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Matins ESADE with 聲gel Cano, CEO of BBVA

20/03/2012 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Barcelona

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Matins ESADE with 聲gel Cano, CEO of BBVA


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At a recent session of Matins ESADE sponsored by Ernst & Young and La Vanguardia, 聲gel Cano, CEO of BBVA, had this to say about his bank’s recent acquisition of the Catalan savings bank Unnim: "Between this year and the first quarter of 2013, we will integrate Unnim’s customers under their present conditions and will continue to support the bank’s social commitments".

According to Mr. Cano, "Although our main objective in Spain continues to be organic growth, we are convinced that this operation is positive for BBVA, for Unnim and for Catalonia". For this reason, he explained, BBVA liked the strategic fit of the transaction, which is expected to "significantly boost our market share in one of Spain’s most attractive markets". He insisted, moreover, that both Unnim and BBVA practise customer-centric banking and that, therefore, BBVA can be expected to continue working along the same lines.

When asked about the availability of credit in Spain, Mr. Cano replied by predicting that "deleveraging will be greater than the demand for credit in 2012". He also predicted that the number of savings banks will drop sharply this year, "although we have yet to see the effects of the new banking reform decree".

"We must transform the financial industry"

Mr. Cano declared: "We must transform the financial industry, because the industry of the past clearly has not worked". He added: "There will be more restructuring in all countries, and in Spain in particular this will require another year and a half".

Mr. Cano expressed his belief that the financial industry is facing a profound transformation defined by three forces: first, "a difficult macroeconomic and financial environment, characterised by a dichotomy between emerging and developed economies, but characterised by slower economic growth worldwide"; second, the new regulatory and supervisory requirements "at both the international level and in local economies"; and third, the fact that "this transformation is marked by globalisation, technology and new ways of relating to customers".

Mr. Cano explained that "it will take time" for the economy to recover and the credit crunch to ease in Europe, and that "financial institutions cannot wait for the crisis to abate before transforming themselves".

Future challenges for the bank

"At BBVA we have the best model to compete in this new global financial industry. This industry will never be the same, and we want to lead it", said Mr. Cano. He added: "We have a solid bank with good risk management that will also be solid in the near term".

According to Mr. Cano, there are four essential elements to achieving viable models for the future: "Diversification in terms of geography, lines of business and segments; customer focus; operational excellence guaranteed by technology as an essential lever; and a long-term vision with strong principles". He added: "BBVA has already fully incorporated these elements into its model of a global bank - a changing global bank that does not lose its essence and does not forget its principles because ‘anything goes’".

Fewer offices

According to Mr. Cano, the banking sector will see lower growth and profit margins in the near future. Surviving the "unstoppable" force of globalisation in the post-crisis world will require innovation and a shift towards new technologies in customer relations.

Mr. Cano revealed that, in Spain, there will be "substantially fewer" BBVA branch offices in the coming years due to technological progress. The remaining offices "will serve as a meeting point between the bank and the customer", who, in most cases, will carry out transactions independently.

Mr. Cano also spoke of how BBVA took steps to "anticipate" the crisis. For example, after its most recent merger, the bank reduced the relative weight of its real estate assets to 9%, as compared to a sector-wide average of 18%. It was also one of the first banks to start closing branch offices in unprofitable locations.

Finally, Mr. Cato called for “discipline in planning capital and liquidity management, and expressed regret that the principles of "integrity, prudence and transparency" were lacking in the banking sector even before the crisis.




聲gel Cano, CEO of BBVA, will feture this new session of Matins ESADE titled "Towards a greater differentiation in the financial industry: winning models".

聲gel Cano offers his vision of the key factors of winning models in the transformation of the international financial system and the role that the BBVA Group plays in this environment.

Welcome and closing:
Pedro Fontana (Lic&MBA 74), Chairman of the ESADE Foundation Board of Trustees

Introduction and presentation:
Dr. Robert Tornabell, Emeritus Professor of Banking at ESADE Business School

D. 聲gel Cano, CEO of BBVA





聲gel Cano

Born in Santander in 1961. Married. Graduate in Business and Economics. Between 1984-1991, he worked in the financial department of Arthur Andersen. In 1991, he joined Argentaria as director of auditing, mainly developing and coordinating the area of financial control.  In 1998, he was appointed member of the Argentaria Management Committee. In 2000, he joined the BBVA  Management Committee. In April 2001, he became financial director of Grupo BBVA. In January 2003, he was appointed director of human resources and services at Grupo BBVA. In December 2005, he took on responsibility for technology at Grupo BBVA as director of resources and media. In January 2006, he was also given responsibility for developing and implementing the group's Global Transformation Plan. In September 2009, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of BBVA.

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