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Today

Numerous activities were arranged at BBVA’s headquarters in Madrid in celebration of World Book Day, observed internationally on April 23. The purpose was to underscore the important role literature, specifically books, plays in culture and education.

“Hello! Finally, we meet! I have been specifically designed to help you better understand the ins and outs of your daily finances.  I am always available and crunching the numbers is one of my favorite tasks.”

This could be the start of a friendship, a virtual friendship, because the virtual assistant is a “bot” enabled in BBVA’s app whose express mission is to better control customer finances. “We call it a  ‘pseudo-bot’ … initially resembling conversational interfaces,” explains Sergio Ruiz Navarro, who is responsible for the design/UX of this endearing creature whose mission is to understand if customers do a good job (or not) of managing their money.

22 Apr 2019

As the General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Agustín Carstens, said, “New technology is not the same as better, or more efficient technology.” However, you don’t have to be a techno-optimist to recognize that the evolution of technology is unstoppable and improvements can be expected to address things like the volatility of cryptocurrencies. In fact, solutions are already being considered for this problem, such as stable digital currency, or “stablecoins”.

18 Apr 2019

  • Workplace Equality: BBVA Compass earns a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index.
  • Risk Management: BBVA Compass joins 11 other financial institutions to advance best practices for managing third-party risk in the financial services industry.
  • Financial Education: On the heels of a successful four-month pilot, BBVA Compass launches its full financial education program for 2019

17 Apr 2019

Forbes magazine has included BBVA as one of the ‘Blockchain 50,’ a list that recognizes the leaders in the use and development of this exponential technology. The U.S. publication specifically focused on BBVA’s efforts in the area of blockchain-powered syndicated loans, which are used by the bank to further transparency, security, and efficiency throughout its business processes.

Garanti Bank once again hosted women entrepreneurs from a range of different sectors for a meeting in Samsun. Organized in collaboration with the Women’s Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER), the purpose of the 2019 Women Entrepreneurs Meeting is to help open new markets and provide women entrepreneurs the knowledge they need to further develop their businesses. The meeting in Samsun was the first of a series of similar events planned for cities around the country.

16 Apr 2019

The BBVA Foundation has recognized the U.S. linguist with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences Category, a new category included in this year’s edition for the first time ever. Chomsky’s research opened up new paths in multiple fields of humanities, especially in the study of the human mind and the cognitive systems that comprise it.

Each year Propel Venture Partners holds an annual summit for the businesses it invests into through it’s single limited partner, BBVA. The event in Silicon Valley is a chance for updates, shared learnings, introductions and to discuss the kind of technology and drivers that will shape the sector in the coming years.

15 Apr 2019

In a press conference today, local nonprofit housing developer Avenue celebrated officially breaking ground on Avenue Center, a new mixed-use community resource center in Near Northside. Construction was kickstarted by a $1 million gift from the BBVA Compass Foundation, which will create opportunities for Avenue’s comprehensive homebuyer education and counseling programs at Avenue Center.

It isn’t easy to live in Soacha. Despite being close to Bogota, basic services like running water are not available on a daily basis and the streets of this town, one of the most impoverished in Colombia, are known for their insecurity and lack of infrastructure. But everything is possible with an opportunity and enthusiasm and Jessica Hernandez is the perfect example of this. BBVA’s Group executive chairman wanted to meet the entrepreneur whose story was heard around the world following her speech at the United Nations during a BBVA Microfinance Foundation event.

In general, businesses use the customer data they access for internal purposes, creating value-added services. Yet, there is greater potential for society as a whole beyond corporate “closed doors.” Public-private sector collaboration using data sources for external initiatives can produce significant benefits. For example, a door could be open that would facilitate the use of data to help fulfill the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

12 Apr 2019

11 Apr 2019

10 Apr 2019

In an article published a few months ago in’The New Yorker‘ the British writer John Lanchester explains that in order to write a novel about London, he had to begin by trying to understand “the world of money.” Although Lanchester isn’t shy on culture – he grew up between Calcutta, Brunei, and Hong Kong; and was educated at Oxford – his reading about the economy required something of an effort.

Thanks to DiGiX 2018, BBVA Research’s multidimensional digitization index, it is possible to compare which countries are the most advanced in this area, and discover their strengths and weaknesses. The index analyzes the economies of 99 different countries.  Top in the ranking are Luxembourg, the U.S. the Netherlands, Singapore and Hong Kong, while Malaysia, South Africa, Chile and Costa Rica are regional leaders.

09 Apr 2019

At an event organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, BBVA’s Group executive chairman presented Openmind’s new book, ‘Towards a New Enlightenment? A Transcendent Decade‘. Carlos Torres Vila and two contributing authors, Joanna Bryson and Sandy Pentland, discussed the implications of big data and artificial intelligence in the current technological context and its role in the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

08 Apr 2019

BBVA Research, the research services arm of BBVA, has released its most recent edition of the “Spain Economic Outlook” where it forecasts a slight slowdown in growth. The report was presented today by BBVA Research Director and BBVA Group Chief Economist, Jorge Sicilia, and Rafael Doménech, Head of Economic Analysis at BBVA Research. The forecast lowers first quarter expectations to 2.2 percent in 2019 and 1.9 percent in 2020 (from 2.4 percent and 2 percent, respectively). Even so, the report signals that an improvement in economic activity could be underpinned by the global economy’s gradual recovery, an increasingly expansionary stance on monetary policy, continued low oil prices, and the positive conclusion to uncertainty stemming from different sources. Consequences of such a scenario would see a salary increase exceeding the inflation rate, an up to 12 percent reduction in unemployment in 2020, and the creation of close to 630,000 jobs over the next two years.

Current progress in finalizing the Banking Union has been insufficient. There are still a number of elements to be settled, fundamentally resolution, insolvency, and the deposit guarantee scheme. “It will not be easy to reach an agreement on the most important aspects prior to the European elections for parliament, but it is critical to do so as soon as possible to avoid jeopardizing member countries’ commitment to the Banking Union,” maintains José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA executive board member.

05 Apr 2019

The Juncker Plan, which was launched in 2004, has helped reduce the investment gap caused by the economic and financial crisis. Looking forward to the next decade, Europe should focus on a two-pronged strategy: implementing a greener sustainable investment model and backing key digital capabilities. According to BBVA’s executive board member, José Manuel González-Páramo, Europe must develop a forward-looking sustainable finance model.

Ricardo Forcano, BBVA’s Global Head of Engineering and Organization, participated in the Association for the Advancement of Management’s (APD in Spanish) session on Agile Organizations, where he presented how BBVA is transforming its organization and work methods. “It’s a constant learning process,” Forcano said, referring to BBVA’s efforts to incorporate  the agile methodology across all of its central areas. As a result, the bank is able to provide its customers new solutions more effectively.

In recent months, BBVA Next Technologies has devoted some effort into researching tools and techniques for interpreting machine learning models. These techniques are very useful to understand the predictions of a model (or make others understand them), to extract business insights from a model that has managed to capture the underlying patterns of customers interest, and to debug models in order to ensure they make the right decisions for the right reasons.

In this article we will explain how we have applied these techniques to avoid deploying flawed models into production that seemed totally correct a priori according to standard validation methods.

04 Apr 2019

Fundación Diversidad‘s initiative, promoted by Fundación Alares, aims to foster inclusion and equal job and promotion opportunities at the workplace, and to open a forum where participating companies can share good practices. Clara Barrabés, head of the Diversity and Inclusion project, BBVA Talent & Culture Area, signed the document that confirms BBVA as a company committed to diversity, during an event that took place at the European Commissions’ Madrid headquarters.

Ebru Dildar Edin, Garanti Bank’s Executive Vice President of CIB, was recently re-elected President of Turkey’s Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD). The general assembly of the organization voted in favor of Edin continuing in her role as BCSD President – a position she accepted one year ago. BCSD Turkey is a key member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development network and has spearheaded sustainability initiatives in Turkey’s public and private sectors for the past 15 years.

03 Apr 2019

BBVA secured €11.8 billion in sustainable financing in 2018, the first year of Pledge 2025, the bank’s initiative to combat climate change. This figure includes transactions in green financing (69 percent of the total), sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness (13 percent), and social entrepreneurism and financial inclusion (18 percent).

BBVA secured €11.8 billion in sustainable financing in 2018, the first year of Pledge 2025, the bank’s initiative to combat climate change. This figure includes transactions in green financing (69 percent of the total), sustainable infrastructure and agribusiness (13 percent), and social entrepreneurism and financial inclusion (18 percent).

02 Apr 2019

Andersen Lee, an aspiring, young chef from Montreal (Canada) has been named recipient of the scholarship that is jointly awarded by BBVA and The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Lee has been chosen from among the applicants from more than 70 countries. He will be able to perfect his culinary training working side by side with the prestigious chefs, Julien Royer, Clare Smyth, and Jorge Vallejo.

On March 27 at the CDP Climate Change Conference, CDP, the world’s largest environmental reporting platform announced the 2018 results for Turkey’s Climate Change and Water programs. Garanti Bank sponsored the conference where, as in previous years, it assumed its place among other Turkish CDP leaders receiving their awards.

01 Apr 2019

On Saturday, March 30th, the world came together to celebrate Earth Hour, an initiative promoted by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). Entire cities went dark for an hour to raise awareness and urge people to join the global movement in support of the environment and the protection of the planet. BBVA’s HQ in Spain – Ciudad BBVA – as well as other corporate buildings and headquarters in other countries, including Mexico, the U.S., Colombia, Peru, Uruguay or Argentina, also showcased their commitment to sustainability and the fight against climate change.

In line with its digital transformation strategy, BBVA has launched a new form of corporate loan, the digital facility (D-Loan), and signed the first ever financing of this kind with Olam International, a leading food and agri-business company headquartered and listed in Singapore. As provider of this innovative solution, BBVA acted as digital advisor and coordinator under the new USD 350 million revolving credit facility. BBVA was also the facility agent for the other 6 banks that participate in the financing.

Digital loans (or D-loans) are a type of corporate bank financing (which could also come in the form of credit facilities) for which the price is linked to the company’s degree of digitization. The digital maturity level is determined annually by specialized independent consulting firms after a thorough analysis. If the company improves its level of digitization, the conditions of the bank financing also improve. By doing so, the company aligns its financial instruments with its corporate strategy, and has a financial incentive to improve its degree of digitization and accelerate its digital transformation over time.

Mario Draghi reiterated this week that the ECB could tentatively delay the planned rate hike until next year. At a conference in Frankfurt, Draghi responded to banks’ concerns by saying negative rates could impact bank profitability, although it “is not an inevitable consequence.” Given these statements, we asked Olga Gouveia, Lead Economist for Financial Systems at BBVA Research, what is the impact of the decision to keep negative interest rates. In her opinion, it is reasonable the precautionary tone of the ECB, provided that there is a planned hike on the horizon.

29 Mar 2019

BBVA Compass Atascosita Branch Retail Executive Liz Zweifel recently said of the bank’s efforts around mobile engagement, “It’s important to make sure our customers understand we aren’t pushing them away, we just want them to have access to another resource and another connection.”

BBVA Compass received a perfect score of 100 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation.  The bank joins the ranks of over 570 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

The planet needs all of us. Helping it with a one-hour blackout is something that means very little to each of us, but it is very important to the place where we live — and not just symbolically. For the 12th year since Earth Hour was first launched in 2007 by World Wildlife Fund (WWF, the large independent organization dedicated to the conservation of nature) in 2007, the biggest capitals in the world will turn off their lights to fight climate change.

Garanti continues to bring innovative solutions to the Turkish banking sector with SWIFT GPI, a new standard that provides significant improvements to the handling of international payments. Foreign currency transactions made to both domestic and foreign banks via Garanti Bank can now be easily tracked with SWIFT’s ‘Tracking Report’ feature, which has been integrated into Garanti Online Banking.

During March, millions of children and young people will learn how to manage their finances so they can take their economic well-being into their own hands and tap into better opportunities. How does it work? Through initiatives – activities and teaching materials – that have been kicked off for another year by campaigns promoted by Global Money Week (March 25-31) and European Money Week (March 25-29).

28 Mar 2019

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) filed on March 28, 2019 with the Securities and Exchange Commission BBVA’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2018.

The Annual Report can be found on Investor Relations BBVA’s website  in the section dedicated to Financial Information 2018.

BBVA and Jordi Roca, pastry chef at El Celler de Can Roca, have together launched the project ‘El sentido del cacao’ (The Sense of Cocoa), an initiative that aims to raise awareness of the series of conditions affecting the sense of taste and which affect up to 17% of the world’s population. This project comes in light of a pioneering investigation based on neuroscience and sensorial management supported by, among other institutions, the Hospital Clínico San Carlos in Madrid and IOB Institute of Oncology.

Bonds are credit instruments used by companies in need of financing. The company in question issues this debt product in order to obtain liquidity from the financial markets. But how does a bond issue take place? What steps must be followed from the moment the company decides to issue a bond until their subsequent placement and sale on the market?

27 Mar 2019

A group of 12 leading regional and digital financial institutions have joined together as investors and members in KY3P®, a company dedicated to working with the financial industry to standardize best practices for managing third-party risk and optimizing the processes by which financial institutions assess and monitor inherent risk in engaging suppliers and entering into third-party relationships.

As technological innovation continues, customer expectations evolve at a similarly rapid pace.  In navigating this dynamic landscape, financial institutions are increasingly seeking assistance from outside, third party providers, a strategy that itself poses inherent risks, like cybersecurity challenges and the potential for digital-related fraud.  Greater attention and scrutiny from regulators naturally results from this developing risk paradigm.

BBVA and Telefónica have signed a strategic agreement that designates the operator as the single telecommunications service provider for the bank and its employees in Spain. The alliance will allow BBVA to optimize its communications systems, increase the capacity of its technology network, and extend its adoption of cloud computing, providing a distinctive advantage to the business’ needs.

The BBVA Foundation recognized Claudia Goldin with the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management category for her contributions to the historical analysis of women’s role in the economy. The Harvard Professor’s research helped to shed light on the factors behind the gender gap. The award committee underscored her role as the founder of the field of empirical analysis of the gender gap, and a pioneer in her methods.

26 Mar 2019

Thirty years ago this month the internet came online giving consumers the ability to educate themselves on various products and services long before they ever spoke to an expert. For financial services, it signaled a shift in how bankers worked with customers.

Designers around the world working for the BBVA Group now have a pioneering new tool at their disposal. The platform allows designers to reuse parts in order to create homogenous digital banking experiences across all of the countries where the bank has a presence. BBVA, with presence in 30 countries, is the first bank to launch a platform like this on such an international scale and in multiple continents.

NASA’s Space Apps Challenge, one of the world’s most popular hackathons, has, once again, awarded a group of Spaniards, in this case the time behind ‘Galaxy Quest.’ The project helps processing real data collected by the Hubble telescope through a ‘gamification’ process.  But not only that:  It is the first step in developing an artificial neural network using these data, and a new communications channel between NASA and users.  José Luis Martín-Oar, service designer at BBVA and one of the team’s members, tells us everything about the project.

CSR Europe and PWC have recognized BBVA for its transparency and best practices in tax issues. At an event in Brussels, this European corporate social responsibility network and the global consulting firm presented a report on the best corporate practices for tax matters. In a world where companies are expected to have a sustainable business in every respect, BBVA was one of the large global companies to present its best practices at the event.

BBVA Group paid €4.5 billion in worldwide tax on its own business activities in 2018, 10 percent more than in 2017. According to BBVA’s Total Tax Contribution Report, its total contribution (which is the total of the bank’s taxes and those made on behalf of third parties) rose to €9.8 billion. Since 2011 BBVA, in accordance with its commitment to transparency with customers, shareholders, employees, and society as a whole, has voluntarily released its tax information.

25 Mar 2019

Access to the arts can play a major role in a city’s quality of life, its tourism efforts and its overall cultural and economic health. Because most organizations that offer that access — through art museums, symphony orchestras, ballet companies and others — are typically non-profit, they must rely heavily on the support and collaboration of patrons and corporate donors who share their vision.

Two young friends on a surfing trip to Bali, shocked by the heaps of plastic they found washed up on the beach, returned to the United States with an entrepreneurial vision to clean the ocean. Their company, 4Ocean, promises to remove one pound of trash from oceans and coastlines with the sale of every one of its $20 bracelets, which are made from recycled plastic and glass bottles. In roughly two years, the venture, which now employs more than 150 people around the planet, reports that it has recovered over 4 million pounds of trash.