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Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Sustainability and Responsible Banking

The many manifestations of COVID-19 have made us susceptible to associating any of its wide-ranging symptoms to the virus and we forget that other conditions still exist and need to be tended to. More worrisome is the fact that globally, public health measures to control the pandemic, including mobility restrictions and prioritization of COVID-19 treatment, coupled with the economic crisis that is producing an increase in poverty, has made it even more challenging for low-income patients to access treatment in a timely manner. In Latin America, according to Pfizer, the number of medical consultations  and oncological visits nearly halved. Moreover, in the region, having medical coverage and access to basic health care is limited to very few people.

Picture of Wind power renewable energy sustainability El Arrayan Chile BBVA

BBVA was recently named Best Investment Bank for Sustainable Financing by Global Finance as part of its 22nd annual World’s Best Investment Banks survey.

In naming the global winners, Publisher and Editorial Director Joseph D. Giarraputo pointed out the role investment banks will play in the world post-pandemic, specifically mentioning the importance of understanding the skills and specialties that these banks bring. For BBVA USA, sustainability is a clear differentiating factor and has become especially important over the past year.

For yet another year, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published the data reported by nearly 40 of the largest foundations in member countries of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), to showcase the impact of private philanthropy. For second year running, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) ranks as the leading contributor to development in Latin America, and the world's second, next to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

BBVA has updated its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy with several new additions following the recommendations of Spain’s financial market regulator, the CNMV, and the bank’s growing commitment to its role in sustainable banking.  Furthermore, BBVA’s Board of Directors also approved the General Policy on Sustainability, which defines and establishes the general principles, main objectives and guidelines for the management and control of the Group in terms of sustainable development, with the aim of striking a balance among economic development, social development and environmental protection.

In 2020, BBVA launched its 'COVID-19 Social Response Plan' with €35.7 million to help society at large. The funds were primarily used to purchase medical equipment to support public health systems. In addition, the bank collaborated with a variety of different organizations to support vulnerable groups, and promoted research on the disease and its side effects. More than 3.5 million people directly benefited from these initiatives, rolled out on top of another batch of measures implemented to support clients and customers, including payment deferrals and government backed loans.