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Banking 06 Jul 2021

Onur Genç: “In the future, our advisory activity with clients will play a pivotal role”

The BBVA CEO underscored banks' advisory work as an essential element in their new customer value proposition, during his participation in the sixteenth edition of the IESE Banking Meeting, held today under the motto “Helping to boost the economy.” Onur Genç also stressed that this advice is based on the trust and knowledge of an expert, and that through the use of technology and data, banks can improve the value they deliver to clients. In addition, he dubbed climate change one of the biggest disruptions in the history of mankind and also a huge opportunity.

Onur Genç assured that the COVID-19 crisis has led to the acceleration of three trends that were already present beforehand: digitalization, sustainability and process automation, and the use of data. BBVA's leadership and anticipation in identifying these trends and in adapting and investing in them has been a great advantage in the current climate, given their impact on the business model and the customer relationship model.

As explained by the BBVA CEO, banks must navigate the path of transformation by accompanying their customers and providing them with everything from the most basic services – i.e. transactional services via digital channels-, to more advanced ones such as the possibility of making digital sales and acquiring new customers via digital, and, ultimately, offering advice leveraging technology and data. Through the latter, banks can make a real difference to how people save, invest or change their spending habits to help them achieve a goal and reduce their stress around managing their money.  It is in providing this advice that the greatest added value lies, and where branches will have a key role to play in the future.

From a macroeconomic point of view, BBVA's CEO said that, after a weak and uncertain start to 2021, the outlook for growth is now very positive and a strong rebound in the economy is expected in the second half of the year. Estimates point to GDP growth of around 20 percent in the second quarter. Consumer spending by Spaniards is picking up strongly, but for the recovery to be complete, a recovery in tourism is still needed, he explained.

Onur Genç noted that the European funds are a historic opportunity for Spain. “But the funds must be used well. And here the banks can play a fundamental role,” he pointed out. Firstly, by channeling funds to the best projects thanks to their analytical capacity. And secondly, by amplifying the impact of those funds by financing those projects. “As banks, the best indicator of our success is the performance of the economy. If the Spanish economy is doing well, BBVA will do well.”

Finally, Onur Genç referred to climate change as “one of the greatest disruptions in the history of mankind. It affects us all in almost every aspect of our lives,” he stressed. For BBVA's CEO, the transition to a more sustainable world is a source of opportunities for society. It is estimated that annual investments of between 5 and 7 trillion dollars will be needed in different sectors. And this is also an opportunity for banks when it comes to financing this transition. In his opinion, banks have a very important role to play as catalysts and facilitators in the transition, an area in which, once again, consulting is essential, he emphasized.

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