformation of the financial sector itself and changed how financial services are viewed.

BBVA’s Quantitative Investment Strategies business, geared toward institutional investors, has completed its first family of indexes specialized in sustainability. In addition to the  indexes that were previously announced, two more are joining the family: ‘Solactive BBVA ixS Global Inclusive Growth’ and ‘Solactive BBVA ixG Global Governance & Board Diversity’. These indexes make it possible to invest in high growth global companies that are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in leading global companies in corporate governance, respectively.

Global Finance recognized BBVA as the world’s best investment bank for sustainable finance at the latest edition of its awards ‘Best Investment Bank Awards 2021’. A global recognition that joins the bank’s other awards for the best equity bank in Western Europe and the best investment bank in Argentina, Spain and Turkey.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) filed on February 26, 2021 with the Securities and Exchange Commission BBVA´s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2020.The Annual Report can be found on BBVA’s Investor Relations websitehttp://shareholdersandinvestors.bbva.com in the section dedicated to Financial information 2020.

BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila and CEO Onur Genç will not collect their variable remuneration for 2020 as a gesture of responsibility in a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, as detailed in the annual remuneration report for BBVA directors. The decision is also a sign of their commitment to their customers, shareholders, employees and society as a whole. Additionally, the bank has updated its remuneration policy for the next three years (2021, 2022 and 2023), which will be presented for approval at the Annual General Meeting.

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The telecommunications company Orange has become the first operator in Spain to incorporate Bizum into its means of payment. BBVA was the institution that provided the contractual and technological framework to make this possible. As of this week, all Orange customers of the Orange, Jazztel and Amena brands, regardless of their banks, will be able to carry out certain transactions with this payment method that´s faster than a card and that complies with PSD2 requirements.

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.