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Coronavirus 18 Mar 2020

Remote working ensures BBVA service in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak

The health crisis caused by the advance of coronavirus in Spain has put businesses and employees to the test. Recommendations and restrictive measures put in place by the government have all but brought commuting to a standstill. BBVA has adopted these measures in record time thanks to the protocols established in its continuity plans and its commitment to flexible work schemes, which has allowed the bank to continue providing the best service while ensuring the health of both its employees and customers and clients.

Beginning in March and following the initial recommendations announced by the health authorities, BBVA launched a series of initiatives to promote remote working among its employees. These initiatives have been increasingly embraced as events have unfolded. The most effective measure to contain the spread of the virus is to reduce the movement of people. This is precisely the approach BBVA has encouraged both in Spain and across its wider footprint.

Virtually all of the bank’s central service employees in Spain — some 10,000 people — are working from home. Last week, employee remote access multiplied by seven, compared to a typical work week. This significant increase has not posed any problems to BBVA system capacity, which still stands at 50 percent. Remote access to basic functionalities like email or cloud-based features (tools like Google Drive, Calendar and Sites) reached more than 43,000 connections in Spain. In addition, the Business Continuity and Engineering teams have worked to further increase capacity, expand browsing volume, and prevent network congestion.

Another indicator that showcases how fast the bank has adjusted to this new scenario is the rise in the number of video conferences held over the past week. In the last seven days, compared to a regular working week, BBVA employees have held 70 percent more video calls (Google hangouts) and multiparty conferences (Cisco WebEx), and the number of participants has increased by 191 percent.

Videoconference call volumes over the last two weeks. - BBVA

Business Continuity teams have worked nonstop to adjust operations to the new situation and ensure that it’s business as usual at the bank, and that customers can enjoy the same level of service as ever.

As for the branch network in Spain, BBVA has been operating with 20 percent of its workforce since yesterday (Tuesday), ensuring service across the whole country, in compliance with the measures established by health authorities to minimize contagion risks. The bank’s longstanding commitment to digitization is allowing customers to conduct most of their banking transactions remotely using either BBVA’s app, website and Línea BBVA, as well as contact with its remote managers. The ATM network remains fully operational and in the case of customers that are less familiar with digital environments, the bank is rolling out the means necessary to help them start operating immediately through the digital channels. In the other countries where BBVA operates, it has immediately activated plans to allow all employees to work from home.

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