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Opinion 21 February 2020

"Amplify the Impact of our Transformation

Carlos Torres Vila thanked employees for their work in 2019 and congratulated them for their excellent results.

Dear team:

It has been slightly over a year since I became chairman of BBVA, a good occasion to write this new entry in our blog, to thank you for your work in 2019 and to congratulate you for our excellent results this past year. With your continued dedication, I am confident that 2020 will be another extraordinary year, the first in which we will drive forward our new Strategy and six new Strategic Priorities.

As you know, in 2019 our recurrent net profit reached 4.830 million euro, the highest amount in the last ten years. We maintained our leading position in profitability among European banks, and we were also the best performing banking stock in Spain with a total return to shareholders (dividend plus price appreciation) exceeding 13%.

We grew our customer base in more than 3 million clients across the world. We reached new heights in digitization, with digital clients representing 57% of the total, mobile clients exceeding the 50% ‘tipping point’, and digital sales amounting to 45% of total sales measured in terms of value. We remain leaders in Net Promoter Scores in most of the countries in which we operate.

All of these achievements would not have been possible without your commitment and daily devotion. I wholeheartedly thank each and every one of you.

This past year we have also set the foundation for our future success with our new Strategic Plan, as we saw at the Live@BBVA presentation last week. While in the past few years we have achieved a major transformation of BBVA towards digital, we now seek to amplify its impact on our clients, business, employees, shareholders, and society at large.

In this exciting journey we rely on our new six Strategic Priorities as our guide. The first four priorities are directed towards:

Improving our client’s financial health, with personalized advisory for better decision making and easier daily management of their finances.

Helping our clients transition towards a sustainable future, not only from an environmental viewpoint but also seeking inclusive economic development.

Reaching more clients: leveraging digital channels, including those of third-parties, to achieve profitable and sustainable growth in the most attractive segments.

Driving operational excellence, through simple, automated processes and a continued focus on internal control, risk management, and an optimal use of our capital.

To achieve these objectives we will leverage the two remaining priorities, the true foundation upon which we are building the BBVA of the future:

Our People, the best and most engaged team, committed to perform and to achieve our Purpose.

Data and Technology, which are increasingly the key ingredients for all aspects of our work and also instrumental to achieve the rest of the priorities.

The six priorities we defined in 2015 have been highly visible in your work over the last few years. In your plans, in the metrics and indicators we have all used to monitor progress and to assess everyone’s performance. We will seek to replicate our success by applying the same management methods to push forward our new six Strategic Priorities.

As you can see, we have a great project and very clear ideas on how to make it a reality.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the Cenyt case, following the lifting of the secrecy order and the numerous news reports in recent weeks. Since the beginning, and throughout this time, we have followed the priorities that were set by the Board, which you are all aware of: clarifying the facts, full cooperation with authorities and a willingness to take decisive action. Many of you may be familiar with a microsite for the case, which was created within our corporate website. There you can see that these messages have been present in our communications from the beginning, and you can also find more detailed information.

Looking forward, we will continue to cooperate with the authorities, acting with full determination and diligence under the direct leadership of our Board of Directors, whose members have no connection with the case whatsoever.

The fundamental investigation, the one that prevails over any other initiative, is the one being carried out by the Spanish High Court, which will determine exactly what occurred. We have pleaded that BBVA bears no responsibility for the facts under investigation. We are still in the very early stages of the judicial proceedings. Justice has its own deadlines. It’s important to let the courts do their work, and not make parallel judgments.

Finally, I would like to reiterate what I said as I was starting as Chairman early last year: we are a values-based institution which deeply believes in principles and ethical behavior. Your work and daily dedication is a clear demonstration. That is why I ask from you to always keep our Values at the forefront as you focus on the tasks ahead: devoted to our clients, thinking big, working as One Team. Growing our business as you have done in 2019.

We are all leaders in this great project. Your contribution will be critical for our continued and sustainable success. For this reason, I ask from you the same effort so 2020 will also be an extraordinary year in all of our financial and business metrics. A year in which, guided by our Values and our six new Strategic Priorities, we continue to advance in bringing the age of opportunity to everyone.

Thank you again and my best regards to everyone,

Carlos Torres Vila

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