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Digital economics 27 Sep 2017

“The results of the digital transformation are already tangible”

BBVA’s Chief Financial Officer, Jaime Sáenz de Tejada explained this morning that “digital transformation is affecting all areas of the bank, and customers are the first ones to feel this. The results are already tangible. And, more and more, customers are turning to digital channels,” he said, in the Eighth Financial Encounter organized by the business daily Expansión and KPMG.

Jaime Sáenz de Tejada said the “the disruptive effect of digitization is tremendous and customer experience is essential. We are aware that we have to be more efficient and reach our clients more easily.” And to further strengthen this solid transformation message, BBVA’s CFO announced that virtually the entire product portfolio of the bank in Spain will be available via mobile phone by the end of 2017.  “The bank has made substantial progress in its digitization process in recent years: the mobile banking app has gone from offering 16% of products three years ago, to 80% currently, and will reach 90% next December,” he said.

The rapid growth in digital sales is a clear indicator of the effectiveness of BBVA’s digital channels.  “These data prove that our transformation strategy is on the right track,” said the CFO, speaking at the event, entitled “The Spanish Banking Sector Faces the Challenges of Regulation, Profitability and Digitalization.”  Sáenz de Tejada also noted that digital customers already account for 40% of the Group’s total customer base.  Driven by numbers such as these, the Bank was able to achieve another milestone in its transformation journey last July:  For the first time, the Group sold over one million banking products across all its digital channels.

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Jaime Sáenz de Tejada, CFO of BBVA, during the Eighth Financial Encounter, hosted by the business daily Expansion and KPMG.

BBVA wants to keep growing in Latin America

Jaime Sáenz de Tejada’s speech also touched on other matters, such as the interest another bank has recently shown in BBVA Chile. In this regard, he said “BBVA has to think of its shareholders and evaluate what decision has more value for them.” He also stressed that “this transaction is not associated with any strategic change by the Group in South America.”

BBVA’s CFO insisted that “this offer does not suppose a change of strategy In the countries in which the market share is small.”

Regarding real estate activity in Spain, Jaime Sáenz de Tejada said that “the important thing is how the underlying market is doing; the market is performing very well.” At the same time, he explained that BBVA’s strategy in this sector is to reduce its exposure. “It´s important to understand that the accounting losses in real estate activity are gradually declining, and that they don´t come from any additional impairment of assets; in fact, the result of sales is good.”

Responsible banking: three fundamental priorities

BBVA’s CFO also stressed that “we have been pioneers in reputational risk management; we have worked on it since before the financial crisis.” Jaime Saénz de Tejada explained that the Group is fully committed to responsible banking, through a business model based on the principles of integrity, transparency and prudence.

All this goes under the aegis of BBVA’s Responsible Business Plan, which is based on three strategic priorities. The first consists of Transparent, Clear and Responsible Communication (TCR) to promote informed decisions by customers; the second priority is that BBVA actively promotes financial education through various initiatives; the third and last is that BBVA develops financial products with a high social impact.

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