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Opinion 18 September 2020

United by Our Values

BBVA executive chairman Carlos Torres Vila has addressed the bank's employees on the occasion of the upcoming celebration of 'Values Day'. In the internal blog The Pulse he affirms that, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, "we have learned anything it is that despite the physical distance, we have remained more united than ever thanks to our Values".

Hi Team:

I hope that you are all well and that, as was my case, you have been able to rest up for what lies ahead over the rest of the year.

I would like to start by thanking each and every one of you for your efforts over the last few months. We have been working under difficult circumstances because of the pandemic, and we have responded perfectly thanks to all of you. I am incredibly proud of how our organization has faced and responded to these challenging times.

It’s been a very intense experience for all of us, and it has changed our lives and daily routines. We might think that what has happened changes everything and that it poses a turning point. However, some things have not only remained the same, but have become even stronger, such as our strategy, our Purpose and our Values.

Our success as a bank is defined by our Purpose, which I never get tired of repeating and which is none other than “to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.” Our clients, our partners, our shareholders and society in general.

Our success as a bank is defined by our purpose, to bring the age of opportunity to everyone

But today I want to focus on our Values, which is the compass that guides us in the right direction. Even more so since the onset of the pandemic, because we have come together as one team in the face of adversity, despite the physical distance between us. We have demonstrated these values by thinking big, looking for creative solutions to protect everyone’s health and helping people with medical aid, all while continuing to serve our communities because we have always put our customers first.

In the conversations I have with many of you across the Group, you have given me great examples of how you have managed to stand by our clients during these challenging times, whether it be through aid programs, payment extensions, and making deferments more flexible, or by providing emotional support through calls to clients who see their life-long business in danger or getting in touch with people like the elderly, who might be feeling more isolated during the pandemic.

Going forward, we must keep working this way, according to these values, because they will continue to be the best guide as long as the virus is with us, and they will also be vital during the economic recovery phase we are entering, or will enter depending on how the health crisis unfolds in each country. The outlook on the development of a vaccine in the short term certainly gives us reason for optimism, but we should not stop preparing ourselves to live with the virus for many more months, or even years to come. Recent infection rates in many countries remain high and are trending upwards. That is why it is crucial that we set an example and strictly follow health guidelines, such as maintaining a safe distance, disinfecting common areas before and after we use them, and wearing masks at all times. For our own personal health, and most importantly, for everyone else’s.

We have remained more united than ever thanks to our values

Next Tuesday, September 22, we celebrate the third edition of our Values Day, which this year has a very special motto: United by our values. Because, as I said, if we have learned anything it is that despite the physical distance, we have remained more united than ever thanks to our Values.

The previous editions were a resounding success, as shown by the fact that 92% of the more than 82,000 people who participated last year through the Values app told us that they would like to repeat the experience. In addition, 37,500 of you participated in the values workshops, which helped us extract great ideas we can work on to continue improving.

This time we will not be able to physically gather as we have for the last two editions and it will be a 100% digital event carried out on the website and the BBVA Values Day app. This does not make it less important, quite the contrary. Your participation this Values Day is more important than ever, and should help us take stock of the situation, learn from the effort we have all made over the last year and, above all, look forward so we can tackle this crisis and achieve our goals.