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Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Sustainability and Responsible Banking

Everyone should have access to basic financial services by 2020. This goal, set by the World Bank, aims to combat the financial exclusion that impacts two billion people. Several organizations from the public and private sector, including BBVA Microfinance Foundation, have signed the Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA), committing to meet this deadline.

Having a bank account is the first step to access basic financial services, such as loans or insurance, which help underprivileged families to receive essential services like water, electricity, housing, education or healthcare. It also allows small and medium sized businesses to grow, expand operations and improve risk management.

After the financial crisis of 2008, the role that banks need to play in society seems to have been finally clarified. The purpose - or the rationale - of a bank is currently defined in terms of service to citizens, the community or the specific groups with which it interacts (stakeholders).  In this new business model, principles are integrated into the bank's strategy and grant consistency and unity to three fundamental concepts:  the purpose, the strategy and the corporate culture.  Today in the banking industry, the talk is not about what we want to be but how to become what we want to be. In other words: how to build a responsible culture.

For yet another year, on November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is being commemorated, and BBVA would like to resonate, among all those who are part of it, our involvement and commitment as citizens to manage to achieve a society free of gender-based violence, our support for women who suffer gender-based violence and anyone who may be in a possible abusive situation.

Francisco González, along with the Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, Food and the Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, presided the BVA Foundation Biodiversity Conservation Awards ceremony. The winners of the 11th edition of these awards were the Grupo para la Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat (GREFA), and the NGO Conservation Land Trust, and the communications professional Carlos de Hita.

BBVA’s new corporate headquarters in Madrid have become an architectural and sustainability landmark. Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have designed not only a smart but an environmentally and people friendly city, reflective of the financial group’s global digital transformation strategy.

Image of Francisco_Gonzalez, with a client of BBVA Microfinance Foundation in Soacha, Colombia.

“It is really moving to see this type of initiatives and how a Foundation like ours can do so much in favor of society. These people have access to loan facilities, but they manage to move forward thanks to their own efforts and will to fight. Their work is spectacular and we are already seeing progress in future generations; their kids and grandchildren go to school and many even make it to college. For me, it has been an incredible visit,” said Francisco González during his visit to some of the projects supported by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation (BBVAMF) in Soacha, a city just outside of Bogota (Colombia).

Javier M. Flores, CEO of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, renewed the foundation's commitment with the Sustainable Development Goals Fund until 2019. During the session held at the headquarters of United Nations, the SDG Fund also presented the report “Universality and the SDGs: A Business Perspective”. This publication examines some of the key issues facing companies when incorporating and implementing the SDGs within their core strategy.