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Finance

Finance

This week marks yet another milestone for BBVA in green financing in Europe. SSE, the largest producer of renewable energy in the UK, chose BBVA to act as green structuring bank and joint bookrunner on its inaugural EUR 600 million green bond. This is the biggest-ever green bond issued by a UK company, and the financing will be destined to the refinancing of onshore wind farms in SSE’s energy generation portfolio.

Each time I pull out my debit card to make a purchase, I’m hit with a minor - but not inconsequential - question. A cashier or the point of sale machine at the counter where I’ve swiped or inserted my card asks that all-too-familiar inquiry: Debit or credit?

Typically, my default choice is debit, but not for any good or informed reason. I’m paying with a debit card, so the obvious choice is debit, right? But then, why am I given an option in the first place? Does it really matter which button I hit or what option I choose? To help answer these questions, I talked to BBVA Compass Director of Merchant Acquiring Adam Spencer.

BBVA has issued €1.5 billion at 5 years, at fixed interest. It is its first issue of senior non-preferred debt, a new category of liability with the capacity to absorb losses, that allows financial institutions in the European Union to comply with MREL requirements. The issue has been a success, with demand of around €5 billion, allowing it to close with the lowest price in Europe at this maturity, 70 basis points above the mid-swap rate, and a coupon of 0.75%.

On March 25, 1957, representatives from the six founding countries of the European Community put their signatures to the Treaties of Rome, consisting of blank pages due to a problem with the printing. Sixty years on, Europe "is an enormous success", but today it also has "blank pages still to be filled in" for the project to continue with its process of completion. This was the metaphor used by Jose Manuel González-Páramo, the CEO of BBVA, to describe the current situation of the EU.

'Regtech' is a buzzword in the banking world.  'Reg' stands for regulation and 'tech' for technology.  So, it is easy to imagine what the purpose of regtech is:  developing technologies that help banks comply with regulation in a more agile and efficient way.

Much has already been written about the use of digital tools to create new products and services in banking.  However, there is less talk of another crucial use of technology in the financial sector:  Its application in improving regulatory compliance, addressing risks related to financial stability and integrity, and consumer data protection.  It is the so-called 'regtech'.

BBVA has participated in a public hearing in the European Parliament, organized by the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). The aim of the hearing was to allow stakeholders to share their insights into the directive’s insolvency proposal with the MEPs. BBVA was the only representative of the financial sector, a fact that attests to the bank’s relevance for EU institutions on these matters.

Once more this year, the symposium of the most important central bankers in the world was held in Jackson Hole from August 24 to 26. Under scrutiny were Janet Yellen, the Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. Their words gave no indications of any changes with respect to the future of monetary policy.