29 May 2020
Operational excellence provides the foundation upon which the hallmarks of superior performance are built. This is true for companies of all sizes in all industries, and BBVA USA is no exception.
In an interview with the Financial Times, BBVA Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila stressed that: “If we want to avoid a deeper economic impact that may be irreversible, measures should be compatible with controlling infection rates, [keeping] contagion at bay [while] reactivating the economy. The best way to reconstruct is not to destroy.”
BBVA’s CEO sat down with Turkish news agency Anadolu to discuss the current scenario facing Turkey’s economy and banking system. Onur Genç expressed his optimism regarding Turkey’s progress at the economic level and considers that banks are in good shape to face this crisis. Digitization, in his opinion, will be key for banks in the current scenario. In this sense, he cited Garanti BBVA as an example of a digital leader, with almost nine million digital customers, eight million of whom are mobile.
28 May 2020
BBVA’s emblematic headquarters building in Madrid will be lit with a black ribbon for the 10 day mourning period decreed by the Spanish government, which began yesterday. The bank, which has devoted its efforts to help combat the health emergency, is therefore joining the tribute to the victims of the disease.
BBVA invested 77.6 million euros in knowledge, education and culture activities in 2019, about 68 percent of the Group’s social investments. These initiatives, carried out as part of BBVA’s Community Investment Plan, benefitted 7.2 million people.
BBVA and Mahou San Miguel, Spain’s leading producer of beer, have begun a collaboration that will roll out the bank’s digital professional development program (‘Ninja’), offering it to the beverage company’s employees.
27 May 2020
BBVA placed a €1 billion inaugural COVID-19 social bond on the market today, making it the first private financial institution in Europe to do so. Demand was close to €5 billion, nearly five times more than the initial offer. The funds will be primarily allocated to mitigating the severe economic and social impact caused directly and indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The interest rate was set at 112 basis points over mid-swap, 33 basis points below the initial target price (145 bps over mid-swap).
26 May 2020
BBVA USA has funded approximately $3.3 billion small business loans in less than 60 days, processing more than 22,000 applications and impacting approximately 360,000 jobs through its efforts in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the bank announced today.
Essential remote working has forced a change to on-site employee training plans. BBVA had already espoused a culture of online learning before the pandemic, offering its staff a comprehensive digital training catalog via the Campus BBVA platform. The platform has been refreshed to adapt to employee needs during the weeks of confinement. Employee response has been positive: traffic to the training portal shot up 96 percent with more than two million sessions during the first month of lockdown. A review of the most consumed topics reveals employees’ growing interest in developing new competencies (data, design, sustainability), which are priority for BBVA and and even more apropos given the new reality that awaits.
Susan Cain is a U.S writer and author of the best seller, ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.’ Her work revolutionized our concept about personality, that argues that modern, Western culture misinterprets and undervalues the skills and traits of introverts.
On 26 and 27 May 2020 the European Innovation Council (EIC), BBVA and Ferrovial are jointly hosting their first online EIC Corporate Day, bringing together 19 of the most innovative startups in Europe. The online EIC Corporate Days are the digital version of the physical events in where the European Commission connects Europe’s most innovative companies and innovators with C-level corporate and cross sectorial decision makers.
Joaquín Dopazo is leading a project that uses a machine learning algorithm to identify proteins involved in the illness and cross match this information with a database of drugs used to treat other conditions. “We checked if some of the proteins detected are therapeutic targets of other medications approved for other uses, and we concluded that these treatments could act on the mechanisms that COVID-19 uses to cause harm,” says the researcher, who in 2018 won a BBVA Foundation team grant in the Big Data category.
Fewer mobility restrictions are beginning to bear fruit and some countries are starting to show signs of recovery, although at different speeds. The U.S. Sunbelt and Turkey are leading the way. In Spain, lifting the lockdown restrictions in different phases is leading to unequal recovery among the regions. These are the main conclusions of a weekly study that analyzes the dynamics of expenditures in the countries where BBVA operates during the COVID 19 pandemic.
25 May 2020
Garanti BBVA has rolled over the syndicated loan it received from international markets under the framework of the foreign borrowing program and signed loan agreements totalling approximately $700 million. Both the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) participated in the deal.
22 May 2020
BBVA has added a new feature to its financial aggregator One View. Using data analytics, it allows companies to find out the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere with their daily activities. At a time when SMEs and companies’ main concern is how to face the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions during the health crisis, finding out their carbon footprint is the first step toward taking action that helps them to reduce their energy costs while having a positive impact on the planet. With this information, they can also explore new, more sustainable lines of business that will facilitate their recovery in a new context.
Ebru Dildar Edin, Vice President of Garanti BBVA, participated in a talk organized by Turkey’s Business Council for Sustainable Development (SKD Türkiye) to discuss the social challenges following the coronavirus pandemic.
21 May 2020
The BBVA Research team has published its Economic Outlook for second quarter 2020, offering a look at how the U.S. economy might recover in a post-COVID world.
There was no spider bite, fear of bats, Planet Krypton birth or iron suit needed for a group of BBVA Superheroes to rise to a unique challenge. That challenge? Continuing branch operations in a time when finances are at the center of a never-before-seen crisis.
New situations call for new approaches. When the Paycheck Protection Program launched in early-April, BBVA USA employees knew there was going to be an influx of applications for small businesses struggling during the ongoing pandemic.
20 May 2020
BBVA, in partnership FinIQ, a market leading fintech company, is announcing the launch of BBVA epricer, a website for its equities and credit linked structured products. The website is designed to help professionals structure and obtain prices for equity and credit linked investment products that aim to either provide an enhanced yield or exposure to the underlying investment. In the current environment, where remote work has become the new normal, the website provides a digital channel for BBVA clients to request from the simplest to the most exotic investment proposals.
The coronavirus crisis may lead to a series of changes forcing many companies to rethink their business models. Startups frequently depend on funding, and some may be critically impacted. Still, others may find themselves in a stronger position thanks to their capacity to adapt to the changing landscape or because they provide digital services that have proven invaluable. Could the coronavirus crisis set the stage for the next big startup?
19 May 2020
Economies around the world have never experienced a halt in activity as drastic as the current economic standstill caused by COVID-19. The new normality, as the experts have coined it, has brought with it a feeling of global fellowship in which all countries are fighting together to overcome this difficult experience.
BBVA’s Turkish franchise has improved the landing page of its Garanti BBVA Mobile app with an improved design and new digital banking features.
Social bonds, as debt instruments that enable project financing with a positive social impact, have been gaining traction among issuers in recent years. In 2019, these kinds of issuances outpaced previous volume records, and issuance activity of this type will undoubtedly be driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This is the view of analysts at BBVA Global Markets Research.
Falsehood, lie, fallacy, insidiousness, post-truth. There are a multitude of synonyms to refer to the term that continues to fill social networks and the media: ‘fake news’.
18 May 2020
Laura Lechuga, research professor at Spain’s National Scientific Research Council (CSIC) and group leader in the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), is heading up the ambitious CoNVaT project. CoNVat aims to produce a rapid, inexpensive, and highly sensitive test for diagnosing COVID-19 from the first day of infection. “It won’t only indicate if the virus is present or not, but it will also reveal its concentration. This is important because it gives an idea about how advanced the infection is,” she explains. The new test should be ready in less than a year, in time for future waves of the pandemic.
15 May 2020
In late March, BBVA USA announced that it would be closing most of its 637 branch lobbies and instead serving customers through its drive-thrus, among other modifications. The changes, put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of its clients, is now reaching its two month anniversary.
Scammers adapt quickly to new trends, exploiting them to lure new victims. An example that has gained notoriety in recent weeks: web sites promoting fraudulent Fortnite offers. Fortnite is a popular video game and is being used by cybercriminals as an enticement to misappropriate user data.
The global pandemic is devastating millions of people’s finances worldwide. How can the consequences of the crisis be addressed? Experts consulted by the BBVA Center for Education and Financial Capability point to financial education as a fundamental way to build crisis-proof finances.
What does a company bring to society? What role does it play? Why does a brand exist? These questions can be answered in many ways, each answer hinting at the company’s “what for”, the reason that drives it and defines how it engages with society, its purpose.
14 May 2020
In an interview published by the financial newspaper Expansión, BBVA’s CEO explains what the coronavirus crisis has been like for him, and how the bank has adapted its operations to continue providing customers the same service. “It is very rewarding to see how our teams have adjusted to the challenges posed by this scenario,” he said. Onur Genç thinks the crisis is going to have a major impact on the economy and businesses, and that now is the time “when we – the banks – need to stand by our customers more than ever before, and be part of the solution to this crisis.”
A BBVA Research study leverages big data technology to monitor worldwide media treatment of COVID-19. Analyzing more than 80,000 online news publications in more than 100 languages, the study concludes that both the extent of news coverage and its sentiment provides valuable information about the pandemic’s development and the degree to which it impacts the economy and politics. Furthermore, a correlation between increased number of infections and ‘media stress’ has been observed.
13 May 2020
As part of BBVA’s Community Investment Plan, BBVA has allocated €9.8 million to entrepreneurship initiatives, benefiting 2.2 million people in 2019. It is therefore fulfilling its commitment to entrepreneurship as the driver of opportunities for people, creating a positive impact on their lives in all countries where BBVA has a presence.
The ‘RRSSalud’ project is researching the dynamics and types of fake news regarding coronavirus on social networks, thus helping to alleviate the negative effects of this health crisis. Coordinated by the researcher Ramón Salaverría, the initiative is part of the BBVA Foundation’s 2019 program to assist scientific research teams in economics and digital society. One of the first conclusions of the study has determined that one-third of current fake news stories refer to the health crisis contain health or scientific content.
12 May 2020
It’s technically complicated, but yes, if the webcam user doesn’t follow some security precautions, it is possible. Furthermore, exploiting the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increase in teleworking, online classes, and all kinds of virtual meet-ups, cyber criminals are looking to profit by stepping up their attacks. Find out how to prevent others from unauthorized access to your web camera or videoconferences.
BBVA in Switzerland has launched a new online platform in record time, targeting prospective customers who are interested in opening an account. They can now confirm their identity over a video call and digitally sign the contract required to open the account.
11 May 2020
Dircom, the Spanish Association of Communication Executives, announced the names of the winners of this year’s edition of its Ramón de Corral Awards. BBVA took home two awards, one for ‘One BBVA’ named ‘Best integrated campaign for organizational change’ and the other with ‘El Sentido del Cacao’, named ‘Best external campaign for services’ category. Also, BBVA’s ‘Values Day’ event was one of the finalists in the ‘Best in-house event involving over 500 workers’ category.
Between last week and this week, the bank will reopen an additional 250 branches, to coincide with Spain’s careful easing of confinement restrictions. BBVA has also initiated the gradual return to work for those employees who fulfill critical business functions. The health of the bank’s customers and staff is the fundamental factor guiding this process. In the next few days, 200 employees and external contractors will return to their posts in central services, and 1,300 staff will return to branch offices throughout Spain.
In many ways, the coronavirus crisis marks a turning point in human behavior. One of the lessons this pandemic is teaching us is the essential need to change the way we interact with nature. “We will open the door to new pandemics if we continue maintaining a toxic relationship with nature,” states the ecologist Pedro Jordano. For the secretary of the jury for the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge in Ecology and Conservation Biology, biodiversity “works like a shock absorber”. If it is altered, “it leads to all kinds of problems,” like the spread of COVID-19.
07 May 2020
BBVA’s financial education programs and initiatives have benefited 15.5 million people from 2008-2019, of which 13.1 million are children and youth. According to the PISA report on financial skills presented by the OECD today, Spanish youth have improved in these skills, but continue to be below average compared to the countries included in the analysis.
The arrival of COVID has forced many companies to figure out new ways of working, and to accepting the idea of allowing, where feasible, employees to work from home. These new alternative work arrangements may yield substantial sustainability, cost saving and productivity benefits, but also expose of corporate confidential information to new threats. In this context, adopting increased security habits becomes more important than ever.
06 May 2020
The BBVA’s Center for Financial Education and Capability has decided to extend the deadline for its call for research proposals until June 15th.
Analysts praised BBVA’s foresight as the group booked €1.43 billion in provisions during the first quarter to cover the expected impact of COVID-19 on its business. The Group’s capital ratio was another one of the quarter’s standouts. The reports published by analysts also focused on BBVA’s strong top-line growth and the soundness of the messages conveyed by the bank’s management, particularly in connection with its expectations regarding provisions and capital generation.
Queen Letizia joined the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) on a videoconference to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting Latin American micro-enterprises and to learn about the measures the foundation has put in place via its entities in the five countries it operates (Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and Panama).
05 May 2020
Nearly two months after Spain declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus crisis, the population has slowly begun to adapt to the lifting of some lockdown restrictions amid lots of questions and fear of a new outbreak. In an initiative promoted by the BBVA Foundation, Dr. Jordi Vila, the Head of Microbiology Services at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, gave a videoconference for BBVA employees to answer some of these questions. Among his responses regarding how to return to work in a safe manner, he indicated that “massive testing would be ideal, but it’s impossible from a logistical standpoint,” in his opinion.
BBVA has joined the manifiesto ‘Green Recovery. Reboot and reboost our economies for a sustainable future’, promoted by the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Pascal Canfin. This alliance defends a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus crisis, and is comprised of politicians, businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and unions, among others. “In order to tackle the challenge of a quick recovery, we should start with a more sustainable development model,” said BBVA Group executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila.
Artificial intelligence is contributing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects directly related to pharmacology, medical and hospital care, or mobility analysis to reduce contagion have found a crucial ally in data science to make progress and deliver results.
04 May 2020
BBVA is partnering with the IMDEA Software Institute, which belongs to a network of international research centers in Madrid, on the development of advanced cryptographic techniques. This technology is key to the creation of data-based digital solutions that protect the privacy and security of users’ data.