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Francisco González: "The resilience of the Mexican economy is admirable"

BBVA Global Executive Chairman Francisco González was very positive about the future of Mexico during his visit to the country for the annual meeting of BBVA Bancomer’s regional Board members. “The resilience of the Mexican economy to the recent challenges it has faced is admirable,” he affirmed. “In terms of the rest of Latin America, I’m also optimistic. Populist movements are losing steam and economic and political rationality is moving ahead.”

During his speech at the meeting that brings together BBVA Bancomer’s regional Board members every year, Francisco González discussed the geopolitical and economic issues in the countries where BBVA operates and recent progress in the bank’s transformation. Regarding Mexico, BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman expressed his “full confidence” in the country. “We are committed to the present and future of Mexico. We began  20 years ago and we will continue working to finance the projects of Mexican families and businesses,” he said.

BBVA Global Executive Chairman Francisco González in the annual meeting of BBVA Bancomer’s regional Board members

“Mexico is a vibrant country that has enormous opportunities to offer, and a solid economy”

Francisco González took advantage of his presentation to reiterate the BBVA Group’s commitment to Mexico. In 2013, BBVA announced a $3.5 billion investment plan, which it has complemented with an additional $1.5 billion this year. “I’m sure it is the largest capital investment made by any financial institution in this country and a clear sign of our commitment,” BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman said. “Mexico is a vibrant country that has enormous opportunities to offer, and a solid economy. This solidity and the outlook for the future give us a clear picture of Mexico’s potential,” he explained to the bank’s Board members and Mexican authorities attending the meeting. BBVA Research raised the growth outlook for the Mexican economy from 1% to 1.6%.

He also made reference to the subsidiary’s strategy for this market. “BBVA Bancomer is the most important bank in Mexico’s financial system. We want to create opportunities, facilitate families’ prosperity, foster business growth and continue to be a key pillar of the Mexican economy,” he maintained. Mexico accounted for 40% of the attributable profit generated by the BBVA Group’s business areas in the first quarter of this year.

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BBVA Global Executive Chairman Francisco González in the annual meeting of BBVA Bancomer’s regional Board members

Technological revolution

Francisco González continued by describing the impact of the fourth industrial revolution. “The current technological revolution is without a doubt one of the greatest challenges faces the banking industry,” he warned.

In this regard, he explained that banks are facing a profitability problem due to low interest rates, the level of growth, efficiency ratios and more demanding regulation of capital and consumer protection. He also mentioned the reputational problems stemming from many banks’ bad practices. In addition to these difficulties there is the “technological revolution, which, although it represents a threat for many, is also a great opportunity for growth and higher productivity for others,” he added.

In this context, banks priorities should be the following in his opinion:

  • Improve productivity, a slow and tough process that entails difficult decisions.
  • Transformation, through a multidisciplinary effort that includes technological platforms, organization, people, processes, corporate culture and products, among others.

Francisco González listed the digital products that have recently been launched in the market, like BBVA Trader, Alta Inmediata (mobile online onboarding) in Spain; BBVA Open Platform in Spain and the U.S.; the Bancomer Digital Account in Mexico and the STEP commercial platform in Turkey. All these are solutions designed with a global approach, using an agile methodology so that customers can quickly and more efficiently benefit from the technological advances, BBVA’s Global Executive Chairman explained.

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BBVA’s Chief Executive, Carlos Torres Vila.

BBVA’s Chief Executive, Carlos Torres Vila, who also took part in the annual meeting, went over the group’s six strategic priorities: offering the best customer experience, stepping up digital sales, developing new business models, optimising capital allocation, leading the way in efficiency, and having the best human team.

“The customer comes first and this requires an organisation that shows empathy and an ability to resolve their problems. We want to be ambitious, to break the mould and to surprise the customer with that kind of magic we can now bring to the table”, explained Carlos Torres Vila. The Bank’s CEO was also quick to point out that these six strategic priorities “are more than just theory”, but clear ideas allowing us to create opportunities for everyone.

Francisco González during the annual meeting of BBVA Bancomer´s regional Board members

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