<![CDATA[CaixaBank - Communication]]> https://www.caixabank.com/aplnr/comunicacion/buscador/servicio.noticiasRSS_en.html WordPress <![CDATA[Barça Lassa y Real Madrid no se van de la Copa]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-17T01:00:38.0Z 2019-02-17T01:00:38.0Z <![CDATA[Barça Lassa y Real Madrid no se van de la Copa]]> 0 <![CDATA[CaixaBank, the world's first bank to use facial recognition to withdraw cash at ATMs]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-14T14:00:00.0Z 2019-02-14T14:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank, the world's first bank to use facial recognition to withdraw cash at ATMs]]> CaixaBank has become the world's first financial institution to offer its customers the ability to use facial recognition to withdraw cash from ATMs, without having to enter their PIN. The company, with Jordi Gual as Chairman and Gonzalo Gortázar as CEO, presented the system today in Barcelona, in an act that entails the commercial launch of the service for all customers who want to sue it at ATMs equipped with the new technology. The press conference was attended by Jordi Nicolau, head of Global Customer Experience at CaixaBank, and Benjamí Puigdevall, head of CaixaBank Digital Business.

The objective of implementing facial recognition technology in ATMs is to offer a better user experience and greater security in transactions, given that it streamlines the customer identification process, and makes it possible to withdraw cash without memorising multiple passwords. CaixaBank now has this verification system in place in four Store branches in Barcelona, with a total of 20 terminals. The company plans to progressively expand facial recognition across its Store offices from the second half of 2019.

CaixaBank has developed this project with the collaboration of its technological partners, Fujitsu and FacePhi.

More than 16,000 security points

The system is groundbreaking on a global level, as it allows users to withdraw money from an ATM by simply recognising them from the image captured by the terminal's camera. The ATM has the hardware and software needed to validate up to 16,000 points on the image of the user's face, which guarantees a totally secure identification.

However, the customer can always select the most convenient personal identification technology, as CaixaBank ATMs will have both options: facial recognition or PIN.

An innovative experience to improve service and proximity

The launch of this new service for ATMs falls within the objectives of the CaixaBank 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, where innovative projects play a key role. According to Gonzalo Gortázar, CaixaBank CEO, "technological leadership helps us to provide a better service to our customers, in a closer, more specialised way".

Jordi Nicolau said that this development means "defining a different, innovative customer experience, as part of CaixaBanks strategy to constantly evolve towards new needs and habits". Nicolau added that "a state-of-the-art experience is bringing us closer to our objective to offer a distinguishing customer journey, with clear benefits to service quality and proximity to customers".

Meanwhile, Benjamí Puigdevall explained that "in the current financial context of digital transformation, security and agility are key in transactions, and the incorporation of biometric technology at ATMs offers multiple benefits in these two areas". For Puigdevall, “this commitment to facial recognition strengthens CaixaBank's position among the companies with the most advanced ATMs around the world”.

The project to implement facial recognition technology forms part of neX, the new organisational structure recently created in CaixaBank, focused on digital transformation, which brings all departments together with a focus on the relationship with retail customers.

High level of interest among customers

The need to remember a PIN at ATMs is one of the points of improvement that customers regularly point out when asked about their main difficulties in digital banking. Thus, CaixaBank has opted for biometric technology as the most convenient alternative to the PIN.

Before being implemented in the first ATMs, the financial institution conducted a study with real customers to determine the degree of acceptance of identification by facial recognition. The results were very favourable: 70% of respondents would be ready to use it as an alternative to entering their personal identification code on a keyboard.

Among the benefits mentioned by users, respondents highlighted the sense of security that comes with facial recognition (66% of participants mentioned this), convenience (important for 19% of respondents) and speed (highlighted by 15% of customers). Furthermore, CaixaBank involved customers in the project development and design of the technological solution, carried out with agile and design thinking methodologies.

Available for all CaixaBank customers

Any CaixaBank customer can now use facial recognition to withdraw cash in ATMs that use this technology. However, users will need to register for the service before using it for the first time.

This registration can easily be completed in a matter of minutes in company branches, using employee tablets.

Commitment to biometrics

With the launch of facial recognition in ATMs, CaixaBank is strengthening its commitment to biometrics as a technology that facilitates customer access to the company's service, in a simpler, more convenient way.

In fact, in 2017, the company already became the first bank in Spain to incorporate the Face ID technology of the iPhone X, which had just hit the market. With this service, customers can access their accounts through facial recognition on their mobile device, without having to enter other access information, such as their ID number, username and password.

CaixaBank, leader in banking digitalisation

CaixaBank is the leader in retail banking in Spain, with a 29.3% share among retail customers. Technology and digitalisation support the company's business model, which continues to strengthen its leadership with the largest base of digital customers in Spain: more than 6 million digital customers, 5.2 million mobile banking customers and a penetration rate of 32%.

The bank has developed projects that have been milestones in the sector, such as the first commercial implementation of contactless and mobile payment systems in Europe, the creation of the first contactless ATMs in the world, the launch of imaginBank, the first mobile bank in Spain, and the development of the first artificial intelligence application for customer services.

Thanks to its digital transformation strategy, CaixaBank is among the most highly valued banks in the word for its quality of digital services. In 2018, the company was named 'Best Digital Bank in Western Europe', by the specialised publications Euromoney and Global Finance. Furthermore, the mobile banking application was recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and the British magazine The Banker, which selected it as the best technological project in 2018 in the “mobile” category.

]]>
CaixaBank has become the world's first financial institution to offer its customers the ability to use facial recognition to withdraw cash from ATMs, without having to enter their PIN. The company, with Jordi Gual as Chairman and Gonzalo Gortázar as CEO, presented the system today in Barcelona, in an act that entails the commercial launch of the service for all customers who want to sue it at ATMs equipped with the new technology. The press conference was attended by Jordi Nicolau, head of Global Customer Experience at CaixaBank, and Benjamí Puigdevall, head of CaixaBank Digital Business.

The objective of implementing facial recognition technology in ATMs is to offer a better user experience and greater security in transactions, given that it streamlines the customer identification process, and makes it possible to withdraw cash without memorising multiple passwords. CaixaBank now has this verification system in place in four Store branches in Barcelona, with a total of 20 terminals. The company plans to progressively expand facial recognition across its Store offices from the second half of 2019.

CaixaBank has developed this project with the collaboration of its technological partners, Fujitsu and FacePhi.

More than 16,000 security points

The system is groundbreaking on a global level, as it allows users to withdraw money from an ATM by simply recognising them from the image captured by the terminal's camera. The ATM has the hardware and software needed to validate up to 16,000 points on the image of the user's face, which guarantees a totally secure identification.

However, the customer can always select the most convenient personal identification technology, as CaixaBank ATMs will have both options: facial recognition or PIN.

An innovative experience to improve service and proximity

The launch of this new service for ATMs falls within the objectives of the CaixaBank 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, where innovative projects play a key role. According to Gonzalo Gortázar, CaixaBank CEO, "technological leadership helps us to provide a better service to our customers, in a closer, more specialised way".

Jordi Nicolau said that this development means "defining a different, innovative customer experience, as part of CaixaBanks strategy to constantly evolve towards new needs and habits". Nicolau added that "a state-of-the-art experience is bringing us closer to our objective to offer a distinguishing customer journey, with clear benefits to service quality and proximity to customers".

Meanwhile, Benjamí Puigdevall explained that "in the current financial context of digital transformation, security and agility are key in transactions, and the incorporation of biometric technology at ATMs offers multiple benefits in these two areas". For Puigdevall, “this commitment to facial recognition strengthens CaixaBank's position among the companies with the most advanced ATMs around the world”.

The project to implement facial recognition technology forms part of neX, the new organisational structure recently created in CaixaBank, focused on digital transformation, which brings all departments together with a focus on the relationship with retail customers.

High level of interest among customers

The need to remember a PIN at ATMs is one of the points of improvement that customers regularly point out when asked about their main difficulties in digital banking. Thus, CaixaBank has opted for biometric technology as the most convenient alternative to the PIN.

Before being implemented in the first ATMs, the financial institution conducted a study with real customers to determine the degree of acceptance of identification by facial recognition. The results were very favourable: 70% of respondents would be ready to use it as an alternative to entering their personal identification code on a keyboard.

Among the benefits mentioned by users, respondents highlighted the sense of security that comes with facial recognition (66% of participants mentioned this), convenience (important for 19% of respondents) and speed (highlighted by 15% of customers). Furthermore, CaixaBank involved customers in the project development and design of the technological solution, carried out with agile and design thinking methodologies.

Available for all CaixaBank customers

Any CaixaBank customer can now use facial recognition to withdraw cash in ATMs that use this technology. However, users will need to register for the service before using it for the first time.

This registration can easily be completed in a matter of minutes in company branches, using employee tablets.

Commitment to biometrics

With the launch of facial recognition in ATMs, CaixaBank is strengthening its commitment to biometrics as a technology that facilitates customer access to the company's service, in a simpler, more convenient way.

In fact, in 2017, the company already became the first bank in Spain to incorporate the Face ID technology of the iPhone X, which had just hit the market. With this service, customers can access their accounts through facial recognition on their mobile device, without having to enter other access information, such as their ID number, username and password.

CaixaBank, leader in banking digitalisation

CaixaBank is the leader in retail banking in Spain, with a 29.3% share among retail customers. Technology and digitalisation support the company's business model, which continues to strengthen its leadership with the largest base of digital customers in Spain: more than 6 million digital customers, 5.2 million mobile banking customers and a penetration rate of 32%.

The bank has developed projects that have been milestones in the sector, such as the first commercial implementation of contactless and mobile payment systems in Europe, the creation of the first contactless ATMs in the world, the launch of imaginBank, the first mobile bank in Spain, and the development of the first artificial intelligence application for customer services.

Thanks to its digital transformation strategy, CaixaBank is among the most highly valued banks in the word for its quality of digital services. In 2018, the company was named 'Best Digital Bank in Western Europe', by the specialised publications Euromoney and Global Finance. Furthermore, the mobile banking application was recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and the British magazine The Banker, which selected it as the best technological project in 2018 in the “mobile” category.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[Jordi Gual visits the Casablanca office on the tenth anniversary of CaixaBank's Moroccan branch]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-13T00:00:00.0Z 2019-02-13T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[Jordi Gual visits the Casablanca office on the tenth anniversary of CaixaBank's Moroccan branch]]> Jordi Gual, CaixaBank chairman, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the company's Morocco branch, with a visit to the team of the operational office in Casablanca, the first to open in the country.

In his visit, Jordi Gual highlighted the importance of Morocco for the company's international network, and thanked the team for their effort in driving the bank's internationalisation. "Over the past ten years, CaixaBank has established itself as a benchmark bank for Spanish companies operating in Morocco, accompanying them in their growth on the African continent with added-value services. Thanks to its geographical location, economic growth and investment opportunities, Morocco is a strategic country for Spanish exporters, and therefore for CaixaBank too".

The CaixaBank chairman's visit to Casablanca has been scheduled in the context of the delegation of Spanish businesspeople accompanying the King and Queen of Spain on their official trip to Morocco, on 13 and 14 February.

10 years of the Morocco branch

CaixaBank got its banking licence in Morocco in 2009, and opened its first operational office there in the city of Casablanca. Over the last few years, in response to the international activity of its customers, the company has opened new offices in Tangier, in 2013; and Agadir, in 2017.   

From its branch in Morocco, the company offers foreign trade services, business banking and corporate banking, both to Spanish companies already established in the country or looking to enter the Moroccan market, and to large Moroccan companies and multinationals.

Currently, more than 60% of the 800 Spanish companies operating in the country (according to ICEX data) are customers at the CaixaBank branch in Morocco.

Last year, CaixaBank was leader in the issuance of guarantees for Spanish companies with projects in Morocco, with a market share of 57.7% for this kind of guarantee. Furthermore, in terms of letters of credit, Moroccan banks sent 25.6% of these to CaixaBank in Spain in 2018, thus establishing the company as a leader in this market too.

In total, CaixaBank has a team of 22 people in Morocco, 16 of which are local, ensuring a diversity that combines the company's global experience with local knowledge.

'Le Cercle' discussion forum

In 2017, CaixaBank created the 'Le Cercle' discussion forum in Morocco. The aim of the forum is to bring together the Spanish and Moroccan business community and promote interrelations between the business worlds of both countries.

Since it was created, CaixaBank has organised more than a dozen forums focused around diverse topics, such as legal protection and arbitration, the Moroccan currency or taxation in Morocco, among others. Last November saw the first edition of the cultural 'Le Cercle', in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes in Casablanca.

In 2018, CaixaBank received the 'Africanity Trophy' for the support that the company provides to commercial development, economic invigoration and wealth generation in Africa.

Morocco-Spain trade relations

Since 2012, Spain has been the top supplier and customer of Morocco. In the last six years, the bilateral trade flow has doubled, both in exports and imports, according to ICEX data.

Furthermore, Morocco is the ninth most significant recipient of Spanish exports, and the second outside of the European Union, only exceeded by the United States. This represents 2.9% of Spanish exports.

CaixaBank's international presence

CaixaBank manifests its international presence through its operational branches, offices that foster representation and cooperation agreements with international banks. Currently, CaixaBank has branches in the United Kingdom (London), Germany (Frankfurt), France (Paris), Poland, (Warsaw) and Morocco (Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier).

The bank also has 18 representative offices spread across the five continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), New York (USA), Singapore, Johannesburg  (South Africa), São Paulo (Brazil), Algiers (Algeria), Lima (Peru), Sidney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada).

Similarly, CaixaBank holds agreements with international banks, making it easier for companies and individuals from any country in the world to engage in international transactions and foreign trade. It also fully owns the Portuguese bank BPI, and has a 9.92% stake in the Austrian company Erste Bank.

CaixaBank was named the 'Best Confirming-Bank Partner for Financing in Emerging Markets 2017' by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, under the framework of the Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP).

CaixaBank was also the first financial institution in Europe to obtain the AENOR certificate for its financial services and customer care in International Banking.

]]>
Jordi Gual, CaixaBank chairman, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the company's Morocco branch, with a visit to the team of the operational office in Casablanca, the first to open in the country.

In his visit, Jordi Gual highlighted the importance of Morocco for the company's international network, and thanked the team for their effort in driving the bank's internationalisation. "Over the past ten years, CaixaBank has established itself as a benchmark bank for Spanish companies operating in Morocco, accompanying them in their growth on the African continent with added-value services. Thanks to its geographical location, economic growth and investment opportunities, Morocco is a strategic country for Spanish exporters, and therefore for CaixaBank too".

The CaixaBank chairman's visit to Casablanca has been scheduled in the context of the delegation of Spanish businesspeople accompanying the King and Queen of Spain on their official trip to Morocco, on 13 and 14 February.

10 years of the Morocco branch

CaixaBank got its banking licence in Morocco in 2009, and opened its first operational office there in the city of Casablanca. Over the last few years, in response to the international activity of its customers, the company has opened new offices in Tangier, in 2013; and Agadir, in 2017.   

From its branch in Morocco, the company offers foreign trade services, business banking and corporate banking, both to Spanish companies already established in the country or looking to enter the Moroccan market, and to large Moroccan companies and multinationals.

Currently, more than 60% of the 800 Spanish companies operating in the country (according to ICEX data) are customers at the CaixaBank branch in Morocco.

Last year, CaixaBank was leader in the issuance of guarantees for Spanish companies with projects in Morocco, with a market share of 57.7% for this kind of guarantee. Furthermore, in terms of letters of credit, Moroccan banks sent 25.6% of these to CaixaBank in Spain in 2018, thus establishing the company as a leader in this market too.

In total, CaixaBank has a team of 22 people in Morocco, 16 of which are local, ensuring a diversity that combines the company's global experience with local knowledge.

'Le Cercle' discussion forum

In 2017, CaixaBank created the 'Le Cercle' discussion forum in Morocco. The aim of the forum is to bring together the Spanish and Moroccan business community and promote interrelations between the business worlds of both countries.

Since it was created, CaixaBank has organised more than a dozen forums focused around diverse topics, such as legal protection and arbitration, the Moroccan currency or taxation in Morocco, among others. Last November saw the first edition of the cultural 'Le Cercle', in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes in Casablanca.

In 2018, CaixaBank received the 'Africanity Trophy' for the support that the company provides to commercial development, economic invigoration and wealth generation in Africa.

Morocco-Spain trade relations

Since 2012, Spain has been the top supplier and customer of Morocco. In the last six years, the bilateral trade flow has doubled, both in exports and imports, according to ICEX data.

Furthermore, Morocco is the ninth most significant recipient of Spanish exports, and the second outside of the European Union, only exceeded by the United States. This represents 2.9% of Spanish exports.

CaixaBank's international presence

CaixaBank manifests its international presence through its operational branches, offices that foster representation and cooperation agreements with international banks. Currently, CaixaBank has branches in the United Kingdom (London), Germany (Frankfurt), France (Paris), Poland, (Warsaw) and Morocco (Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier).

The bank also has 18 representative offices spread across the five continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), New York (USA), Singapore, Johannesburg  (South Africa), São Paulo (Brazil), Algiers (Algeria), Lima (Peru), Sidney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada).

Similarly, CaixaBank holds agreements with international banks, making it easier for companies and individuals from any country in the world to engage in international transactions and foreign trade. It also fully owns the Portuguese bank BPI, and has a 9.92% stake in the Austrian company Erste Bank.

CaixaBank was named the 'Best Confirming-Bank Partner for Financing in Emerging Markets 2017' by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, under the framework of the Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP).

CaixaBank was also the first financial institution in Europe to obtain the AENOR certificate for its financial services and customer care in International Banking.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[A look into our history of basketball]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-05T00:00:00.0Z 2019-02-05T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[A look into our history of basketball]]>

Fernando Martín (Real Madrid) and Audie Norris (FC Barcelona), in one of its historic epic duels

The atmosphere at a basketball game is very intense. Few sports can generate such a vibrant energy. Perhaps it is the players running in sharp bursts of seconds at a time, timeouts and free throws that are the reason why fans' hearts beat at another rhythm. Or maybe it is the high-spirited mood that spreads across the stands.

The passion that reigns over a basketball court is one of a kind. If that court is also holding the Copa del Rey final, the energy is through the roof from the moment it is even announced. So how can we fill the time until then? A walk through the history of this competition, basketball's most longstanding in Spain, seems like a great idea to whet the appetite.

The history of 82 Cups

All this magic in Copa del Rey finals is nothing new. On the contrary: the cup was first contested in 1933, and, since then, this competition has become one of the most awaited and influential events on the Spanish sporting panorama.

This edition, whose final will be held between 14 and 17 February in Madrid, has had 82 precursors come before it.CaixaBank is offering an audiovisual journey through them all in a photographic exhibition, and with videos of the most dramatic moments, held in CaixaForum Madrid until 17 February.An excellent context for understanding what is to play for in February, when eight teams prepare to get the stands roaring once again. At the same time, visitors will be able to see the prized trophy on display.

These are some of the graphic and visual records on show at CaixaForum, which will help both fans and the uninitiated to discover why the Copa del Rey of Basketball is so special.

1933 The pioneers

A true Cup final in the interior gardens of a building. The beginnings of basketball in Spain were quite different from today. Everything was incredibly amateur, with games being held in places like tennis courts or handball courts with concrete floors.

El Rayo Madrid played Real Madrid Baloncesto in the first edition, held in 1933 in the garden of the old Goya cinema. Two years earlier, Real Madrid had signed its first star players with an announcement in the ABC newspaper, which said: "We ask all gentlemen interested in this sport to come by the club's secretariat, Caballero de Gracia, 15, for instructions". Thus, this was the great-great-grandfather of the NBA draft and the current market of ACB signings.

1970s. Madrid derbies and a legend on the court

During the '70s, derbies between Real Madrid Baloncesto and El Estudiantes were constant, as reflected in CaixaBank's graphical journey through the history of the Copa del Rey of basketball.

In line with the fascination that comes with these games, here we have a curious image with a story behind it. José Ramón Ramos, a talented player trained in the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu, played with Real Madrid Baloncesto for six years before returning to El Estudiantes. Here we can see him with the Real Madrid shirt in a Cup semi-final against his alma mater in the early '70s.

In the '70s, the Cup also said farewell to one of the first legends on the benches. Pedro Ferrándiz left Real Madrid at his peak, having won 11 editions with the club since 1960. We can see his teammates lifting him in this picture, after winning his last final in 1975.

Kevin Magee led to the CAI Zaragoza towards the title of the Tournament in 1984

1983-84. First final of the ACB... with a surprise

Nearing the mid-'80s, the Cup had reached a kind of impasse. The League was eclipsing the competition, having almost turned into a private event for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Between them, the clubs already had 31 titles. However, in the 1983-84 season, the ACB took over the organisation and implemented a finals system that saw four teams play against each other in the same location, where they could have two foreign players. The objective was to create a more spectacular competition.

Zaragoza hosted the first final, with the CAI as the home team. Zaragoza's fans responded very positively to the ACB measure. The expectation of seeing their team play against the giants of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Joventut de Badalona was enormous. This enthusiasm spread across the whole country, with 10 million television spectators tuning in for the final. Against all odds, CAI Zaragoza ended up lifting the cup, after beating Joventut in the semi-finals and FC Barcelona in a thrilling final that finished at 81-78. The image of a euphoric Magee lifting his arms as he is passed through a sea of fans is a perfect summary of what those two days meant for the history of Spanish basketball.

'80s and '90s. The age of the giants

The history of Spanish basketball was built on huge names. In this regard, the echo of the difficult duels beneath the hoops between Fernando Martin and Audey Norris (in the image) still resound. In the same photo, we can see them flanked by the giants that are Fernando Romay and Epi.

But there were many more names that still resonate in the public imagination: Figures such as Corbalán, Drazen Petrovic and Jordi Villacampa took the baton from the likes of the Alonso brothers, Marcelino Maneja, Eduardo Kucharski and Clifford Luyk. These were followed by current key players like Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Sergio Llul and Juan Carlos Navarro.

These names all have something in common: at one time or another, they have all been pushed to the limits in a Cup final, like the one between FC Barcelona and Taugrés in Seville in 1994. The picture, which shows the standoff between Massenburg and Rivas, reflects how the tension of the last game is able to ignite sparks. Basketball in its purest state.

]]>

Fernando Martín (Real Madrid) and Audie Norris (FC Barcelona), in one of its historic epic duels

The atmosphere at a basketball game is very intense. Few sports can generate such a vibrant energy. Perhaps it is the players running in sharp bursts of seconds at a time, timeouts and free throws that are the reason why fans' hearts beat at another rhythm. Or maybe it is the high-spirited mood that spreads across the stands.

The passion that reigns over a basketball court is one of a kind. If that court is also holding the Copa del Rey final, the energy is through the roof from the moment it is even announced. So how can we fill the time until then? A walk through the history of this competition, basketball's most longstanding in Spain, seems like a great idea to whet the appetite.

The history of 82 Cups

All this magic in Copa del Rey finals is nothing new. On the contrary: the cup was first contested in 1933, and, since then, this competition has become one of the most awaited and influential events on the Spanish sporting panorama.

This edition, whose final will be held between 14 and 17 February in Madrid, has had 82 precursors come before it.CaixaBank is offering an audiovisual journey through them all in a photographic exhibition, and with videos of the most dramatic moments, held in CaixaForum Madrid until 17 February.An excellent context for understanding what is to play for in February, when eight teams prepare to get the stands roaring once again. At the same time, visitors will be able to see the prized trophy on display.

These are some of the graphic and visual records on show at CaixaForum, which will help both fans and the uninitiated to discover why the Copa del Rey of Basketball is so special.

1933 The pioneers

A true Cup final in the interior gardens of a building. The beginnings of basketball in Spain were quite different from today. Everything was incredibly amateur, with games being held in places like tennis courts or handball courts with concrete floors.

El Rayo Madrid played Real Madrid Baloncesto in the first edition, held in 1933 in the garden of the old Goya cinema. Two years earlier, Real Madrid had signed its first star players with an announcement in the ABC newspaper, which said: "We ask all gentlemen interested in this sport to come by the club's secretariat, Caballero de Gracia, 15, for instructions". Thus, this was the great-great-grandfather of the NBA draft and the current market of ACB signings.

1970s. Madrid derbies and a legend on the court

During the '70s, derbies between Real Madrid Baloncesto and El Estudiantes were constant, as reflected in CaixaBank's graphical journey through the history of the Copa del Rey of basketball.

In line with the fascination that comes with these games, here we have a curious image with a story behind it. José Ramón Ramos, a talented player trained in the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu, played with Real Madrid Baloncesto for six years before returning to El Estudiantes. Here we can see him with the Real Madrid shirt in a Cup semi-final against his alma mater in the early '70s.

In the '70s, the Cup also said farewell to one of the first legends on the benches. Pedro Ferrándiz left Real Madrid at his peak, having won 11 editions with the club since 1960. We can see his teammates lifting him in this picture, after winning his last final in 1975.

Kevin Magee led to the CAI Zaragoza towards the title of the Tournament in 1984

1983-84. First final of the ACB... with a surprise

Nearing the mid-'80s, the Cup had reached a kind of impasse. The League was eclipsing the competition, having almost turned into a private event for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Between them, the clubs already had 31 titles. However, in the 1983-84 season, the ACB took over the organisation and implemented a finals system that saw four teams play against each other in the same location, where they could have two foreign players. The objective was to create a more spectacular competition.

Zaragoza hosted the first final, with the CAI as the home team. Zaragoza's fans responded very positively to the ACB measure. The expectation of seeing their team play against the giants of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Joventut de Badalona was enormous. This enthusiasm spread across the whole country, with 10 million television spectators tuning in for the final. Against all odds, CAI Zaragoza ended up lifting the cup, after beating Joventut in the semi-finals and FC Barcelona in a thrilling final that finished at 81-78. The image of a euphoric Magee lifting his arms as he is passed through a sea of fans is a perfect summary of what those two days meant for the history of Spanish basketball.

'80s and '90s. The age of the giants

The history of Spanish basketball was built on huge names. In this regard, the echo of the difficult duels beneath the hoops between Fernando Martin and Audey Norris (in the image) still resound. In the same photo, we can see them flanked by the giants that are Fernando Romay and Epi.

But there were many more names that still resonate in the public imagination: Figures such as Corbalán, Drazen Petrovic and Jordi Villacampa took the baton from the likes of the Alonso brothers, Marcelino Maneja, Eduardo Kucharski and Clifford Luyk. These were followed by current key players like Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Sergio Llul and Juan Carlos Navarro.

These names all have something in common: at one time or another, they have all been pushed to the limits in a Cup final, like the one between FC Barcelona and Taugrés in Seville in 1994. The picture, which shows the standoff between Massenburg and Rivas, reflects how the tension of the last game is able to ignite sparks. Basketball in its purest state.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[The international organisation CDP acknowledges CaixaBank as one of the leading companies in the fight struggle against climate change]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-04T00:00:00.0Z 2019-02-04T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[The international organisation CDP acknowledges CaixaBank as one of the leading companies in the fight struggle against climate change]]> The organisation CDP has included CaixaBank in the index of global leaders in the struggle against climate change, for the fifth consecutive year. The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) is an international non-profit organisation that advises private companies and public bodies on implementing measures aimed at achieving a sustainable economy by measuring the environmental impact of their actions and policies.

Every year, the CDP analyses thousands of companies to draw up its Climate list, which includes those most committed to managing the climate change worldwide. On this occasion, it has provided CaixaBank with an A- rating, which makes it the best-rated Spanish financial institution and the only one included in the highest categories. This acknowledgement consolidates CaixaBank as an international and national leading company, due to its firm commitment towards preventing and mitigating the climate change.

The CDP compiles the actions and strategies of thousands of companies worldwide and provides this information to over 800 institutional investors that manage assets valued at 100 billion dollars. The classifications established by the CDP have become in recent years a benchmark instrument for investors and stakeholders to assess the business actions developed to mitigate the climate change and to determine their degree of readiness in reacting to changes in legislation on emission reduction and market demands.

Alliances and initiatives for the sustainability of the planet

CaixaBank is one of the leading financial institutions in the struggle against climate change on a global level. It has become the first Ibex-35 bank and one of the few European banks to manage to fully neutralise its calculated carbon footprint, including the institution's indirect emissions.

Since 2007, it is part of the group of financial institutions associated with the Equator Principles to guarantee that the projects to which it provides funding and consultancy are carried out in a socially responsible way. In addition, since 2016 it has been on the board of directors of the Spanish Green Growth Group, which fosters economic growth linked to a low-carbon economy.

CaixaBank has also joined the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which has three main goals: commitment to sustainable development, sustainability management and public awareness. Similarly, the institution is also part of the Forética Climate Change Cluster and has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the world's main index assessing the behaviour of companies under social, environmental and corporate governance criteria.

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The organisation CDP has included CaixaBank in the index of global leaders in the struggle against climate change, for the fifth consecutive year. The CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) is an international non-profit organisation that advises private companies and public bodies on implementing measures aimed at achieving a sustainable economy by measuring the environmental impact of their actions and policies.

Every year, the CDP analyses thousands of companies to draw up its Climate list, which includes those most committed to managing the climate change worldwide. On this occasion, it has provided CaixaBank with an A- rating, which makes it the best-rated Spanish financial institution and the only one included in the highest categories. This acknowledgement consolidates CaixaBank as an international and national leading company, due to its firm commitment towards preventing and mitigating the climate change.

The CDP compiles the actions and strategies of thousands of companies worldwide and provides this information to over 800 institutional investors that manage assets valued at 100 billion dollars. The classifications established by the CDP have become in recent years a benchmark instrument for investors and stakeholders to assess the business actions developed to mitigate the climate change and to determine their degree of readiness in reacting to changes in legislation on emission reduction and market demands.

Alliances and initiatives for the sustainability of the planet

CaixaBank is one of the leading financial institutions in the struggle against climate change on a global level. It has become the first Ibex-35 bank and one of the few European banks to manage to fully neutralise its calculated carbon footprint, including the institution's indirect emissions.

Since 2007, it is part of the group of financial institutions associated with the Equator Principles to guarantee that the projects to which it provides funding and consultancy are carried out in a socially responsible way. In addition, since 2016 it has been on the board of directors of the Spanish Green Growth Group, which fosters economic growth linked to a low-carbon economy.

CaixaBank has also joined the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), which has three main goals: commitment to sustainable development, sustainability management and public awareness. Similarly, the institution is also part of the Forética Climate Change Cluster and has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the world's main index assessing the behaviour of companies under social, environmental and corporate governance criteria.

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<![CDATA[CaixaBank improves across all margin lines and posts a net profit of €1,985 million (+17.8%)]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-02-01T08:00:00.0Z 2019-02-01T08:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank improves across all margin lines and posts a net profit of €1,985 million (+17.8%)]]> Milestones in 2018

  •  Sale of the real estate business (mainly the portfolio of real estate assets classified as available for sale at 31 October 2017, as well as 100% of the share capital of Servihabitat) to a newco owned by Lone Star and CaixaBank (80% and 20% stakes, respectively).
  •  Agreement to sell CaixaBank’s 9.36% stake in Repsol. After the early settlement of two equity swap agreements, a disposal programme for the remaining stake in Repsol has been initiated. 
  • CaixaBank closed 2018 with a 100% stake in BPI. The Portuguese securities market regulator (Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários, or CMVM for short) approved the delisting of BPI in December, prompting CaixaBank to initiate the squeeze-out process. 
  • In November, CaixaBank unveiled its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan with the aim of putting technology at the service of customers and employees, while also strengthening its socially responsible banking model. The Plan envisions further transformations of the distribution network to offer greater added to customers, while strengthening the remote and digital customer relationship model and continuing to adding new products and services.

CaixaBank Group, the number one retail bank in Spain with Jordi Gual as Chairman and Gonzalo Gortázar as CEO, reported a net attributable profit of €1,985 million in 2018 (+17.8% versus 2017). CaixaBank’s profit in Spain amounted to €1,605 million (+6.4%). 

Driving this growth were strong core revenues, increased contribution from the BPI segment and lower provisions.

Strong core business revenues (+4.2%, €8,217 million)

Core business revenues (net interest income, fees and commissions, revenues from the insurance business, the result of using the equity method for SegurCaixa Adeslas, and the income from BPI’s stake in BPI Bancaseguros) were up 4.2% (to €8,217 million), while gross income gained 6.6% (to reach €8,767 million).

Recurring administrative expenses, depreciation and amortisation grew by 3.7%, but were outpaced by core revenues. General expenses grew year on year, largely due to the transformation of the distribution model (“Store” branches, InTouch), increased spending on technology and new regulatory requirements. Pre-impairment income came to €4,109 million (+12.7%).

Profitability at the CaixaBank Group (ROTE) improved to 9.3% —within the 9-11% target band envisioned in the Strategic Plan for 2018— while recurring ROTE from the bancassurance business was 12.3%, yielding a result of €2,199 million.

The BPI business in Portugal contributed a total of €262 million to earnings (€104 million in 2017). Including the contribution of BPI’s investees, the total contribution made by the Portuguese bank amounted to €380 million (€176 million in 2017).

CaixaBank closed 2018 with a 100% stake in BPI. The Portuguese securities market regulator (Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários, or CMVM for short) approved the delisting of BPI in December, prompting CaixaBank to initiate the squeeze-out process.

Net interest income climbs to €4,907 million (+3.4%)

The Group’s net interest income amounted to €4,907 million in the period (+3.4% on 2017), driven by a higher return on lending activity, intensive management of retail financing and lower wholesale funding costs.

Fee and commission revenues came to €2,583 million, up 3.4% on the same period of the previous year. While banking services, securities and other fees were down 2.2%, fees on mutual funds, managed accounts and SICAVs gained 12.6% following an increase in assets under management during the first nine months of the year, although high levels of market volatility had a negative impact on assets under management in the fourth quarter, causing fees and commissions for this concept to shed 2.8%.

Meanwhile, the cost-to-income ratio of the CaixaBank Group —accumulated over 12 months and stripping out extraordinary expenses— came to 52.9%. The core cost-to-income ratio (recurring operating expenses to core revenues) has gained 3.5 percentage points in the last three years to reach 56.4%.

Extraordinary impacts on the revenues from the investees’ portfolio

The equity investments business added €54 million to the Group’s profit (impacted by the loss of €453 million following the agreement to sell the stake in Repsol).

Revenues from the total investee portfolio came to €972 million and include dividend revenues (mainly from Telefónica) and earnings at companies accounted for using the equity method, such as Erste Bank, SegurCaixa Adeslas, BFA and Repsol (without counting the impact of the stake’s disposal).

The year-on-year improvement in earnings at companies accounted for using the equity method (+57%) was due to their sound business performance and to an increased contribution from BFA following a number of extraordinary impacts in 2017 and 2018. On one side, negative impacts in 2017 following BPI’s disposal of 2% of its stake in BFA (€-97 million) and on applying the inflationary effects of the Angolan economy to BFA’s financial statements (€-68 million). On the other side, a positive impact of €155 million was recognised in 2018 to reflect the extraordinary impacts caused, among others, by the devaluation of the Angolan currency.

At year-end 2018, the Group’s significant influence at BFA was reviewed, giving rise to a change in the accounting classification of the investee (from Investments in joint ventures and associates to Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income). Due to the change, a result of €-154 million was reported under Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others (€-139 million, net), largely due to the result of valuation adjustments previously reported in equity.

The net attributable contribution from BFA in 2018, after deducting the impact of the accounting reclassification, taxes and minority interests, came to €51 million.

Marked reduction in non-performing assets (non-performing and foreclosed)

The NPL ratio of the CaixaBank Group dropped to 4.7% (6% at December 2017). NPLs fell to €11,195 million (€-921 and €-3,110 million in the quarter and in the year, respectively) in response to an active management, including the sale of portfolios. The coverage ratio climbed to 54% (+4 percentage points in the year) mainly impacted by the entry into force of IFRS9, which prompted the Bank to post a total of €791 million in provisions for credit losses).

In the second quarter of 2018, CaixaBank agreed to sell its real estate business (mainly the portfolio of real estate assets available for sale at 31 October 2017, as well as 100% of the share capital of Servihabitat) to a newco, 80% of which was to be owned by Lone Star and the remaining 20% by CaixaBank.

Following completion of the deal and thanks also to the intense commercial activity carried out during the year, the portfolio of foreclosed real estate assets available for sale came to €740 million (€-5,138 million and €-4,606 million in the year and in the quarter, respectively).

Meanwhile, the portfolio of rental property amounted to €2,479 million, net of provisions, down €551 million in the year, which included the sale of rental real estate assets portfolio in the second quarter.

Total real estate sales (excluding the deal with Lone Star) came to €2,060 million in 2018, up 28% on the same period of 2017.

The non-core real estate business generated losses of €530 million in 2018, which saw various one-off impacts, particularly the repurchase of 51% of Servihabitat (€-204 million) and completion of the sale of 80% of the real estate business to Lone Star, which had a final negative impact on the income statement (including expenses, taxes and other costs) of €-48 million, net of tax.

Reduction in insolvency allowances

Loan-loss provisions and other charges were down 66.8% year on year to €567 million due to the ongoing process of normalising asset quality indicators. This heading includes impairment losses on financial assets, which dropped to €97 million (down 87.9% on 2017), and includes one-off revenues.

It also shows other charges to provisions, which were down 48.4% to €470 million. In the second quarter, the repurchase of 51% of Servihabitat led to a result of €-204 million in the 2018 P&L statement (€-152 million registered in “Other charges to provisions” and €-52 million in “Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others)”. In 2017, it included €455 million associated to early retirements and €154 million in write-downs on exposure to the Sareb.

Agreement to sell the stake in Repsol

Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others essentially comprises the results of completed one-off transactions and proceeds on asset sales and write-downs mainly relating to the real estate portfolio.

The last quarter of the year shows the negative net result of €139 million resulting from the change in the accounting classification of the stake held in BFA, which was taken to “Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income”.

In the previous quarter, it included a loss of €453 million deriving from the agreement to sell CaixaBank's stake of 9.36% in Repsol, through the early settlement of two equity swaps and after classifying the remaining stake as “Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income”.

Following the entry into force of IFRS9 and in accordance with the Group's accounting policy, changes in the share price of financial investments recorded under this heading will be reported in equity (Other comprehensive income) and will have no effect on the income statement.

Robust solvency and liquidity

The CaixaBank Group’s fully loaded Common Equity Tier 1 capital (CET1) ratio was 11.5% at 31 December 2018.

Excluding the impact of -15 basis points due to the first-time adoption of IFRS9 and the extraordinary impact of -14 basis points in the year following the move to repurchase minority interests at BPI and the sale of 80% of the real estate business, the ratio gained 54 basis points from organic capital generation but shed -43 basis points in response to market volatility and other impacts.

Meanwhile, total liquid assets totalled €79,530 million at 31 December 2018, up €6,755 million in the year. The Group’s average Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) stood at 196% at 31 December 2018, well clear of the minimum requirement of 100% from 1 January 2018 onward.

Growth in lending and customer funds

Total loans stood at €224,693 million at the Group and remained stable (+0.3% in the year), while the performing loan-book gained 1.8% in 2018 (vs. -1.2% in 2017, excluding the contribution of BPI) to reach €213,962 million.

The improvement in the performing portfolio during the year was largely due to an increase in consumer lending in Spain (+19%) and in lending to businesses – productive sectors ex real estate developers- , which gained 6%.

Loans for home purchases (-2.3% in the year and -0.7% in the quarter) continue to feel the effects of the ongoing household deleveraging process and the seasonal effect in the fourth quarter of end-of-year loan repayments, although the reduction in lending activity is now showing signs of slowing. In fact, new mortgage loans were up 9% on 2017.

Customer funds grew to €358,482 million (+2.6% at year-end), despite sliding 1.4% in the fourth quarter, largely in response to negative market performance.

On-balance-sheet funds totalled €259,423 million (+4.8% in 2018 and +0.3% in the quarter), revealing an annual increase of 9.8% in demand deposits to reach €174,256 million. The change in the fourth quarter (+1.3%) was partly due to the seasonal impact of year-end double salary payments.

Assets under management amounted to €93,951 million. The change here (-2.7% in the year and -5.4% in the quarter) came largely in response to falling market prices, affecting the fourth quarter in particular.

CaixaBank is continuing to strengthen its leadership in mutual funds, with a market share of 17%; and in pension plans, where its market share stands at 24.1%.

CaixaBank cements its leadership in retail banking and digital banking

In 2018, CaixaBank consolidated its leadership in retail banking by improving its market share across most segments, especially long and medium-term savings products, while achieving a market penetration of 29.3% among retail customers (up 1.1 percentage point).

Meanwhile, CaixaBank continues to strengthen its leadership in the digital banking market, where it has the largest base of digital customers in Spain: 6 million (57.3% of the bank’s retail customers in Spain) of which 5.2 million are mobile banking customers.

Digital channels are being used more and more to carry out transactions, thus allowing the CaixaBank to focus on providing quality advice through its 13,772 qualified advisers. To give an example, around 70% of premier banking and private banking customers now have an advisory services contract.

Recently, CaixaBank was named ‘Best Digital Bank in Western Europe’ by British magazine Euromoney, and it has also received awards from The Banker and Bank Administration Institute (BAI) for its mobile app CaixaBankNow, a recognition to the Bank’s digital transformation and commitment to technological innovation.

2019-2021 Strategic Plan: a leading and innovative financial Group, with the best customer service and a benchmark in socially responsible banking

CaixaBank unveiled its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan on 27 November. The main lines of action are focused on offering the best customer experience; accelerating the digital transformation to boost efficiency and flexibility; fostering a people-centric, agile and collaborative culture; generating attractive shareholder returns and solid financials; and becoming a benchmark in responsible management and social commitment.

The Bank aims to offer the best experience via any channel as it is fully aware of the general preference among customers for omnichannel services. The customer relationship model —and the resources dedicated to the different channels— is now evolving in response to changing habits.

CaixaBank’s capillarity remains a competitive advantage and its move to transform the commercial network —by consolidating the “Store” urban branch model (with a minimum of 600 branches in 2021, a notable increase from the 283 in existence at the close of 2018)— together with its commitment to maintaining the AgroBank model in rural communities (over 1,000 branches in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants), will make the CaixaBank even more in touch with new customer demands, while also helping to improve commercial efficiency, productivity and service.

Meanwhile, CaixaBank will speed up the transformation of the branch network by implementing its specialised relationship model and it will also focus heavily on its remote inTouch model to reach a total of 2.6 million customers (up from the current figure of 600,000).

inTouch is a service aimed at customers who prefer to use new technologies when dealing with the Bank. The initiative will combine new communication tools with the reliable backstop of a bank manager specially trained to resolve the customer's queries and doubts via any remote channel.

]]>
Milestones in 2018

  •  Sale of the real estate business (mainly the portfolio of real estate assets classified as available for sale at 31 October 2017, as well as 100% of the share capital of Servihabitat) to a newco owned by Lone Star and CaixaBank (80% and 20% stakes, respectively).
  •  Agreement to sell CaixaBank’s 9.36% stake in Repsol. After the early settlement of two equity swap agreements, a disposal programme for the remaining stake in Repsol has been initiated. 
  • CaixaBank closed 2018 with a 100% stake in BPI. The Portuguese securities market regulator (Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários, or CMVM for short) approved the delisting of BPI in December, prompting CaixaBank to initiate the squeeze-out process. 
  • In November, CaixaBank unveiled its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan with the aim of putting technology at the service of customers and employees, while also strengthening its socially responsible banking model. The Plan envisions further transformations of the distribution network to offer greater added to customers, while strengthening the remote and digital customer relationship model and continuing to adding new products and services.

CaixaBank Group, the number one retail bank in Spain with Jordi Gual as Chairman and Gonzalo Gortázar as CEO, reported a net attributable profit of €1,985 million in 2018 (+17.8% versus 2017). CaixaBank’s profit in Spain amounted to €1,605 million (+6.4%). 

Driving this growth were strong core revenues, increased contribution from the BPI segment and lower provisions.

Strong core business revenues (+4.2%, €8,217 million)

Core business revenues (net interest income, fees and commissions, revenues from the insurance business, the result of using the equity method for SegurCaixa Adeslas, and the income from BPI’s stake in BPI Bancaseguros) were up 4.2% (to €8,217 million), while gross income gained 6.6% (to reach €8,767 million).

Recurring administrative expenses, depreciation and amortisation grew by 3.7%, but were outpaced by core revenues. General expenses grew year on year, largely due to the transformation of the distribution model (“Store” branches, InTouch), increased spending on technology and new regulatory requirements. Pre-impairment income came to €4,109 million (+12.7%).

Profitability at the CaixaBank Group (ROTE) improved to 9.3% —within the 9-11% target band envisioned in the Strategic Plan for 2018— while recurring ROTE from the bancassurance business was 12.3%, yielding a result of €2,199 million.

The BPI business in Portugal contributed a total of €262 million to earnings (€104 million in 2017). Including the contribution of BPI’s investees, the total contribution made by the Portuguese bank amounted to €380 million (€176 million in 2017).

CaixaBank closed 2018 with a 100% stake in BPI. The Portuguese securities market regulator (Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários, or CMVM for short) approved the delisting of BPI in December, prompting CaixaBank to initiate the squeeze-out process.

Net interest income climbs to €4,907 million (+3.4%)

The Group’s net interest income amounted to €4,907 million in the period (+3.4% on 2017), driven by a higher return on lending activity, intensive management of retail financing and lower wholesale funding costs.

Fee and commission revenues came to €2,583 million, up 3.4% on the same period of the previous year. While banking services, securities and other fees were down 2.2%, fees on mutual funds, managed accounts and SICAVs gained 12.6% following an increase in assets under management during the first nine months of the year, although high levels of market volatility had a negative impact on assets under management in the fourth quarter, causing fees and commissions for this concept to shed 2.8%.

Meanwhile, the cost-to-income ratio of the CaixaBank Group —accumulated over 12 months and stripping out extraordinary expenses— came to 52.9%. The core cost-to-income ratio (recurring operating expenses to core revenues) has gained 3.5 percentage points in the last three years to reach 56.4%.

Extraordinary impacts on the revenues from the investees’ portfolio

The equity investments business added €54 million to the Group’s profit (impacted by the loss of €453 million following the agreement to sell the stake in Repsol).

Revenues from the total investee portfolio came to €972 million and include dividend revenues (mainly from Telefónica) and earnings at companies accounted for using the equity method, such as Erste Bank, SegurCaixa Adeslas, BFA and Repsol (without counting the impact of the stake’s disposal).

The year-on-year improvement in earnings at companies accounted for using the equity method (+57%) was due to their sound business performance and to an increased contribution from BFA following a number of extraordinary impacts in 2017 and 2018. On one side, negative impacts in 2017 following BPI’s disposal of 2% of its stake in BFA (€-97 million) and on applying the inflationary effects of the Angolan economy to BFA’s financial statements (€-68 million). On the other side, a positive impact of €155 million was recognised in 2018 to reflect the extraordinary impacts caused, among others, by the devaluation of the Angolan currency.

At year-end 2018, the Group’s significant influence at BFA was reviewed, giving rise to a change in the accounting classification of the investee (from Investments in joint ventures and associates to Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income). Due to the change, a result of €-154 million was reported under Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others (€-139 million, net), largely due to the result of valuation adjustments previously reported in equity.

The net attributable contribution from BFA in 2018, after deducting the impact of the accounting reclassification, taxes and minority interests, came to €51 million.

Marked reduction in non-performing assets (non-performing and foreclosed)

The NPL ratio of the CaixaBank Group dropped to 4.7% (6% at December 2017). NPLs fell to €11,195 million (€-921 and €-3,110 million in the quarter and in the year, respectively) in response to an active management, including the sale of portfolios. The coverage ratio climbed to 54% (+4 percentage points in the year) mainly impacted by the entry into force of IFRS9, which prompted the Bank to post a total of €791 million in provisions for credit losses).

In the second quarter of 2018, CaixaBank agreed to sell its real estate business (mainly the portfolio of real estate assets available for sale at 31 October 2017, as well as 100% of the share capital of Servihabitat) to a newco, 80% of which was to be owned by Lone Star and the remaining 20% by CaixaBank.

Following completion of the deal and thanks also to the intense commercial activity carried out during the year, the portfolio of foreclosed real estate assets available for sale came to €740 million (€-5,138 million and €-4,606 million in the year and in the quarter, respectively).

Meanwhile, the portfolio of rental property amounted to €2,479 million, net of provisions, down €551 million in the year, which included the sale of rental real estate assets portfolio in the second quarter.

Total real estate sales (excluding the deal with Lone Star) came to €2,060 million in 2018, up 28% on the same period of 2017.

The non-core real estate business generated losses of €530 million in 2018, which saw various one-off impacts, particularly the repurchase of 51% of Servihabitat (€-204 million) and completion of the sale of 80% of the real estate business to Lone Star, which had a final negative impact on the income statement (including expenses, taxes and other costs) of €-48 million, net of tax.

Reduction in insolvency allowances

Loan-loss provisions and other charges were down 66.8% year on year to €567 million due to the ongoing process of normalising asset quality indicators. This heading includes impairment losses on financial assets, which dropped to €97 million (down 87.9% on 2017), and includes one-off revenues.

It also shows other charges to provisions, which were down 48.4% to €470 million. In the second quarter, the repurchase of 51% of Servihabitat led to a result of €-204 million in the 2018 P&L statement (€-152 million registered in “Other charges to provisions” and €-52 million in “Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others)”. In 2017, it included €455 million associated to early retirements and €154 million in write-downs on exposure to the Sareb.

Agreement to sell the stake in Repsol

Gains/(losses) on disposal of assets and others essentially comprises the results of completed one-off transactions and proceeds on asset sales and write-downs mainly relating to the real estate portfolio.

The last quarter of the year shows the negative net result of €139 million resulting from the change in the accounting classification of the stake held in BFA, which was taken to “Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income”.

In the previous quarter, it included a loss of €453 million deriving from the agreement to sell CaixaBank's stake of 9.36% in Repsol, through the early settlement of two equity swaps and after classifying the remaining stake as “Financial assets designated at fair value through other comprehensive income”.

Following the entry into force of IFRS9 and in accordance with the Group's accounting policy, changes in the share price of financial investments recorded under this heading will be reported in equity (Other comprehensive income) and will have no effect on the income statement.

Robust solvency and liquidity

The CaixaBank Group’s fully loaded Common Equity Tier 1 capital (CET1) ratio was 11.5% at 31 December 2018.

Excluding the impact of -15 basis points due to the first-time adoption of IFRS9 and the extraordinary impact of -14 basis points in the year following the move to repurchase minority interests at BPI and the sale of 80% of the real estate business, the ratio gained 54 basis points from organic capital generation but shed -43 basis points in response to market volatility and other impacts.

Meanwhile, total liquid assets totalled €79,530 million at 31 December 2018, up €6,755 million in the year. The Group’s average Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) stood at 196% at 31 December 2018, well clear of the minimum requirement of 100% from 1 January 2018 onward.

Growth in lending and customer funds

Total loans stood at €224,693 million at the Group and remained stable (+0.3% in the year), while the performing loan-book gained 1.8% in 2018 (vs. -1.2% in 2017, excluding the contribution of BPI) to reach €213,962 million.

The improvement in the performing portfolio during the year was largely due to an increase in consumer lending in Spain (+19%) and in lending to businesses – productive sectors ex real estate developers- , which gained 6%.

Loans for home purchases (-2.3% in the year and -0.7% in the quarter) continue to feel the effects of the ongoing household deleveraging process and the seasonal effect in the fourth quarter of end-of-year loan repayments, although the reduction in lending activity is now showing signs of slowing. In fact, new mortgage loans were up 9% on 2017.

Customer funds grew to €358,482 million (+2.6% at year-end), despite sliding 1.4% in the fourth quarter, largely in response to negative market performance.

On-balance-sheet funds totalled €259,423 million (+4.8% in 2018 and +0.3% in the quarter), revealing an annual increase of 9.8% in demand deposits to reach €174,256 million. The change in the fourth quarter (+1.3%) was partly due to the seasonal impact of year-end double salary payments.

Assets under management amounted to €93,951 million. The change here (-2.7% in the year and -5.4% in the quarter) came largely in response to falling market prices, affecting the fourth quarter in particular.

CaixaBank is continuing to strengthen its leadership in mutual funds, with a market share of 17%; and in pension plans, where its market share stands at 24.1%.

CaixaBank cements its leadership in retail banking and digital banking

In 2018, CaixaBank consolidated its leadership in retail banking by improving its market share across most segments, especially long and medium-term savings products, while achieving a market penetration of 29.3% among retail customers (up 1.1 percentage point).

Meanwhile, CaixaBank continues to strengthen its leadership in the digital banking market, where it has the largest base of digital customers in Spain: 6 million (57.3% of the bank’s retail customers in Spain) of which 5.2 million are mobile banking customers.

Digital channels are being used more and more to carry out transactions, thus allowing the CaixaBank to focus on providing quality advice through its 13,772 qualified advisers. To give an example, around 70% of premier banking and private banking customers now have an advisory services contract.

Recently, CaixaBank was named ‘Best Digital Bank in Western Europe’ by British magazine Euromoney, and it has also received awards from The Banker and Bank Administration Institute (BAI) for its mobile app CaixaBankNow, a recognition to the Bank’s digital transformation and commitment to technological innovation.

2019-2021 Strategic Plan: a leading and innovative financial Group, with the best customer service and a benchmark in socially responsible banking

CaixaBank unveiled its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan on 27 November. The main lines of action are focused on offering the best customer experience; accelerating the digital transformation to boost efficiency and flexibility; fostering a people-centric, agile and collaborative culture; generating attractive shareholder returns and solid financials; and becoming a benchmark in responsible management and social commitment.

The Bank aims to offer the best experience via any channel as it is fully aware of the general preference among customers for omnichannel services. The customer relationship model —and the resources dedicated to the different channels— is now evolving in response to changing habits.

CaixaBank’s capillarity remains a competitive advantage and its move to transform the commercial network —by consolidating the “Store” urban branch model (with a minimum of 600 branches in 2021, a notable increase from the 283 in existence at the close of 2018)— together with its commitment to maintaining the AgroBank model in rural communities (over 1,000 branches in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants), will make the CaixaBank even more in touch with new customer demands, while also helping to improve commercial efficiency, productivity and service.

Meanwhile, CaixaBank will speed up the transformation of the branch network by implementing its specialised relationship model and it will also focus heavily on its remote inTouch model to reach a total of 2.6 million customers (up from the current figure of 600,000).

inTouch is a service aimed at customers who prefer to use new technologies when dealing with the Bank. The initiative will combine new communication tools with the reliable backstop of a bank manager specially trained to resolve the customer's queries and doubts via any remote channel.

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0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank increases mobile phone payment transactions eightfold in a year and reaches 885 million euros of total purchasing turnover]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-01-31T12:00:00.0Z 2019-01-31T12:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank increases mobile phone payment transactions eightfold in a year and reaches 885 million euros of total purchasing turnover]]> CaixaBank, Spain’s leading bank in terms of payment methods, has recorded 30 million purchases by phone made by its customers in stores during 2018. The figure implies an eightfold increase in phone payment data on the previous year, when 3.7 million transactions were made with this system. Throughout 2018, the volume of purchases made using CaixaBank mobile payment amounted to 885 million euros.

As regards the number of users, nearly 750,000 customers have paired their cards to a phone to make purchases. The total number of CaixaBank “enlisted” cards now exceeds one million (110% up on last year).

These figures confirm the launch of the mobile phone as a habitual payment method for CaixaBank customers. In fact, with respect to the total number of transactions carried out with CaixaBank's cards in physical stores, which throughout 2018 amounted to 1,387 million (14.2% up on 2017), the percentage of mobile payments now stands at 4%.

Similarly, the figures establish CaixaBank as the leader in the mobile payment sector in Spain, with an estimated 40.8% market share, in accordance with transactions made in December 2018.

The key: an excellent user experience

Internationally, CaixaBank is a pioneer when it comes to launching mobile payment. The company has its own application, CaixaBank Pay, which enables users to make purchases and access a wide range of card management services. This solution is integrated with Samsung Pay and Apple Pay on wearable phones and devices that are compatible with these services. Similarly, the bank has launched a mobile payment service for smartwatch models that use Garmin Pay or Fitbit Pay.

For Juan Antonio Alcaraz, CaixaBank's Chief Business Officer, the bank's strong growth in mobile payment is directly related to the service's good user experience, whichever device the customer uses: “The alliance with big technology companies, such as Samsung and Apple, and our work alongside them enables us to integrate into the phone both the payment solutions and a comprehensive offer of options for card management. Therefore, in addition to growing in mobile payment transactions, we have also notably increased the interaction of our customers using the CaixaBank Pay application and through access to the various services, such as enabling or blocking the card, increasing its limit, payment fractioning and money transfers, among others”.

The bank's mobile payment customers have access to all the card services we offer, including the CaixaBankProtect guarantee, which protects the user against any unauthorised use of its payment methods.

International recognition of CaixaBank for its digital strategy

CaixaBank is Spain's leading bank in terms of payment methods, with a total of 16.8 million cards issued and market shares of 23.7% in purchasing turnover and 28% in turnover via POS terminals in stores.

CaixaBank's business model relies heavily on technology and digitisation, and in addition to its leadership in mobile payment and card payment, it also leads digital customers in Spain, with 6.1 million customers among its online banking and mobile banking services.

As a result of this strategy, CaixaBank has established itself among the best valued banks in the world due to the quality of its digital services and its commitment to digital transformation. In 2018, the bank was named “Best Digital Bank in Western Europe” by the specialised publications Euromoney and Global Finance. Similarly, CaixaBank's mobile banking application has been recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and British magazine The Banker, which chose it as the best technology project of 2018 in the ‘mobile’ category.

]]>
CaixaBank, Spain’s leading bank in terms of payment methods, has recorded 30 million purchases by phone made by its customers in stores during 2018. The figure implies an eightfold increase in phone payment data on the previous year, when 3.7 million transactions were made with this system. Throughout 2018, the volume of purchases made using CaixaBank mobile payment amounted to 885 million euros.

As regards the number of users, nearly 750,000 customers have paired their cards to a phone to make purchases. The total number of CaixaBank “enlisted” cards now exceeds one million (110% up on last year).

These figures confirm the launch of the mobile phone as a habitual payment method for CaixaBank customers. In fact, with respect to the total number of transactions carried out with CaixaBank's cards in physical stores, which throughout 2018 amounted to 1,387 million (14.2% up on 2017), the percentage of mobile payments now stands at 4%.

Similarly, the figures establish CaixaBank as the leader in the mobile payment sector in Spain, with an estimated 40.8% market share, in accordance with transactions made in December 2018.

The key: an excellent user experience

Internationally, CaixaBank is a pioneer when it comes to launching mobile payment. The company has its own application, CaixaBank Pay, which enables users to make purchases and access a wide range of card management services. This solution is integrated with Samsung Pay and Apple Pay on wearable phones and devices that are compatible with these services. Similarly, the bank has launched a mobile payment service for smartwatch models that use Garmin Pay or Fitbit Pay.

For Juan Antonio Alcaraz, CaixaBank's Chief Business Officer, the bank's strong growth in mobile payment is directly related to the service's good user experience, whichever device the customer uses: “The alliance with big technology companies, such as Samsung and Apple, and our work alongside them enables us to integrate into the phone both the payment solutions and a comprehensive offer of options for card management. Therefore, in addition to growing in mobile payment transactions, we have also notably increased the interaction of our customers using the CaixaBank Pay application and through access to the various services, such as enabling or blocking the card, increasing its limit, payment fractioning and money transfers, among others”.

The bank's mobile payment customers have access to all the card services we offer, including the CaixaBankProtect guarantee, which protects the user against any unauthorised use of its payment methods.

International recognition of CaixaBank for its digital strategy

CaixaBank is Spain's leading bank in terms of payment methods, with a total of 16.8 million cards issued and market shares of 23.7% in purchasing turnover and 28% in turnover via POS terminals in stores.

CaixaBank's business model relies heavily on technology and digitisation, and in addition to its leadership in mobile payment and card payment, it also leads digital customers in Spain, with 6.1 million customers among its online banking and mobile banking services.

As a result of this strategy, CaixaBank has established itself among the best valued banks in the world due to the quality of its digital services and its commitment to digital transformation. In 2018, the bank was named “Best Digital Bank in Western Europe” by the specialised publications Euromoney and Global Finance. Similarly, CaixaBank's mobile banking application has been recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and British magazine The Banker, which chose it as the best technology project of 2018 in the ‘mobile’ category.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[Jordi Gual: \"The financial sector will play a key role in the ecological transition\"]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-01-17T00:00:00.0Z 2019-01-17T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[Jordi Gual: \"The financial sector will play a key role in the ecological transition\"]]>

"The ecological transition must be a fair one. Our society can lead it, but we need to be able to adjust the rhythm to make sure no one is left behind". Jordi Gual, chairman of CaixaBank, highlighted this as one of the main concerns during the workshop 'Ecological transition:the challenge of sustainable financing', held in CaixaForum Madrid.

The event, organised by the Fundación Cotec in collaboration with CaixaBank, also included talks by Teresa Ribera, minister for Ecological Transition; Cristina Garmendia, chairwoman of the Fundación Cotec; and Laurent Fabius, former French prime minister and president of the UN Group of Experts for the Global Pact for the Environment, who was introduced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell.

All the speakers concurred that the fight against climate change was one of the main challenges of global society. A race against the clock, where the role of states, companies, organisations and citizens is fundamental.

The role of financing

The recent 24th Climate Change Conference (COP24), in Katowice (Poland), established a range of actions to measure the degree of fulfilment of the Paris Agreement to fight against climate change. This pact specifically was promoted at the time by Laurent Fabius himself, present at CaixaForum Madrid, who highlighted the important role of financing when meeting the objectives of the agreement.

"We need to invest in technology, education and infrastructure... Society as a whole must push in the same direction, it is not just the responsibility of governments", highlighted Fabius, who also underlined financing as the motor of ecological transition. "The climate change actions of the European Union alone require more than 100 billion euros per year to stick to the mitigation objectives towards 2030".

This is a message that the CaixaBank chairman and the minister for Ecological Transition also agreed with. For Jordi Gual, “the financial sector will play an essential role in the ecological transition because it is the element that connects savings with investment". Meanwhile, Teresa Ribera described the financial system as "the bridge that will take us from the current reality to the reality of tomorrow".

How can the financial system help?

Another key point of the workshop was the role that financial institutions can play when establishing sustainable financing that supports the fight against climate change. Jordi Gual emphasised four specific fields of action where these companies can take action, and where CaixaBank is already active.

The first of these is the environmental impact of the financial institutions themselves: "We are not a particularly contaminant industry, but we can improve. 99% of the energy used by CaixaBank is renewable, and it has also reduced its emissions by 70% over seven years".

He also highlighted investment funding and advice to investors as two strategic levers that financial institutions can use. "We can provide companies with environmental objectives. In fact, we have already done this through instruments such as green bonds or microcredits for sustainable projects, among others", he explained.

In this respect, he called for clear guidelines from the public sector to measure the climate risk of the activities funded by these institutions. "We would like to see the development of clear categories, to find out which assets meet ecological requirements. We have the capacity to help our customers to acquire assets that end up funding environmental aid", he said. Thus, he emphasised the need for a stable regulatory framework that informs companies where to place their resources.

Transparency was another aspect highlighted by Jordi Gual: "We must communicate what we are funding and which financial assets we distribute. Until we have clear guidelines, this is a huge effort".

For Teresa Ribera, clarity is also essential in matters such as measuring obligations in non-financial reporting. "The European Union is already preparing a regulatory proposal on how to inform shareholders on climate change", she added.

Ordi Gual, President of CaixaBank, Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and Cristina Garmenda, President of COTEC.

A sustainable, resilient transition

Energy transition cannot be done from one day to the next. It is a process with many steps, which companies and citizens must follow. This is the concept of a just transition, one of the most sensitive topics discussed during the workshop. "If countries want decarbonisation, simply setting an objective is not enough. We also need to foresee the effects of this transition on society and prepare countermeasures", according to Laurent Fabius. Specifically, the expert referred to the crisis of the Gilets Jaunes in France. "The increase in fuel prices due to taxes was the trigger, although nobody's talking about that anymore", he said.

For Jordi Gual, 'the ecological challenge means that many resources used for environmental objectives are not used for other objectives. We must avoid a negative impact by using money correctly and compensating social sectors that may suffer".

Teresa Ribera agreed that 'this is a race against the clock and we must accelerate the change to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. However, we need to do everything in a socially inclusive way".

Top priority

Sustainability and climate change are top priorities for global society, which is something that all speakers agreed on. Just as Cristina Garmendia highlighted during her talk, "both are present in six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by the UN. Its impact is transversal, given that it affects every part of our lives".

It is a challenge in which financing is essential, and which will require 'an unprecedented effort', in Fabian Laurent's words. "Sustainable financing is fundamental for the fight against climate change, as it is essential for decision-making. For every dollar we invest, we avoid between four and six dollars in damages", he explained.

Although time is running out to reverse climate change, there is still hope. Dialogue, transparency and innovation will be fundamental in creating a consensus among key players when putting an end to this threat. Financial institutions in particular have a lot to offer in this regard, with the support of the public sector and citizens.

]]>

"The ecological transition must be a fair one. Our society can lead it, but we need to be able to adjust the rhythm to make sure no one is left behind". Jordi Gual, chairman of CaixaBank, highlighted this as one of the main concerns during the workshop 'Ecological transition:the challenge of sustainable financing', held in CaixaForum Madrid.

The event, organised by the Fundación Cotec in collaboration with CaixaBank, also included talks by Teresa Ribera, minister for Ecological Transition; Cristina Garmendia, chairwoman of the Fundación Cotec; and Laurent Fabius, former French prime minister and president of the UN Group of Experts for the Global Pact for the Environment, who was introduced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation, Josep Borrell.

All the speakers concurred that the fight against climate change was one of the main challenges of global society. A race against the clock, where the role of states, companies, organisations and citizens is fundamental.

The role of financing

The recent 24th Climate Change Conference (COP24), in Katowice (Poland), established a range of actions to measure the degree of fulfilment of the Paris Agreement to fight against climate change. This pact specifically was promoted at the time by Laurent Fabius himself, present at CaixaForum Madrid, who highlighted the important role of financing when meeting the objectives of the agreement.

"We need to invest in technology, education and infrastructure... Society as a whole must push in the same direction, it is not just the responsibility of governments", highlighted Fabius, who also underlined financing as the motor of ecological transition. "The climate change actions of the European Union alone require more than 100 billion euros per year to stick to the mitigation objectives towards 2030".

This is a message that the CaixaBank chairman and the minister for Ecological Transition also agreed with. For Jordi Gual, “the financial sector will play an essential role in the ecological transition because it is the element that connects savings with investment". Meanwhile, Teresa Ribera described the financial system as "the bridge that will take us from the current reality to the reality of tomorrow".

How can the financial system help?

Another key point of the workshop was the role that financial institutions can play when establishing sustainable financing that supports the fight against climate change. Jordi Gual emphasised four specific fields of action where these companies can take action, and where CaixaBank is already active.

The first of these is the environmental impact of the financial institutions themselves: "We are not a particularly contaminant industry, but we can improve. 99% of the energy used by CaixaBank is renewable, and it has also reduced its emissions by 70% over seven years".

He also highlighted investment funding and advice to investors as two strategic levers that financial institutions can use. "We can provide companies with environmental objectives. In fact, we have already done this through instruments such as green bonds or microcredits for sustainable projects, among others", he explained.

In this respect, he called for clear guidelines from the public sector to measure the climate risk of the activities funded by these institutions. "We would like to see the development of clear categories, to find out which assets meet ecological requirements. We have the capacity to help our customers to acquire assets that end up funding environmental aid", he said. Thus, he emphasised the need for a stable regulatory framework that informs companies where to place their resources.

Transparency was another aspect highlighted by Jordi Gual: "We must communicate what we are funding and which financial assets we distribute. Until we have clear guidelines, this is a huge effort".

For Teresa Ribera, clarity is also essential in matters such as measuring obligations in non-financial reporting. "The European Union is already preparing a regulatory proposal on how to inform shareholders on climate change", she added.

Ordi Gual, President of CaixaBank, Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, and Cristina Garmenda, President of COTEC.

A sustainable, resilient transition

Energy transition cannot be done from one day to the next. It is a process with many steps, which companies and citizens must follow. This is the concept of a just transition, one of the most sensitive topics discussed during the workshop. "If countries want decarbonisation, simply setting an objective is not enough. We also need to foresee the effects of this transition on society and prepare countermeasures", according to Laurent Fabius. Specifically, the expert referred to the crisis of the Gilets Jaunes in France. "The increase in fuel prices due to taxes was the trigger, although nobody's talking about that anymore", he said.

For Jordi Gual, 'the ecological challenge means that many resources used for environmental objectives are not used for other objectives. We must avoid a negative impact by using money correctly and compensating social sectors that may suffer".

Teresa Ribera agreed that 'this is a race against the clock and we must accelerate the change to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. However, we need to do everything in a socially inclusive way".

Top priority

Sustainability and climate change are top priorities for global society, which is something that all speakers agreed on. Just as Cristina Garmendia highlighted during her talk, "both are present in six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) established by the UN. Its impact is transversal, given that it affects every part of our lives".

It is a challenge in which financing is essential, and which will require 'an unprecedented effort', in Fabian Laurent's words. "Sustainable financing is fundamental for the fight against climate change, as it is essential for decision-making. For every dollar we invest, we avoid between four and six dollars in damages", he explained.

Although time is running out to reverse climate change, there is still hope. Dialogue, transparency and innovation will be fundamental in creating a consensus among key players when putting an end to this threat. Financial institutions in particular have a lot to offer in this regard, with the support of the public sector and citizens.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank, included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its commitment to promoting women]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-01-16T00:00:00.0Z 2019-01-16T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank, included in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its commitment to promoting women]]> CaixaBank has been added to the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing equality between men and women in the workplace.

Diversity, meritocracy, equal opportunities and people's talent are cornerstones of the CaixaBank culture. In this context, several initiatives have been spearheaded with the goal of strengthening the role of women in the company, such as the Wengage programme, aimed at promoting gender equality. Following on from this, Bloomberg has given credit to CaixaBank for promoting a working model in which diversity plays a prominent and positive role.

The index doubled in size from 2018 and includes firms from 10 sectors headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Collectively, these firms have a combined market capitalisation of USD9 trillion and employ more than 15 million people, of which 7 million are women, around the world. Thirteen markets are represented for the first time this year and include Argentina, China, Israel and South Africa.

The organisations included in this year's edition have established a new transparency standard as a basis for their business commitment. Voluntarily, these companies are publicly disclosing the numbers behind their actions to achieve advances in gender equality. In fact, the index values the collective benefit of transparency, since greater access to data allows issues to be identified, solutions to be developed and progress to be reported.

Bloomberg’s standardised reporting framework offers public companies the opportunity to disclose information on how they promote gender equality across four separate areas – company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services. Reporting companies that score above an established threshold, based on the extent of disclosures and the achievement of best-in-class statistics and policies, are included in the GEI. Demand for products and services using ESG data has seen a significant increase over the last years, as a growing number of investors are looking to incorporate environmental, social and governance data into their investment decisions. Still, currently only 10% of eligible companies are disclosing their workplace gender policies and practices.

Disclosures from firms included in the 2019 GEI provide a wide-ranging and comprehensive look at how companies around the world are investing in women. According to GEI data:

  • Women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between fiscal years 2014-2017.
  • 60% of firms conduct compensation reviews to identify gender-based variations in pay to close their average 20% pay gap (18% on average in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions and 26% in Asia-Pacific).
  • 34% have programmes in place to recruit women looking to return to work after a career break.
  • For U.S. employees, the average number of weeks of fully paid primary leave offered is 13 weeks, and the average number of weeks of fully paid secondary leave offered is 5 weeks.
  • 43% of firms cover gender reassignment services in health insurance plans.
  • 68% of firms evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.

 

CaixaBank and the Wengage programme

CaixaBank has developed the Wengage programme to promote gender equality and boost the role of women in the company and in wider society. The initiative has two aspects to it: an internal aspect, with a series of actions aimed at increasing the number and the visibility of women in managerial positions and promoting talent and professional development; and an external aspect, with activities aimed at the general public to spread awareness of equal opportunities and the value of diversity.

Wengage is part of CaixaBank's Diversity Plan, which seeks to foster diversity in all its forms, including functional and generational diversity in addition to gender diversity. The internal actions of the Wengage programme include female mentoring plans, through which company executives advise other professionals on their career development. Wengage also promotes measures that foster a better work-life balance and allow men and women to fit their professional development into their personal and family life.

As for the external activities, CaixaBank holds conferences and debates on diversity across its branch network. The Wengage programme also includes initiatives linked to sport. These include CaixaBank's sponsorship of the women's national basketball team and organising speeches on leadership aimed at women entrepreneurs and executives, given by the former players Elisa Aguilar and Isabel Sánchez.

On the other hand, the Wengage programme also includes the organisation of CaixaBank's “Women in Business Award”, established to identify and give credit to leading female business leaders in Spain. The company has also established the WONNOW STEM Awards, with the support of Microsoft, to recognise excellence among female students enrolled in the last year of STEM degrees - in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - from all the universities in Spain.

Furthermore, the company is associated with various international programmes to foster gender equality, such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles initiative of the United Nations; the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality's “More women, better companies” voluntary agreement to secure a greater percentage of women in executive positions; the Diversity Charter, to promote equal opportunities and antidiscriminatory measures; and the Generation and Talent Observatory, which promotes the management of generational diversity.

Thanks to this commitment, CaixaBank has obtained the FRC Certificate (Family-Responsible Company) of the Masfamilia Foundation, which attests to its model of continuous improvement in the fields of equality and work-life balance. In addition, the company has received several recognitions for its work in boosting the role of women in the workplace, such as the 25th anniversary award from the FEDEPE (Spanish Federation of Women Managers, Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs).

CaixaBank has achieved its goals for increasing the number of women in managerial positions, as set out in its Strategic Plan for 2015-2018, with 39.1% of female managers, one of the highest ratios in the sector.

]]>
CaixaBank has been added to the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing equality between men and women in the workplace.

Diversity, meritocracy, equal opportunities and people's talent are cornerstones of the CaixaBank culture. In this context, several initiatives have been spearheaded with the goal of strengthening the role of women in the company, such as the Wengage programme, aimed at promoting gender equality. Following on from this, Bloomberg has given credit to CaixaBank for promoting a working model in which diversity plays a prominent and positive role.

The index doubled in size from 2018 and includes firms from 10 sectors headquartered across 36 countries and regions. Collectively, these firms have a combined market capitalisation of USD9 trillion and employ more than 15 million people, of which 7 million are women, around the world. Thirteen markets are represented for the first time this year and include Argentina, China, Israel and South Africa.

The organisations included in this year's edition have established a new transparency standard as a basis for their business commitment. Voluntarily, these companies are publicly disclosing the numbers behind their actions to achieve advances in gender equality. In fact, the index values the collective benefit of transparency, since greater access to data allows issues to be identified, solutions to be developed and progress to be reported.

Bloomberg’s standardised reporting framework offers public companies the opportunity to disclose information on how they promote gender equality across four separate areas – company statistics, policies, community engagement and products and services. Reporting companies that score above an established threshold, based on the extent of disclosures and the achievement of best-in-class statistics and policies, are included in the GEI. Demand for products and services using ESG data has seen a significant increase over the last years, as a growing number of investors are looking to incorporate environmental, social and governance data into their investment decisions. Still, currently only 10% of eligible companies are disclosing their workplace gender policies and practices.

Disclosures from firms included in the 2019 GEI provide a wide-ranging and comprehensive look at how companies around the world are investing in women. According to GEI data:

  • Women had a 40% increase in executive level positions between fiscal years 2014-2017.
  • 60% of firms conduct compensation reviews to identify gender-based variations in pay to close their average 20% pay gap (18% on average in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions and 26% in Asia-Pacific).
  • 34% have programmes in place to recruit women looking to return to work after a career break.
  • For U.S. employees, the average number of weeks of fully paid primary leave offered is 13 weeks, and the average number of weeks of fully paid secondary leave offered is 5 weeks.
  • 43% of firms cover gender reassignment services in health insurance plans.
  • 68% of firms evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases prior to publication.

 

CaixaBank and the Wengage programme

CaixaBank has developed the Wengage programme to promote gender equality and boost the role of women in the company and in wider society. The initiative has two aspects to it: an internal aspect, with a series of actions aimed at increasing the number and the visibility of women in managerial positions and promoting talent and professional development; and an external aspect, with activities aimed at the general public to spread awareness of equal opportunities and the value of diversity.

Wengage is part of CaixaBank's Diversity Plan, which seeks to foster diversity in all its forms, including functional and generational diversity in addition to gender diversity. The internal actions of the Wengage programme include female mentoring plans, through which company executives advise other professionals on their career development. Wengage also promotes measures that foster a better work-life balance and allow men and women to fit their professional development into their personal and family life.

As for the external activities, CaixaBank holds conferences and debates on diversity across its branch network. The Wengage programme also includes initiatives linked to sport. These include CaixaBank's sponsorship of the women's national basketball team and organising speeches on leadership aimed at women entrepreneurs and executives, given by the former players Elisa Aguilar and Isabel Sánchez.

On the other hand, the Wengage programme also includes the organisation of CaixaBank's “Women in Business Award”, established to identify and give credit to leading female business leaders in Spain. The company has also established the WONNOW STEM Awards, with the support of Microsoft, to recognise excellence among female students enrolled in the last year of STEM degrees - in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - from all the universities in Spain.

Furthermore, the company is associated with various international programmes to foster gender equality, such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles initiative of the United Nations; the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality's “More women, better companies” voluntary agreement to secure a greater percentage of women in executive positions; the Diversity Charter, to promote equal opportunities and antidiscriminatory measures; and the Generation and Talent Observatory, which promotes the management of generational diversity.

Thanks to this commitment, CaixaBank has obtained the FRC Certificate (Family-Responsible Company) of the Masfamilia Foundation, which attests to its model of continuous improvement in the fields of equality and work-life balance. In addition, the company has received several recognitions for its work in boosting the role of women in the workplace, such as the 25th anniversary award from the FEDEPE (Spanish Federation of Women Managers, Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs).

CaixaBank has achieved its goals for increasing the number of women in managerial positions, as set out in its Strategic Plan for 2015-2018, with 39.1% of female managers, one of the highest ratios in the sector.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank places €1,000 million of non-preferred senior debt, attracting demand in excess of €2,200 million]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-01-10T19:30:00.0Z 2019-01-10T19:30:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank places €1,000 million of non-preferred senior debt, attracting demand in excess of €2,200 million]]> CaixaBank has completed its first bond placement of 2019, a non-preferential senior debt issue in the amount of €1,000 million. Despite tough market conditions, confidence in CaixaBank's solvency fetched final demand in excess of €2,200 million and brought the interest rate down by 20 basis points to midswap + 225 bp with respect to the 245 bp offered in the announcement. This puts the coupon at 2.375%. The maturity of the issue is 5 years.

Besides robust demand, another important element is the book's scope, over 135 adjudicated institutional investors, and the solid role of foreign investors, accounting for 86% of the demand, with 96% of the placed issue being taken up by investment funds and insurance companies.

This new issue strengthens the bank's position with respect to future MREL requirements and reflects its intention of continuing to proactively build a bail-inable subordinated debt buffer. This will boost protection of senior creditors and depositors, and also gain acknowledgement from the ratings agencies.

This issue also drives up the CaixaBank group's high-quality liquid assets, which reached €56,000 million at 30 September, with a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) standing at 193%, well above the 100% minimum requirement for 2018.

The non-preferred senior debt has a lower order of seniority in the event of resolution or bankruptcy with respect to ordinary credits, but a higher order than subordinated debt. It was devised by lawmakers to boost banking solvency and ensure larger amounts of liabilities to enable losses to be absorbed in the event of resolution at a bank.

Since 2017, CaixaBank has issued €8,650 million euros of non-preferred senior debt, Tier 2 subordinated debt and contingent convertible (CoCos) AT1 debt, with which it has significantly strengthened its solvency position.

 

First issue of the year

This is the first institutional debt issue in 2019 by CaixaBank, led by Chairman Jordi Gual and Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Gortázar, which becomes the first financial institution in Spain to place an unsecured debt issuance.

CaixaBank CIB, Citi, HSBC, Société Générale, and UBS acted as placement agents on this issue.

]]>
CaixaBank has completed its first bond placement of 2019, a non-preferential senior debt issue in the amount of €1,000 million. Despite tough market conditions, confidence in CaixaBank's solvency fetched final demand in excess of €2,200 million and brought the interest rate down by 20 basis points to midswap + 225 bp with respect to the 245 bp offered in the announcement. This puts the coupon at 2.375%. The maturity of the issue is 5 years.

Besides robust demand, another important element is the book's scope, over 135 adjudicated institutional investors, and the solid role of foreign investors, accounting for 86% of the demand, with 96% of the placed issue being taken up by investment funds and insurance companies.

This new issue strengthens the bank's position with respect to future MREL requirements and reflects its intention of continuing to proactively build a bail-inable subordinated debt buffer. This will boost protection of senior creditors and depositors, and also gain acknowledgement from the ratings agencies.

This issue also drives up the CaixaBank group's high-quality liquid assets, which reached €56,000 million at 30 September, with a Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) standing at 193%, well above the 100% minimum requirement for 2018.

The non-preferred senior debt has a lower order of seniority in the event of resolution or bankruptcy with respect to ordinary credits, but a higher order than subordinated debt. It was devised by lawmakers to boost banking solvency and ensure larger amounts of liabilities to enable losses to be absorbed in the event of resolution at a bank.

Since 2017, CaixaBank has issued €8,650 million euros of non-preferred senior debt, Tier 2 subordinated debt and contingent convertible (CoCos) AT1 debt, with which it has significantly strengthened its solvency position.

 

First issue of the year

This is the first institutional debt issue in 2019 by CaixaBank, led by Chairman Jordi Gual and Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Gortázar, which becomes the first financial institution in Spain to place an unsecured debt issuance.

CaixaBank CIB, Citi, HSBC, Société Générale, and UBS acted as placement agents on this issue.

]]>
0