The image of the traditional billionaire, surrounded by luxury and oblivious to what is happening on the planet, is beginning to be a thing of the past. Some of the largest global fortunes have discovered impact investing and social entrepreneurship and are using these opportunities to take action and leave a positive mark on the world.
Urgency and opportunity are the two defining traits of the current situation that financial institutions are facing in this climate emergency scenario. For Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA, there are “two axes that define this age of responsibility.” At BBVA, “we are lending at interest rates that reward companies that meet measurable sustainable goals.” In his opinion, the financial sector “is taking ownership of its share of responsibility in this transition, although we still have a long way to go.”
BBVA USA pledged today to put nearly $15.5 billion in lending, investments and services toward supporting low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods in the U.S. over the next six years, renewing its 2014 5-year $11 billion commitment to boost economic development across all the communities in its footprint.
World Savings Day celebrates a financial habit that should be learned from an early age to ensure better financial planning in the future. Young people aren’t adults yet and don’t have the financial responsibilities of grownups. But, as kids become teenagers, they do have to start facing certain challenges, such as managing their monthly allowances to save a bit – or at least not overspend – or start using their first bank account.
Investor appetite for sustainable products has been growing exponentially in recent years. BBVA’s Global Head of Responsible Business, Antoni Ballabriga, revealed that “This year $350 million in sustainable bonds and corporate loans will be issued around the world, 30 percent more than last year, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).” During the ‘Sustainable finance in the face of environmental challenges’ forum, organized by Spain’s National Association of Economists (Consejo General de Economistas), Ballabriga stressed that “there is still a lot to be done” and “one of the current challenges is to incorporate this trend into the SME and consumer markets.”
More than 2,600 BBVA USA employees participated in the bank’s annual Week of Service during the week of Oct. 7. Employees across the bank’s footprint participated in 227 events, including Habitat for Humanity projects, food bank initiatives, community clean up efforts, and financial education workshops for individuals and small businesses. Their efforts generated more than 8,000 volunteer hours across the bank’s footprint.
Now that the reporting season in the banking sector is underway, it may be the right time to take a look at some of the most commonly used, but more frequently misunderstood, financial terms. One of these terms is the expression “positive jaws,” which is used, for example, by BBVA CEO Onur Genç during the results presentations.
“According to United Nations estimates, meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will require mobilizing $5 to 7 billion per year. This explains the enormous scale of the changes that we need to address,” explained BBVA Global Head of Responsible Business Antoni Ballabriga, during speaking at the Open Summit event in Madrid. Ballabriga underlined the key role that financial institutions are called to play in a context “where sustainability is the biggest business opportunity for banks in the next 10 years”.