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Innovate or Die.

It has become a common refrain over the past decade or so for banks when it comes to technology, particularly when faced with fintechs wishing to disrupt what has traditionally been part of banking’s value chain. But in the U.S.,the challenges associated with innovation come not only from fintechs but also from the relatively glacial pace of regulatory change.

This week, Spanish newspaper El Español will honor Francisco González’s professional career with a Los Leones award. On the occasion of the award, the current BBVA Group Executive Chairman sat down for an interview with the online newspaper to discuss the present and future challenges facing the banking industry at large, and his bank in particular, including his retirement from office, scheduled to take place on December 31, 2018. At BBVA “we’re creating a new bank,” he says. Now the institution customers are more satisfied, more likely to recommend the bank and more loyal.

In an online world, scammers are using new tricks and forms of deception to get what they want from their victims. Although the tools may have changed, today’s scams are not much different from the old-school “pigeon drop” scam in which a victim is persuaded to give the scammer money with the promise of receiving a much larger sum. In this new scenario, cybersecurity training is essential to protect the private data of both individuals and professionals.

21 Oct 2018

20 Oct 2018

In an online world, scammers are using new tricks and forms of deception to get what they want from their victims. Although the tools may have changed, today’s scams are not much different from the old-school “pigeon drop” scam in which a victim is persuaded to give the scammer money with the promise of receiving a much larger sum. In this new scenario, cybersecurity training is essential to protect the private data of both individuals and professionals.

19 Oct 2018

Whether it’s your first home or your fourth, the whole mortgage process can be confusing and stressful… so many decisions to make, so much jargon to decipher, so many boxes to initial.

One simple word you may hear is “points”. It sounds like such a simple word, but do you really know what points are?  A point is technically one percent of your mortgage amount, or $1,000 for every $100,000 you finance.

The issue is no longer about using data, but doing it in a responsible manner that also has a positive impact on users’ lives.  This was one of the most relevant topics discussed during the second day of BBVA Open Summit, where Derek White, Global Head of Client Solutions at BBVA, stressed that user confidence is the key to success in this new digital playing field.

18 Oct 2018

Continuing to notch wins for its mobile banking app, BBVA Compass Mobile Banking was recently recognized as one of the top five banks in mobile deposit user experience in the 2018 Mobile Deposit Benchmark Report. The report, conducted by fintech and digital commerce research firm Futurion, was sponsored by Mitek, a global leader in mobile capture and digital identity verification solutions.

With investments on artificial intelligence expected to reach €10 billion by 2020, it is evident that the financial sector is very optimistic about these technologies. However, the level of uncertainty surrounding AI remains almost too high to justify this degree of enthusiasm. In a recently published paper, the World Economic Forum warns about how overhyped misconceptions of what AI really is and what it can deliver may undermine the potential benefits derived from the use of artificial intelligence in finance. In contrast with this vision, other experts concur that AI contributes more to prevent and mitigate risks than to generate them.

17 Oct 2018

In an online world, scammers are using new tricks and forms of deception to get what they want from their victims. Although the tools may have changed, today’s scams are not much different from the old-school “pigeon drop” scam in which a victim is persuaded to give the scammer money with the promise of receiving a much larger sum. In this new scenario, cybersecurity training is essential to protect the private data of both individuals and professionals.

Boundaries between sectors are quickly disappearing in the fintech world – a trend also apparent in efforts to innovate. With this in mind, the second edition of Open Summit is exploring different ways in which startups and corporations can work together. “At BBVA we want to turn the magic of startups into products that reach our customers,” Derek White, the head of Client Solutions, said at the opening session of the event.

16 Oct 2018

BBVA Research lowered growth expectations for Spain’s GDP to 2.6 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019 (representing a drop of 0.3 and  0.1 percentage points, respectively, from the forecast of three months ago). The downward revision is primarily due to a more modest performance in the first half of the year. Lower growth of both exports and private consumption are two important factors contributing to the revised projections. This was the view detailed in the most recent report on the Spanish Economic Outlook, presented today by Jorge Sicilia, chief economist at BBVA Group and director of BBVA Research; Rafael Doménech, head of Macroeconomic analysis at BBVA Research; and Miguel Cardoso, BBVA Research’s chief economist for Spain and Portugal.

15 Oct 2018

For Sandra Mendoza, the Colombian entrepreneur served by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, there is no question: “Sexism is the biggest barrier to overcome in rural areas.” This is also how she describes what it’s like to be a woman living in the countryside. At an event held in honor of the International Day of Rural Women, both she and Manuela Gómez, a Spanish entrepreneur from the Federation of Rural Women Associations (FADEMUR), spoke of a reality they know firsthand, despite the 5,000 miles that separate them.

BBVA Trader, a platform developed by BBVA entirely conceived for and devoted to trading, allows users to invest in different instruments, including warrants, one of the most popular. Warrants are publicly traded derivatives that leverage an investment on an underlying asset. BBVA Trader allows applying different investment strategies based on its users’ goals, be it just investing, obtaining liquidity, securing capital or hedging risks.

13 Oct 2018

José Manuel González-Páramo on Saturday took part in the annual meeting of the Institute for International Finance (IIF) in Bali held in parallel with the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. He called for a regulatory framework that treats all market participants equally by establishing a level playing field: “Activities with the same risks should receive the same regulatory treatment” without unnecessary barriers to competition, he said.

12 Oct 2018

11 Oct 2018

BBVA executive chairman Francisco González attended this year’s meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Bali (Indonesia). He commented that resulting from today’s digital revolution, “ultimately there will be more wealth and prosperity for the whole world, and I hope less inequality; less difference between the have and have-nots.” Francisco González’s remarks come from what will be one of his last international meetings ahead of handing over the baton to Carlos Torres Vila, after December 31.

10 Oct 2018

After obtaining all required authorizations, BBVA closed the transaction that will transfer its real estate business in Spain to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. The deal was announced in November 2017. The closing of the transaction results in the sale of 80 percent of Divarian’s share capital to Cerberus, the company created to transfer the real estate portfolio. BBVA is to retain the remaining 20 percent stake.

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In a global bank with operations in over 30 countries and more than 130,000 employees, efficiency and agility when coordinating its workforce’s collaborative efforts is pivotal. In this video, Google shows BBVA’s success story using Google Cloud’s tools as a key element to facing its digital transformation.

09 Oct 2018

More than 1,800 BBVA Compass employees — plus another 250 friends and family members — joined their BBVA co-workers across the globe to participate in the bank’s Week of Volunteering September 24-30.  Employees across the footprint participated in 189 individual events, including Habitat for Humanity projects, food bank initiatives, community clean up efforts, and financial education workshops for individuals and small businesses.

The CEO and future chairman of BBVA, Carlos Torres Vila, stressed this morning that “privacy should never be the price to pay for a service.” At the IX Financial Meeting organized by KPMG and Spain’s daily business journal Expansión he explained that new European regulations for the protection and use of data (GDPR and PSD2) are a step in the right direction, although he called for a level playing field between banks and other sectors.

08 Oct 2018

José Manuel González-Páramo called for Europe to move forward now, not “just when there’s a crisis”, and to conclude the banking union, the capital markets union and the fiscal union to have a “much more robust and genuine euro.” Speaking at the Círculo de Economía in Barcelona, he stressed the role that the ECB played in Europe’s recovery. However, the bank must now go back to its original purpose of “contributing to financial stability and separating supervision from monetary policy.”

The Royal Swedish Academy of Science has awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2018 to U.S. Scientists William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer in Economic Sciences. Nordhaus, who earlier this year won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change, has developed the first model capable of integrating economic and environmental data to identify the most efficient policies against global warming. Romer has pioneered the use of technology in macroeconomic research.

Cash or card? The numbers opting for the latter continue to grow, especially among young people – the millennial generation – and in large cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Additionally, with ever-present POS’s and more and more retailers who accept them, card payments are increasingly frequent, even for low value transactions. These are some of the conclusions reached by BBVA Data & Analytics and reported by BBVA Research in a study about spending habits in Spain: The use of cash is on the decline and digital payments are increasingly popular.

05 Oct 2018

04 Oct 2018

Leading financial education experts and researchers gathered together in Buenos Aires to attend the second edition of the BBVA EduFin Summit. Over the course of two days, guests discussed the importance of financial literacy as a lever to promote the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 200 participants shared success stories and examples to illustrate progress and to underline the challenges that the sector is facing.

03 Oct 2018

02 Oct 2018

Mario Pardo, the global head of Enterprise Solutions at BBVA, shared the stage at the Open Innovation Forum with Henry Chesbrough, renowned academic of the University of California and known as the ‘father of open innovation’. Both speakers spoke about how BBVA is working with its corporate clients and startups to develop better banking solutions.

Switzerland is the global center of private banking and a country many investors go to in search of diversification. But private banking is much more than that. It involves constant striving to understand the complexity of the financial markets in order to offer customers the best advice possible.

BBVA secures the top spot in global mobile banking for the second year in a row. In a report published recently, ‘The Forrester Banking Wave™: Global Mobile Apps Summary, 2018’, Forrester Research, an independent research firm, singles out BBVA as leading the pack among nine global mobile banking leaders. This recognition comes a few months after the analyst firm gave BBVA the highest score for mobile banking in Europe. In 2017, BBVA also earned the first position in the global ranking, according to Forrester’s  ‘2017 Global Mobile Banking Benchmark.’

Financial education specialists are gathering in Buenos Aires to celebrate EduFin Summit 2018, a forum that seeks to foster debate on the industry’s biggest challenges. BBVA’s Center for Financial Education and Capability has organized the second edition of this global event, which this year has a special focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Over the course of two days, representatives of the public sector, the corporate world and educational institutions will share data and insights into their success stories in financial inclusion and education.

This open-source blockchain platform has made its way into different sectors of the economy and aims to become the blockchain technology standard in the world of business. BBVA is an official member of the Hyperledger consortium and has used its technological platform to manage blockchain-powered corporate loans.

01 Oct 2018

Customer journeys in banking are a bit like a romance, from the initial meeting when you’re trying to figure out if the bank and its products and channels are right for you, to the building of the relationship where of you learn more about each other, and finally to the engagement and marriage of what will hopefully be a happy, productive and successful long-term relationship.

After announcing that he will be stepping down as BBVA Group Executive Chairman, which is set to take place at the end of December, Francisco González granted an interview to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. During the interview he went over his almost 18 year tenure at the helm of the bank, but mostly spoke about the future. Francisco González leaves a bank set for “huge success” in the new digital scenario, managed according to clear principles, by the best possible leader, Carlos Torres Vila.

Twenty-six young people have joined the ‘Young Professionals Data’ in Spain and Argentina program, a BBVA initiative to recruit and develop the best talent in advanced analytics. The selection process to take on another 21 young people in Mexico has started and in the following months Colombia, Peru the U.S. and Turkey will join the project.

28 Sep 2018

The maker movement has helped reignite interest in open-source hardware with projects where device components and information are shared openly to allow everyone to contribute to their development and improvement.

The best way to close a distance is to eliminate it. This is what is required if distance is what prevents one in every four financially excluded people from opening a bank account. The World Bank indicates that technology may play a key role in making financial inclusion a viable reality for everyone, which is why digital transformation is part of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s DNA. The Foundation aims to reach more people, regardless of how far away they live, and to provide assistance as efficiently and quickly as possible.

27 Sep 2018

On December 31, 2018, Francisco González will step down as BBVA Group Executive Chairman, after 18 years at the helm of the bank and almost four more as Chairman of Argentaria. Following the Board’s announcement regarding the approval of the chairman’s succession plan, we sit down with him for an hour to talk about the meaning of his decision.

26 Sep 2018

The Board of Directors of BBVA approved the succession plan for the company’s chairman. The plan establishes that CEO Carlos Torres Vila is to replace Francisco González as group executive chairman when he leaves his post, which is expected to take place on Dec. 31st, 2018. The succession ensures the continuity of the transformation process which has placed BBVA at the forefront of the global financial industry.

25 Sep 2018

The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) has been scrutinizing EU banks’ business and profitability models since 2016. Among the findings of the review, published in a report, the supervisor shines the spotlight on the factors that undermine bank profitability, as well as the levers that can help boost it, including digitization. However, the report argues that offering digital products is not enough. Banks need to prepare their platforms to migrate from the analogue to the digital world.

Some companies are now working to incorporate blockchain technology into smartphones. A cell phone that incorporates these characteristics could become the most secure on the market. This would be possible thanks to blockchain’s intrinsic security provisions.

24 Sep 2018