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Francisco González at Davos: "This year, 50% of our clients will be digital"

BBVA Group Executive Chairman Francisco González said that this year “50% of our customer base will be accessing us through digital channels.” Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Francisco González also gave his views on the current economic and political situation, the finance industry and the digital transformation of the BBVA Group.

In an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE, the BBVA Chairman shone the spotlight on the Group’s digital transformation efforts. “Well, the bank right now is at an excellent point in time,” he said. “This year, 50% of our customer base will be accessing us through digital channels. This means that they will have access to many more products, will have more of a relationship with the bank, and that they will be much more satisfied. Therefore, we’re leading this movement worldwide and we’re already reaching cruising speed. We’re very happy,” he said.

Regarding Spain’s political and economic situation, Francisco González noted that “The perception of Spain is positive. It has been, and still is, a reference.” The BBVA Chairman underscored how “Spain, in recent years, has grown more than the rest of Europe and has done a very good job, from an economic standpoint, and is going to keep growing faster than Europe.”

As for Catalonia, he explained that it has caused “quite a stir. It was embarking on an impossible journey, promising impossible things and the State, logically, has reacted within the law, within the Constitution, and now the situation is very, very clear. Nobody believes that Catalonia will be independent. Here, everybody knows that the Rule of Law works,” he said.

Employment figures

Speaking about the latest Spanish employment figures, Francisco González said that “500,000 new jobs is a very good number. Unemployment dropped by 2 percentage points.” However, the BBVA Chairman believes that “we have to remain vigilant, because we still have a lot of work to do, we need more reforms, and we need to, somehow, reduce short-term temporary employment.”

Focusing on the global situation, and asked about whether regulations are ready to assimilate the huge shift that’s coming to the financial industry, Francisco González answered that “probably not, because we’re creating a new world order.” As the BBVA Chairman explained, we’re in the fourth industrial revolution and many things are being created. “Many things are going to be different. And to make the most of new technologies, we need to have adequate regulations in place to make the most of everything, in everybody’s interest. And that probably means a regulation, which I call regulation 2.0, that works, keeping an eye out for the interests of consumers, systemic risks, financial stability and, logically, one that encourages innovation.”

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM, WEF, WIRTSCHAFTSTREFFEN, 48. WELTWIRTSCHAFTSTREFFEN, WELTWIRTSCHAFTSFORUM, FORUM DAVOS, VORBEREITUNG,

BBVA’s Group Executive Chairman Francisco González.

Labor Force Survey

Speaking about the latest Spanish employment figures, Francisco González said that “500,000 new jobs is a very good number. Unemployment dropped by 2 percentage points.” However, the BBVA Chairman believes that “we have to remain vigilant, because we still have a lot of work to do, we need more reforms, and we need to, somehow, reduce short-term temporary employment.”

Focusing on the global situation, and asked about whether regulations are ready to assimilate the huge shift that’s coming to the financial industry, Francisco González answered that “probably not, because we’re creating a new world order.” As the BBVA Chairman explained, we’re in the fourth industrial revolution and many things are being created. “Many things are going to be different. And to make the most of new technologies, we need to have adequate regulations in place to make the most of everything, in everybody’s interest. And that probably means a regulation, which I call regulation 2.0, that works, keeping an eye out for the interests of consumers, systemic risks, financial stability and, logically, one that encourages innovation.

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