<![CDATA[CaixaBank - Communication]]> https://www.caixabank.com/aplnr/comunicacion/buscador/servicio.noticiasRSS_en.html WordPress <![CDATA[Balance de la 12.ª edición de los Premios EmprendedorXXI]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-16T13:59:29.0Z 2019-10-16T13:59:29.0Z <![CDATA[Balance de la 12.ª edición de los Premios EmprendedorXXI]]> 0 <![CDATA[CaixaBank's Shareholder Advisory Committee is spearheading new 'Aula' financial training]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-11T12:00:00.0Z 2019-10-11T12:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank's Shareholder Advisory Committee is spearheading new 'Aula' financial training]]> CaixaBank's Chairman, Jordi Gual, has met with the members of the Shareholder Advisory Committee to discuss the evolution of the company, its commercial leadership position and balance sheet strength. In this meeting, the Committee also helped to define new initiatives that the Shareholder Relations department is developing for 2020, focused on boosting digital transformation.

Jordi Gual also recognised the important role of this Committee, which "proposes and drives new initiatives to foster the transparency of the company and its proximity to its shareholders". The Chairman also highlighted the value of the opinions and ideas that Committee members bring to each meeting, and thanked them for their commitment and dedication.

In 2010, CaixaBank set up the Shareholder Advisory Committee, a pioneering initiative among IBEX35 customers, in line with European best practices. "We continue to analyse the best models to promote participation and equality among members of this body", according to CaixaBank's Chairman. In this regard, the company has reduced the number of members on the Committee from 17 to 12, and has increased the frequency of meetings.

Furthermore, under the framework of CaixaBank's commitment to financial education, Jordi Gual emphasised that 'the company continues to drive new initiatives within the Aula financial training programme, to equip its shareholders with better knowledge on the economy and finance that can help them to make more informed investment decisions".

Consolidation of the financial training programmes

In 2019, the company consolidated its Aula financial training programme for shareholders, which has already trained more than 10,000 shareholders thanks to its commitment to new technologies. Since the launch of the Aula Webinars at the end of last year, which offer online training for minority shareholders, CaixaBank has held 20 online seminars, which were joined by more than 1,300 shareholders. This week, CaixaBank kicked off a new initiative called Aula Talks. These are short talks given by leading figures in the academic world and sector professionals, who seek to answer the most frequently asked questions about the economy and finance.

Meanwhile, the company has also held in-person financial training workshops this year in seven cities, which were attended by more than 700 shareholders. The Aula workshops form part of the company's Financial Culture Plan, a project designed to help citizens make better financial decisions.

In this regard, this year CaixaBank also released the second edition of its comic 'Las Finanzas de Carlota', called 'Operación AulaBank', which explains how a bank works and its social function to younger stakeholders.

In the period up to October, CaixaBank has held meetings with shareholders in 15 Spanish cities, bringing together some 1,100 shareholders. In these meetings, the company explains the latest results and general outlines of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan to shareholders first-hand.

Renewal of a portion of the members

CaixaBank is the only IBEX35 financial institution that has a Shareholder Advisory Committee, which aims to promote and evaluate communication activities and channels to improve the dialogue between the company and its shareholders. In this last meeting, the corporate director of Security & Governance of CaixaBank, Alberto Rosa, and the director of the Network's Social Action Management department, Marta Peris, were also present.

As established by the Advisory Committee code, members can remain in the Committee for a maximum of three years, hence a portion of the members are renewed annually. New members are selected based on the candidacies received and an effort is made to ensure that they reflect the composition of the shareholder base. Each member of the Committee must be a CaixaBank shareholder and possess a minimum of 1,000 shares during the whole duration of their time as a member.

For positions subject to renewal in 2019, the entity received 162 candidacies, triple the amount for 2018, and is incorporating the following new members: Yolanda Torres Lusarreta (Navarre), Gérard Arfinengo (Madrid) and Susana del Castillo Bello (Canary Islands).

This advisory body forms part of the different mechanisms that CaixaBank has established to become closer to its minority shareholders and contribute to the continued improvement of two-way communication and maximum transparency.

 

]]>
CaixaBank's Chairman, Jordi Gual, has met with the members of the Shareholder Advisory Committee to discuss the evolution of the company, its commercial leadership position and balance sheet strength. In this meeting, the Committee also helped to define new initiatives that the Shareholder Relations department is developing for 2020, focused on boosting digital transformation.

Jordi Gual also recognised the important role of this Committee, which "proposes and drives new initiatives to foster the transparency of the company and its proximity to its shareholders". The Chairman also highlighted the value of the opinions and ideas that Committee members bring to each meeting, and thanked them for their commitment and dedication.

In 2010, CaixaBank set up the Shareholder Advisory Committee, a pioneering initiative among IBEX35 customers, in line with European best practices. "We continue to analyse the best models to promote participation and equality among members of this body", according to CaixaBank's Chairman. In this regard, the company has reduced the number of members on the Committee from 17 to 12, and has increased the frequency of meetings.

Furthermore, under the framework of CaixaBank's commitment to financial education, Jordi Gual emphasised that 'the company continues to drive new initiatives within the Aula financial training programme, to equip its shareholders with better knowledge on the economy and finance that can help them to make more informed investment decisions".

Consolidation of the financial training programmes

In 2019, the company consolidated its Aula financial training programme for shareholders, which has already trained more than 10,000 shareholders thanks to its commitment to new technologies. Since the launch of the Aula Webinars at the end of last year, which offer online training for minority shareholders, CaixaBank has held 20 online seminars, which were joined by more than 1,300 shareholders. This week, CaixaBank kicked off a new initiative called Aula Talks. These are short talks given by leading figures in the academic world and sector professionals, who seek to answer the most frequently asked questions about the economy and finance.

Meanwhile, the company has also held in-person financial training workshops this year in seven cities, which were attended by more than 700 shareholders. The Aula workshops form part of the company's Financial Culture Plan, a project designed to help citizens make better financial decisions.

In this regard, this year CaixaBank also released the second edition of its comic 'Las Finanzas de Carlota', called 'Operación AulaBank', which explains how a bank works and its social function to younger stakeholders.

In the period up to October, CaixaBank has held meetings with shareholders in 15 Spanish cities, bringing together some 1,100 shareholders. In these meetings, the company explains the latest results and general outlines of the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan to shareholders first-hand.

Renewal of a portion of the members

CaixaBank is the only IBEX35 financial institution that has a Shareholder Advisory Committee, which aims to promote and evaluate communication activities and channels to improve the dialogue between the company and its shareholders. In this last meeting, the corporate director of Security & Governance of CaixaBank, Alberto Rosa, and the director of the Network's Social Action Management department, Marta Peris, were also present.

As established by the Advisory Committee code, members can remain in the Committee for a maximum of three years, hence a portion of the members are renewed annually. New members are selected based on the candidacies received and an effort is made to ensure that they reflect the composition of the shareholder base. Each member of the Committee must be a CaixaBank shareholder and possess a minimum of 1,000 shares during the whole duration of their time as a member.

For positions subject to renewal in 2019, the entity received 162 candidacies, triple the amount for 2018, and is incorporating the following new members: Yolanda Torres Lusarreta (Navarre), Gérard Arfinengo (Madrid) and Susana del Castillo Bello (Canary Islands).

This advisory body forms part of the different mechanisms that CaixaBank has established to become closer to its minority shareholders and contribute to the continued improvement of two-way communication and maximum transparency.

 

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank, the first European bank to form part of the World Tourism Organisation]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-10T00:00:00.0Z 2019-10-10T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank, the first European bank to form part of the World Tourism Organisation]]> CaixaBank, the benchmark financial institution in the hotel and tourism sector, has been accepted as a member of the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. This membership, which was approved on 11th September at the 23rd General Assembly of the WTO held in St. Petersburg, establishes CaixaBank as the first European bank to become an Affiliate Member of this international organisation, the leading entity in the field of tourism.

Through this membership, CaixaBank reaffirms its commitment to fostering the sustainable development of tourism and consolidates its role as a financial institution specialising in the sector through its CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism division. The bank offers specific tourist sector products and services taking into account its needs and, in turn, promotes responsible and sustainable financing as one of its primary action lines, in accordance with the concept of socially responsible banking. For CaixaBank, the entity lead by Chairman Jordi Gual and Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Gortázar, being part of the WTO “is a step further towards consolidating its commitment to a sector that comprises an economic driver and, therefore, is key to contributing to the SDGs”.

The WTO considers the private sector to be an essential member for fostering the sustainable development of tourism and complying with 2030 Agenda. The World Tourism Organization Affiliate Members Department has highlighted "the major potential of its collaboration with CaixaBank to contributing to the creation of a tourist sector that is more ethical and responsible, proving to be a benefit for the international community". Furthermore, the organisation states that it is "very satisfied that the bank has decided to join more than 500 Affiliate Members and collaborate on reaching common goals".

 

Specialised products for the tourism sector

CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism provides the hotel market with a differential product and service that offer help to companies in terms of optimising the profitability of their businesses and simplifying their daily activities. The addition of new specific products and services for the hotel market supplements the specialisation in the industry, taking into account the needs of the different subsectors: hotels, tourist accommodation and campsites.

In addition, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism is particularly committed to projects that contribute to environmental sustainability and social inclusion, such as those that contribute improvements in energy efficiency, water management and those that foster the integration into the workplace of people at risk of exclusion. In this context, CaixaBank stands out for its responsible actions and this is acknowledged by the main international organisations. The global Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranks it among the best banks in the world in terms of corporate responsibility.  

Moreover, the bank holds the CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism award on an annual basis, which recognises the innovation and sustainability of tourist companies. This award is a further example of CaixaBank's commitment to the tourism market and, specifically, to sustainable and innovative projects in the sector in Spain. The term for submitting candidacies for the second annual edition of these awards is currently open, and will close on 30 November.

CaixaBank Hotel & Tourism has signed more than 40 agreements with hotel federations and associations, including the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT); and it organises regular meetings with benchmark employers in the industry nationwide.

During the first six months of the year, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism granted a total of over 1 billion euros in credit to the Spanish hotel sector. This figure represents 8% growth compared to the same period of the previous year – when 942 million euros of credit had been granted – and involves a total of 1,908 operations carried out throughout Spain, up 18% on the first half of 2018.

 

About the WTO

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organisation in field of tourism, the WTO advocates tourism that contributes to economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and it offers leadership and support to the sector to extend its knowledge and tourist policies throughout the world.

The WTO upholds the application of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximise the socioeconomic contribution of the sector, while simultaneously minimising its possible detrimental impacts, and it has committed to promoting tourism as an instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development all around the world.

The organisation also generates market knowledge, fosters competitive tourism and sustainable policies and instruments, teaching and training tourism and it works to make tourism an efficient tool for development, through technical support projects in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Its members include 158 countries, 6 associate members and more than 500 Affiliate Members that represent the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourist authorities.

]]>
CaixaBank, the benchmark financial institution in the hotel and tourism sector, has been accepted as a member of the World Tourism Organization, the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. This membership, which was approved on 11th September at the 23rd General Assembly of the WTO held in St. Petersburg, establishes CaixaBank as the first European bank to become an Affiliate Member of this international organisation, the leading entity in the field of tourism.

Through this membership, CaixaBank reaffirms its commitment to fostering the sustainable development of tourism and consolidates its role as a financial institution specialising in the sector through its CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism division. The bank offers specific tourist sector products and services taking into account its needs and, in turn, promotes responsible and sustainable financing as one of its primary action lines, in accordance with the concept of socially responsible banking. For CaixaBank, the entity lead by Chairman Jordi Gual and Chief Executive Officer Gonzalo Gortázar, being part of the WTO “is a step further towards consolidating its commitment to a sector that comprises an economic driver and, therefore, is key to contributing to the SDGs”.

The WTO considers the private sector to be an essential member for fostering the sustainable development of tourism and complying with 2030 Agenda. The World Tourism Organization Affiliate Members Department has highlighted "the major potential of its collaboration with CaixaBank to contributing to the creation of a tourist sector that is more ethical and responsible, proving to be a benefit for the international community". Furthermore, the organisation states that it is "very satisfied that the bank has decided to join more than 500 Affiliate Members and collaborate on reaching common goals".

 

Specialised products for the tourism sector

CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism provides the hotel market with a differential product and service that offer help to companies in terms of optimising the profitability of their businesses and simplifying their daily activities. The addition of new specific products and services for the hotel market supplements the specialisation in the industry, taking into account the needs of the different subsectors: hotels, tourist accommodation and campsites.

In addition, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism is particularly committed to projects that contribute to environmental sustainability and social inclusion, such as those that contribute improvements in energy efficiency, water management and those that foster the integration into the workplace of people at risk of exclusion. In this context, CaixaBank stands out for its responsible actions and this is acknowledged by the main international organisations. The global Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranks it among the best banks in the world in terms of corporate responsibility.  

Moreover, the bank holds the CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism award on an annual basis, which recognises the innovation and sustainability of tourist companies. This award is a further example of CaixaBank's commitment to the tourism market and, specifically, to sustainable and innovative projects in the sector in Spain. The term for submitting candidacies for the second annual edition of these awards is currently open, and will close on 30 November.

CaixaBank Hotel & Tourism has signed more than 40 agreements with hotel federations and associations, including the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT); and it organises regular meetings with benchmark employers in the industry nationwide.

During the first six months of the year, CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism granted a total of over 1 billion euros in credit to the Spanish hotel sector. This figure represents 8% growth compared to the same period of the previous year – when 942 million euros of credit had been granted – and involves a total of 1,908 operations carried out throughout Spain, up 18% on the first half of 2018.

 

About the WTO

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) is the United Nations body responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organisation in field of tourism, the WTO advocates tourism that contributes to economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and it offers leadership and support to the sector to extend its knowledge and tourist policies throughout the world.

The WTO upholds the application of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximise the socioeconomic contribution of the sector, while simultaneously minimising its possible detrimental impacts, and it has committed to promoting tourism as an instrument to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development all around the world.

The organisation also generates market knowledge, fosters competitive tourism and sustainable policies and instruments, teaching and training tourism and it works to make tourism an efficient tool for development, through technical support projects in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Its members include 158 countries, 6 associate members and more than 500 Affiliate Members that represent the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourist authorities.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank uses artificial intelligence to simplify the management of direct debit payments.]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-09T00:00:00.0Z 2019-10-09T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank uses artificial intelligence to simplify the management of direct debit payments.]]> CaixaBank has developed an innovation project using artificial intelligence to manage returned direct debit payments. As a leading Spanish retail bank, CaixaBank manages 450 million direct debit payments every year and is the primary direct debit service provider in Spain.

When a bill is sent to an account with an insufficient balance, the software notifies the customer's banking adviser, who then analyses the case and decides how to resolve the situation: to permit the bill payment, to reject it, or to postpone it for a few days until the customer has sufficient funds.

The banking adviser receives incident information every day at 8 a.m. This task is difficult to automate since each case is different and involves multiple variables that influence the final decision: the type of bill, whether it is a regular payment, the customer's payment history, the customer's connection with the company in question, etc. However, the task of managing bills takes up a considerable amount of the banking adviser's time.

The same decision as a human in 99% of cases

Artificial intelligence can be used to create IT systems that can imitate human reasoning and understand the specific features of each situation to make the best possible decisions.

In terms of managing bill payments, we needed to create an in-house computer system capable of processing each case exactly as an employee would. By doing so, the system understands individual issues and decides whether to permit the payment, to return the bill to the issuer, or to postpone the payment for a few days before analysing it again to see if the account can be debited. The system can also choose to send the bill to an adviser for a more detaled analysis.

This technology project started with the design of the model by our highly trained team of data scientists, who specialise in advanced analytics and machine learning. Next, the system required four months of training to “learn” how to manage different situations. Eventually, CaixaBank obtained a model with 99% accuracy, meaning that the system virtually always thinks and acts like a human.

In May, CaixaBank started to deploy the new system as a pilot project in 600 branches all over Spain (including the entire Barcelona network plus selected branches nationwide). In the first four months of operation, the artificial intelligence technology has already resolved a high percentage of cases by itself. If the model were to be expanded to the entire CaixaBank network, it would save approximately 82,000 hours of work.

By simplifying routine tasks, such as managing direct debit bills, the aim is for employees to have more time to focus on providing customers with a personal service.

In addition, this system helps to reinforce the direct debit management service. For some time, CaixaBank has provided its customers with a "smart" bill payment management service based on machine learning and big data. This tool, called “My Finances”, notifies customers instantly if they have insufficient funds to make a payment. It also provides information about the estimated date of future bills and notifies customers if the amount of a specific bill is higher than usual.

CaixaBank, a leader in developing artificial intelligence for banking services

CaixaBank is the most innovative bank in Spain in using artificial intelligence for financial services.

The company started to invest in artificial intelligence in 2014 with the introduction of IBM Watson, a technology which CaixaBank pioneered by helping the system to learn Spanish.

The first commercial application was the launch of a smart assistant for foreign trade. This initiative was followed by a virtual assistant for all business areas, which is capable of accessing huge amounts of data instantly, interacting with users using natural language, and learning from experience.

A system with this degree of sophistication needs to be trained by CaixaBank advisers to know how to solve the technical issues put forward by customers in accordance with an extensive corpus of trade laws, country-specific regulations, internal regulations, etc. Similarly, the system requires ongoing training by technology specialists to improve its understanding of the natural language of people and conversation skills. Currently, the CaixaBank virtual assistant resolves an average of 20,000 enquiries every day.

CaixaBank also offers its clients artificial intelligence-based services through chatbots capable of holding conversations using natural language and responding to questions and enquiries. In 2017, CaixaBank launched the first chatbot in the Spanish financial sector for its imaginBank customers. Currently, the bank has two chatbots: Gina, for imaginBank, and Neo, for CaixaBankNow. Both chatbots are able to offer information on any matters related to CaixaBank products and services.

CaixaBank has recently launched its latest customer service innovation using artificial intelligence, whereby the chatbot service can be used to carry out real transactions. Specifically, since May, Gina, the imaginBank chatbot, has been able to help customers set up payment instalments. CaixaBank has designed two options for use. On the one hand, the service can be activated by the customer accessing Gina and requesting (by text or by voice message) that payment of a recent purchase be split into instalments. The chatbot immediately detects which of the user's most recent transactions can be split into instalments and displays them on the screen. The customer chooses the purchase for which they need the credit and the operation is processed automatically. Gina notifies the customer of the operation's status throughout the process.

In the second option, the chatbot activates the service independently. When a customer may need to split a payment, the bot connects to their imaginBank app, and Gina sends the customer a message offering the option.

The transactions that the bot assesses to manage the split-payment service are purchases with imaginBank cards made in the last week of at least 40 euros. The customer can choose to pay them over a term of three, six or nine months, under the same conditions as requesting as such conventionally via the app.

By using this new chatbot function, it is estimated that the use of the CaixaBank instalment payment service, with approximately 1,200 transactions per month, will grow by some 15%. CaixaBank's mobile-only bank currently has 1.2 million customers

CaixaBank is the leading financial group in retail banking in Spain and one of the most important in Portugal. It has 15.6 million customers in the Iberian market and boasts the peninsula's leading business network.

Technology and digitisation are key in the company's business model, which has the largest base of digital customers in Spain (6.3 million). In addition, CaixaBank has developed projects that have marked technological turning points in the sector, such as the creation of the first cash machines that allow customers to perform operations through facial recognition and without having to enter their PIN.

Thanks to its digital transformation strategy, CaixaBank has become one of the highest-rated banks in the world based on the quality of its digital products and services. In 2019, the company was recognised as the “Most Innovative Bank in Western Europe” by American magazine Global Finance. In addition, CaixaBank was recognised as the world's best Private Bank for its digital customer communication services in the Wealth Tech Awards of the PWM magazine of the Financial Times group. In 2018 the bank was chosen as the “Best Digital Bank in Western Europe” by the publication Euromoney; and its mobile banking application, CaixaBankNow, was recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and the British magazine  The Banker as the best mobile technology project in its 2018 Tech Project Awards.

]]>
CaixaBank has developed an innovation project using artificial intelligence to manage returned direct debit payments. As a leading Spanish retail bank, CaixaBank manages 450 million direct debit payments every year and is the primary direct debit service provider in Spain.

When a bill is sent to an account with an insufficient balance, the software notifies the customer's banking adviser, who then analyses the case and decides how to resolve the situation: to permit the bill payment, to reject it, or to postpone it for a few days until the customer has sufficient funds.

The banking adviser receives incident information every day at 8 a.m. This task is difficult to automate since each case is different and involves multiple variables that influence the final decision: the type of bill, whether it is a regular payment, the customer's payment history, the customer's connection with the company in question, etc. However, the task of managing bills takes up a considerable amount of the banking adviser's time.

The same decision as a human in 99% of cases

Artificial intelligence can be used to create IT systems that can imitate human reasoning and understand the specific features of each situation to make the best possible decisions.

In terms of managing bill payments, we needed to create an in-house computer system capable of processing each case exactly as an employee would. By doing so, the system understands individual issues and decides whether to permit the payment, to return the bill to the issuer, or to postpone the payment for a few days before analysing it again to see if the account can be debited. The system can also choose to send the bill to an adviser for a more detaled analysis.

This technology project started with the design of the model by our highly trained team of data scientists, who specialise in advanced analytics and machine learning. Next, the system required four months of training to “learn” how to manage different situations. Eventually, CaixaBank obtained a model with 99% accuracy, meaning that the system virtually always thinks and acts like a human.

In May, CaixaBank started to deploy the new system as a pilot project in 600 branches all over Spain (including the entire Barcelona network plus selected branches nationwide). In the first four months of operation, the artificial intelligence technology has already resolved a high percentage of cases by itself. If the model were to be expanded to the entire CaixaBank network, it would save approximately 82,000 hours of work.

By simplifying routine tasks, such as managing direct debit bills, the aim is for employees to have more time to focus on providing customers with a personal service.

In addition, this system helps to reinforce the direct debit management service. For some time, CaixaBank has provided its customers with a "smart" bill payment management service based on machine learning and big data. This tool, called “My Finances”, notifies customers instantly if they have insufficient funds to make a payment. It also provides information about the estimated date of future bills and notifies customers if the amount of a specific bill is higher than usual.

CaixaBank, a leader in developing artificial intelligence for banking services

CaixaBank is the most innovative bank in Spain in using artificial intelligence for financial services.

The company started to invest in artificial intelligence in 2014 with the introduction of IBM Watson, a technology which CaixaBank pioneered by helping the system to learn Spanish.

The first commercial application was the launch of a smart assistant for foreign trade. This initiative was followed by a virtual assistant for all business areas, which is capable of accessing huge amounts of data instantly, interacting with users using natural language, and learning from experience.

A system with this degree of sophistication needs to be trained by CaixaBank advisers to know how to solve the technical issues put forward by customers in accordance with an extensive corpus of trade laws, country-specific regulations, internal regulations, etc. Similarly, the system requires ongoing training by technology specialists to improve its understanding of the natural language of people and conversation skills. Currently, the CaixaBank virtual assistant resolves an average of 20,000 enquiries every day.

CaixaBank also offers its clients artificial intelligence-based services through chatbots capable of holding conversations using natural language and responding to questions and enquiries. In 2017, CaixaBank launched the first chatbot in the Spanish financial sector for its imaginBank customers. Currently, the bank has two chatbots: Gina, for imaginBank, and Neo, for CaixaBankNow. Both chatbots are able to offer information on any matters related to CaixaBank products and services.

CaixaBank has recently launched its latest customer service innovation using artificial intelligence, whereby the chatbot service can be used to carry out real transactions. Specifically, since May, Gina, the imaginBank chatbot, has been able to help customers set up payment instalments. CaixaBank has designed two options for use. On the one hand, the service can be activated by the customer accessing Gina and requesting (by text or by voice message) that payment of a recent purchase be split into instalments. The chatbot immediately detects which of the user's most recent transactions can be split into instalments and displays them on the screen. The customer chooses the purchase for which they need the credit and the operation is processed automatically. Gina notifies the customer of the operation's status throughout the process.

In the second option, the chatbot activates the service independently. When a customer may need to split a payment, the bot connects to their imaginBank app, and Gina sends the customer a message offering the option.

The transactions that the bot assesses to manage the split-payment service are purchases with imaginBank cards made in the last week of at least 40 euros. The customer can choose to pay them over a term of three, six or nine months, under the same conditions as requesting as such conventionally via the app.

By using this new chatbot function, it is estimated that the use of the CaixaBank instalment payment service, with approximately 1,200 transactions per month, will grow by some 15%. CaixaBank's mobile-only bank currently has 1.2 million customers

CaixaBank is the leading financial group in retail banking in Spain and one of the most important in Portugal. It has 15.6 million customers in the Iberian market and boasts the peninsula's leading business network.

Technology and digitisation are key in the company's business model, which has the largest base of digital customers in Spain (6.3 million). In addition, CaixaBank has developed projects that have marked technological turning points in the sector, such as the creation of the first cash machines that allow customers to perform operations through facial recognition and without having to enter their PIN.

Thanks to its digital transformation strategy, CaixaBank has become one of the highest-rated banks in the world based on the quality of its digital products and services. In 2019, the company was recognised as the “Most Innovative Bank in Western Europe” by American magazine Global Finance. In addition, CaixaBank was recognised as the world's best Private Bank for its digital customer communication services in the Wealth Tech Awards of the PWM magazine of the Financial Times group. In 2018 the bank was chosen as the “Best Digital Bank in Western Europe” by the publication Euromoney; and its mobile banking application, CaixaBankNow, was recognised by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) and the British magazine  The Banker as the best mobile technology project in its 2018 Tech Project Awards.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[Arancha Manzanares, vice president of Ayesa, wins the third edition of the CaixaBank Women in Business award]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-07T00:00:00.0Z 2019-10-07T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[Arancha Manzanares, vice president of Ayesa, wins the third edition of the CaixaBank Women in Business award]]> Arancha Manzanares, vice president of Ayesa, has won the third edition of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award, which recognises the professional and business excellence of women who show outstanding leadership in Spanish business. 

The jury of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award is formed by the CaixaBank Diversity Committee, in turn made up of directorial members of the management committee and by various leaders of diversity projects. Arancha Manzanares has been selected among the 14 winners of the territorial phase, for her outstanding professional career, her success in the company's internationalisation and diversification strategy – now an international technological company with projects around the world – and her commitment to promoting innovation and professional development. 

Arancha Manzanares is a Doctor in Industrial Engineering from the University of Seville (1992 and 2006), and took the Senior Management Programme (PADE) at the IESE Business School. She joined Ayesa in 1996, where she has taken on various roles. In 2004, she became the managing director of ACT Sistemas, the origin of the group's IT department. Between 2005 and 2007, she took on the role of General Corporate Management. In 2011, she was appointed chairwoman of Ayesa Advanced Technologies, and since May 2019 is the vice president of Ayesa.  

According to Manzanares, the award gives her "great pride, not only for representing Spain, but also all the women who will accompany me in New Delhi. We are proof that effort and hard work are the true driving forces behind achieving big objectives."

Ayesa is Spain’s largest engineering and technology consultancy (ETC) firm. Founded in Seville in 1966 as a company related to water and infrastructure projects, the company has diversified itself geographically and at the sectorial level, until becoming a consultancy firm that covers a wide spectrum, with projects all over the world.

Its international experience and presence in 17 countries has made it one of the hundred largest groups worldwide in the field of engineering, and a benchmark in terms of the digital transformation of large companies and the public sector.

Its double role as an expert in infrastructure and developer of information systems is not just a distinguishing factor, but also a new, fully vertical business model, which is ideal for facing the challenges of a smart, connected world.

For Ayesa, business ethics are a key intangible asset. It has a zero tolerance policy for corruption, reflected in its code of ethics and in all its processes.

The IWEC Awards

As a national winner of the CaixaBank 2019 Women in Business Award, Arancha Manzanares will be one of the Spanish representatives at the IWEC Awards 2019, which will be handed out on 12 November in New Delhi, in the framework of the 12th International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Conference, a global network of leading women entrepreneurs around the world, who cooperate globally with the goal to help create and distribute wealth in the business world.

The first edition of these awards took place in Barcelona in February 2007; subsequently, they were held in New York (2008), New Delhi (2009), Cape Town (2010), New York (2011), Barcelona (2012), Lima (2013), Stockholm (2014), Istanbul (2015), Brussels (2016), Seattle (2017) and Shanghai (2018).

In 2018, this international award ceremony acknowledged the careers of 48 businesswomen from 20 countries. The global turnover of the companies run by these women stands above 1.7 billion dollars and they employ more than 48,000 people.

 

CaixaBank, committed to diversity

The CaixaBank Women in Business Award, now in its third edition, has consolidated itself throughout Spain as a result of its support to women in business. It is part of CaixaBank's Wengage programme, which promotes the value of diversity and equal opportunities by carrying out a series of actions within the company aimed at promoting the talent and professional development of the women it employs. At the end of May 2019, the company had 40.1% of women in management positions.

In the external setting, CaixaBank promotes awards and conferences to increase the visibility of women in many areas of responsibility. This is precisely the goal of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award, which acknowledges the careers of women in the business world; or the WONNOW awards, in collaboration with Microsoft, which acknowledge the best students in the STEM fields (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In addition, in 2018, CaixaBank promoted 70 conferences in Spain to raise awareness on the value of diversity; and 11 Diversity Talks in the bank's international network.

Wengage is part of CaixaBank's Diversity Plan, which seeks to foster diversity in all its forms and reflects the socially responsible banking model, characterised by its commitment to the environment, its social approach and its contribution to the development of people and society as a whole.

 

]]>
Arancha Manzanares, vice president of Ayesa, has won the third edition of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award, which recognises the professional and business excellence of women who show outstanding leadership in Spanish business. 

The jury of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award is formed by the CaixaBank Diversity Committee, in turn made up of directorial members of the management committee and by various leaders of diversity projects. Arancha Manzanares has been selected among the 14 winners of the territorial phase, for her outstanding professional career, her success in the company's internationalisation and diversification strategy – now an international technological company with projects around the world – and her commitment to promoting innovation and professional development. 

Arancha Manzanares is a Doctor in Industrial Engineering from the University of Seville (1992 and 2006), and took the Senior Management Programme (PADE) at the IESE Business School. She joined Ayesa in 1996, where she has taken on various roles. In 2004, she became the managing director of ACT Sistemas, the origin of the group's IT department. Between 2005 and 2007, she took on the role of General Corporate Management. In 2011, she was appointed chairwoman of Ayesa Advanced Technologies, and since May 2019 is the vice president of Ayesa.  

According to Manzanares, the award gives her "great pride, not only for representing Spain, but also all the women who will accompany me in New Delhi. We are proof that effort and hard work are the true driving forces behind achieving big objectives."

Ayesa is Spain’s largest engineering and technology consultancy (ETC) firm. Founded in Seville in 1966 as a company related to water and infrastructure projects, the company has diversified itself geographically and at the sectorial level, until becoming a consultancy firm that covers a wide spectrum, with projects all over the world.

Its international experience and presence in 17 countries has made it one of the hundred largest groups worldwide in the field of engineering, and a benchmark in terms of the digital transformation of large companies and the public sector.

Its double role as an expert in infrastructure and developer of information systems is not just a distinguishing factor, but also a new, fully vertical business model, which is ideal for facing the challenges of a smart, connected world.

For Ayesa, business ethics are a key intangible asset. It has a zero tolerance policy for corruption, reflected in its code of ethics and in all its processes.

The IWEC Awards

As a national winner of the CaixaBank 2019 Women in Business Award, Arancha Manzanares will be one of the Spanish representatives at the IWEC Awards 2019, which will be handed out on 12 November in New Delhi, in the framework of the 12th International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Conference, a global network of leading women entrepreneurs around the world, who cooperate globally with the goal to help create and distribute wealth in the business world.

The first edition of these awards took place in Barcelona in February 2007; subsequently, they were held in New York (2008), New Delhi (2009), Cape Town (2010), New York (2011), Barcelona (2012), Lima (2013), Stockholm (2014), Istanbul (2015), Brussels (2016), Seattle (2017) and Shanghai (2018).

In 2018, this international award ceremony acknowledged the careers of 48 businesswomen from 20 countries. The global turnover of the companies run by these women stands above 1.7 billion dollars and they employ more than 48,000 people.

 

CaixaBank, committed to diversity

The CaixaBank Women in Business Award, now in its third edition, has consolidated itself throughout Spain as a result of its support to women in business. It is part of CaixaBank's Wengage programme, which promotes the value of diversity and equal opportunities by carrying out a series of actions within the company aimed at promoting the talent and professional development of the women it employs. At the end of May 2019, the company had 40.1% of women in management positions.

In the external setting, CaixaBank promotes awards and conferences to increase the visibility of women in many areas of responsibility. This is precisely the goal of the CaixaBank Women in Business Award, which acknowledges the careers of women in the business world; or the WONNOW awards, in collaboration with Microsoft, which acknowledge the best students in the STEM fields (Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In addition, in 2018, CaixaBank promoted 70 conferences in Spain to raise awareness on the value of diversity; and 11 Diversity Talks in the bank's international network.

Wengage is part of CaixaBank's Diversity Plan, which seeks to foster diversity in all its forms and reflects the socially responsible banking model, characterised by its commitment to the environment, its social approach and its contribution to the development of people and society as a whole.

 

]]>
0
<![CDATA[The United Nations has conferred its highest rating of sustainable investment on CaixaBank]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-10-02T11:00:00.0Z 2019-10-02T11:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[The United Nations has conferred its highest rating of sustainable investment on CaixaBank]]> The United Nations have conferred the highest rating of sustainable investment (A+) on CaixaBank, through VidaCaixa and CaixaBank Asset Management. The institution has considered the degree of implementation of its Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), both by its insurer and pension fund manager and its asset manager, and has given them both a rating of A+ for their outstanding management regarding Strategy and Good Governance.

The goal of the PRIs is to build awareness around the impact that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have on investments, and to guide the signatories on how to integrate them into their investment structures. Essentially, it is about analysing potential investments with criteria that go beyond financial returns, and promoting these same matters in entities that receive the investment. The PRIs aim to develop an economically efficient and financially sustainable system on a global scale, which benefits the environment and society as a whole.

The Chairman of CaixaBank, Jordi Gual, has emphasised that “CaixaBank participates very actively in the international discussion to agree on common action principles, including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, recently presented in New York and, of course, the principles for responsible investment". Gual added that “the application of environmental, social and governance criteria to the management of our business is key to achieving responsible banking, which helps the company to address the environmental and social challenges that we face”.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment represent the biggest global project to boost the responsible management of investments, and is an international benchmark in this field.

In this regard, CaixaBank's CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlighted that "sustainable or responsible investment allows us to better manage overall risks and generate returns that are sustainable in the long term."

According to Gonzalo Gortázar, the highest rating in sustainable investment conferred by the United Nations  “reasserts our commitment to a socially responsible banking model that not only achieves economic returns for our shareholders, but also fosters a coherent management approach regarding our corporate values and encourages the creation of value for the whole company”.

VidaCaixa has been committed to socially responsible investment for more than 15 years, and has been a signatory to the PRIs for a decade. 100% of its assets under management (around 90,000 million years), and therefore all of its products, are analysed under sustainability criteria. Throughout 2019, the main improvements implemented by the company have been the promotion of new political rights, joining the Climate Action 100+ collaborative initiative, and improved transparency through communication actions, which have allowed it to maintain the highest rating.

Furthermore, the average returns of CaixaBank pension plans, through VidaCaixa, have historically been able to surpass the average returns in Spain over 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. This demonstrates that good returns are compatible with the application of sustainability principles in investments, and provides long-term value both for the entity's customers and society in general.

Furthermore, for the first time, CaixaBank AM has achieved the maximum rating three years after signing the PRIs. Throughout this period, the management company has worked intensively to incorporate the sustainability criteria into its investment processes; it has extended political rights, implemented initiatives of internal management, human resources and volunteers, and has developed new communication channels for its stakeholders. Meanwhile, 90% of its assets (around 50,000 million euros) are managed under the sustainability criteria proposed by the United Nations.

The six PRIs

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment were launched in 2006, just months after then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, brought together the world's largest institutional investors to establish investment criteria to encourage economic flows around the world to go into more sustainable and respectable activities. These are known as the six principles for responsible investment:

  • Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The PRIs have gone from 100 initial signatories to 2,500, which represent practically all of the main investment managers around the world. Only 25% of these achieved the maximum rating in their annual evaluation.

]]>
The United Nations have conferred the highest rating of sustainable investment (A+) on CaixaBank, through VidaCaixa and CaixaBank Asset Management. The institution has considered the degree of implementation of its Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), both by its insurer and pension fund manager and its asset manager, and has given them both a rating of A+ for their outstanding management regarding Strategy and Good Governance.

The goal of the PRIs is to build awareness around the impact that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have on investments, and to guide the signatories on how to integrate them into their investment structures. Essentially, it is about analysing potential investments with criteria that go beyond financial returns, and promoting these same matters in entities that receive the investment. The PRIs aim to develop an economically efficient and financially sustainable system on a global scale, which benefits the environment and society as a whole.

The Chairman of CaixaBank, Jordi Gual, has emphasised that “CaixaBank participates very actively in the international discussion to agree on common action principles, including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, recently presented in New York and, of course, the principles for responsible investment". Gual added that “the application of environmental, social and governance criteria to the management of our business is key to achieving responsible banking, which helps the company to address the environmental and social challenges that we face”.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment represent the biggest global project to boost the responsible management of investments, and is an international benchmark in this field.

In this regard, CaixaBank's CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlighted that "sustainable or responsible investment allows us to better manage overall risks and generate returns that are sustainable in the long term."

According to Gonzalo Gortázar, the highest rating in sustainable investment conferred by the United Nations  “reasserts our commitment to a socially responsible banking model that not only achieves economic returns for our shareholders, but also fosters a coherent management approach regarding our corporate values and encourages the creation of value for the whole company”.

VidaCaixa has been committed to socially responsible investment for more than 15 years, and has been a signatory to the PRIs for a decade. 100% of its assets under management (around 90,000 million years), and therefore all of its products, are analysed under sustainability criteria. Throughout 2019, the main improvements implemented by the company have been the promotion of new political rights, joining the Climate Action 100+ collaborative initiative, and improved transparency through communication actions, which have allowed it to maintain the highest rating.

Furthermore, the average returns of CaixaBank pension plans, through VidaCaixa, have historically been able to surpass the average returns in Spain over 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. This demonstrates that good returns are compatible with the application of sustainability principles in investments, and provides long-term value both for the entity's customers and society in general.

Furthermore, for the first time, CaixaBank AM has achieved the maximum rating three years after signing the PRIs. Throughout this period, the management company has worked intensively to incorporate the sustainability criteria into its investment processes; it has extended political rights, implemented initiatives of internal management, human resources and volunteers, and has developed new communication channels for its stakeholders. Meanwhile, 90% of its assets (around 50,000 million euros) are managed under the sustainability criteria proposed by the United Nations.

The six PRIs

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment were launched in 2006, just months after then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, brought together the world's largest institutional investors to establish investment criteria to encourage economic flows around the world to go into more sustainable and respectable activities. These are known as the six principles for responsible investment:

  • Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The PRIs have gone from 100 initial signatories to 2,500, which represent practically all of the main investment managers around the world. Only 25% of these achieved the maximum rating in their annual evaluation.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[France replaces the United Kingdom as top destination for international expansion of Spanish companies according to CaixaBank Index for Business Internationalisation 2019]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-09-23T12:00:00.0Z 2019-09-23T12:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[France replaces the United Kingdom as top destination for international expansion of Spanish companies according to CaixaBank Index for Business Internationalisation 2019]]> CaixaBank has published the third edition of the CaixaBank Index for Business Internationalisation (CIBI), which assesses the favourability of individual foreign markets from a Spanish viewpoint and ranks countries based on their business potential for Spanish companies.

According to the CaixaBank CIBI 2019, France, the main trading partner for Spanish companies, was ranked as the number one destination. After leading the ranking in the two previous editions, the United Kingdom has moved down to second place due to Brexit uncertainty. The change is incremental, taking into account that the UK remains one of the main destinations for Spanish exports and that the CIBI mainly includes events regarding the analysed country and to a lesser extent the unrealised risks. According to CaixaBank Research, “If the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union is carried out gradually, and considering that many of the aspects that make the country attractive in the eyes of Spanish business owners will not excessively change with this exit, the country will continue to place highly on the CIBI in future. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, further drop of the UK’s position in the ranking is likely.”

As in the previous iterations of the Index, Western European countries present the most favourable internationalisation conditions for Spanish companies. This is primarily due to their geographic proximity to Spain, their highly developed legal and administrative framework, highly qualified workforce, considerable purchasing power and a solid financial, institutional and innovative operational environment.

Eastern Europe and Central and Western Asia follow Western Europe in terms of internationalisation potential for Spanish companies, closely followed by America. In terms of individual country rankings, the United States has been recognised as top three destination, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal.

CaixaBank’s support for international expansion of Spanish businesses

The aim of the CIBI, which is prepared by CaixaBank Research for CaixaBank's Foreign Trade Department, is to help companies that want to internationalise their business, whether by selling products, expanding their supply chain or investing abroad.

The CIBI analyses a total of 67 countries, both advanced and emerging economies, and compiles a ranking that reflects their level of appeal for Spanish companies. The index underpins five key factors  around a firm’s internationalisation process, such as the country's accessibility, ease of operating, commercial attractiveness, financial environment and innovation, and stability.

All information pertaining to the CIBI is publicly available on the CaixaBank Research website (https://www.caixabankresearch.com/en/index-business-internationalisation) free of charge.

This initiative supports CaixaBank's strategic goal to support companies that want to diversify their business while expanding activity to international markets.

The bank chosen by companies

CaixaBank has established itself as a go-to bank for companies due to its specialist model underpinning a network of 125 CaixaBank Empresas centres across Spain that employ 1,118 highly specialised and continuously trained professionals equipped to provide advice to companies.

CaixaBank provides support to its corporate customers in 127 countries via operational branches, representative offices, correspondent branches and bank holdings that, combined with its specially-trained managers working in branches across Spain, are able to assist companies with operations abroad. The bank offers services both to SMEs and micro-enterprises that are starting export activities, as well as to large corporations and business groups tackling complex international projects.

]]>
CaixaBank has published the third edition of the CaixaBank Index for Business Internationalisation (CIBI), which assesses the favourability of individual foreign markets from a Spanish viewpoint and ranks countries based on their business potential for Spanish companies.

According to the CaixaBank CIBI 2019, France, the main trading partner for Spanish companies, was ranked as the number one destination. After leading the ranking in the two previous editions, the United Kingdom has moved down to second place due to Brexit uncertainty. The change is incremental, taking into account that the UK remains one of the main destinations for Spanish exports and that the CIBI mainly includes events regarding the analysed country and to a lesser extent the unrealised risks. According to CaixaBank Research, “If the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union is carried out gradually, and considering that many of the aspects that make the country attractive in the eyes of Spanish business owners will not excessively change with this exit, the country will continue to place highly on the CIBI in future. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, further drop of the UK’s position in the ranking is likely.”

As in the previous iterations of the Index, Western European countries present the most favourable internationalisation conditions for Spanish companies. This is primarily due to their geographic proximity to Spain, their highly developed legal and administrative framework, highly qualified workforce, considerable purchasing power and a solid financial, institutional and innovative operational environment.

Eastern Europe and Central and Western Asia follow Western Europe in terms of internationalisation potential for Spanish companies, closely followed by America. In terms of individual country rankings, the United States has been recognised as top three destination, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal.

CaixaBank’s support for international expansion of Spanish businesses

The aim of the CIBI, which is prepared by CaixaBank Research for CaixaBank's Foreign Trade Department, is to help companies that want to internationalise their business, whether by selling products, expanding their supply chain or investing abroad.

The CIBI analyses a total of 67 countries, both advanced and emerging economies, and compiles a ranking that reflects their level of appeal for Spanish companies. The index underpins five key factors  around a firm’s internationalisation process, such as the country's accessibility, ease of operating, commercial attractiveness, financial environment and innovation, and stability.

All information pertaining to the CIBI is publicly available on the CaixaBank Research website (https://www.caixabankresearch.com/en/index-business-internationalisation) free of charge.

This initiative supports CaixaBank's strategic goal to support companies that want to diversify their business while expanding activity to international markets.

The bank chosen by companies

CaixaBank has established itself as a go-to bank for companies due to its specialist model underpinning a network of 125 CaixaBank Empresas centres across Spain that employ 1,118 highly specialised and continuously trained professionals equipped to provide advice to companies.

CaixaBank provides support to its corporate customers in 127 countries via operational branches, representative offices, correspondent branches and bank holdings that, combined with its specially-trained managers working in branches across Spain, are able to assist companies with operations abroad. The bank offers services both to SMEs and micro-enterprises that are starting export activities, as well as to large corporations and business groups tackling complex international projects.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank ratifies its commitment to adhere to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-09-22T00:00:00.0Z 2019-09-22T00:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank ratifies its commitment to adhere to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking]]> CaixaBank has adhered to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, officially launched today in New York by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). These Principles aim to focus the financial sector's activity towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreements on climate change.

Financial institutions carry out a crucial function in supporting and accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable economy and livelihood, thanks to their key role as worldwide funding providers. In addition, the Principles for Responsible Banking provide the framework for the future sustainable banking system and help the sector materialise their positive contribution to society.

Jordi Gual, CaixaBank's Chairman, said, “We need financial institutions that are aware of their actions directly impacting social welfare and adopting ethical and social commitment with the areas in which they are present.” In this respect, Jordi Gual reminded us that “through its centennial history, CaixaBank has always distinguished itself for seeking solutions to the most urgent social challenges and contributing to building a more sustainable and socially inclusive world for current and future generations.”

CEO Gonzalo Gortázar emphasised that “in CaixaBank we are aware of the enormous responsibility of banking in the transition towards a more sustainable world. As a result, we are fully committed to financial culture and inclusion, and, of course, the environment.” “We are a benchmark in socially responsible banking thanks to our origins and social vocation, and we are an ally of the United Nations in the attainment of its Sustainable Development Goals”, concluded Gonzalo Gortázar.

The Principles for Responsible Banking of UNEP FI were defined in late 2018 and were subject to a public consultation process until last May. During that period, banks from all over the world – including CaixaBank - adhered to the initiative, which has been shaped into the final document launched today at the United Nations' headquarters.

The text of the Principles can be seen at http://www.unepfi.org/banking/bankingprinciples/

]]>
CaixaBank has adhered to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, officially launched today in New York by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). These Principles aim to focus the financial sector's activity towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreements on climate change.

Financial institutions carry out a crucial function in supporting and accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable economy and livelihood, thanks to their key role as worldwide funding providers. In addition, the Principles for Responsible Banking provide the framework for the future sustainable banking system and help the sector materialise their positive contribution to society.

Jordi Gual, CaixaBank's Chairman, said, “We need financial institutions that are aware of their actions directly impacting social welfare and adopting ethical and social commitment with the areas in which they are present.” In this respect, Jordi Gual reminded us that “through its centennial history, CaixaBank has always distinguished itself for seeking solutions to the most urgent social challenges and contributing to building a more sustainable and socially inclusive world for current and future generations.”

CEO Gonzalo Gortázar emphasised that “in CaixaBank we are aware of the enormous responsibility of banking in the transition towards a more sustainable world. As a result, we are fully committed to financial culture and inclusion, and, of course, the environment.” “We are a benchmark in socially responsible banking thanks to our origins and social vocation, and we are an ally of the United Nations in the attainment of its Sustainable Development Goals”, concluded Gonzalo Gortázar.

The Principles for Responsible Banking of UNEP FI were defined in late 2018 and were subject to a public consultation process until last May. During that period, banks from all over the world – including CaixaBank - adhered to the initiative, which has been shaped into the final document launched today at the United Nations' headquarters.

The text of the Principles can be seen at http://www.unepfi.org/banking/bankingprinciples/

]]>
0
<![CDATA[CaixaBank is the first Spanish bank to issue a Social Bond to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-09-17T15:30:00.0Z 2019-09-17T15:30:00.0Z <![CDATA[CaixaBank is the first Spanish bank to issue a Social Bond to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations]]> CaixaBank has become the first Spanish bank to issue a Social Bond to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The company has raised 1 billion euros, maturing over 5 years, in the form of non-preferred senior debt, with an objective to facilitate activities that contribute towards economic and social development. Specifically, with this initial issuance, loans are being funded to fight poverty, advocate dignified employment and create jobs in disadvantaged areas of Spain, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. CaixaBank is the only financial institution of the Ibex 35 that has issued bonds like these.

CaixaBank CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlights that this issuance "strengthens our condition as pacesetters in socially responsible banking, directly contributing to the economic and social development of our customers, particularly those in a situation of vulnerability". He also emphasised that "CaixaBank's first Social Bond reaffirms our commitment to the major economic and social challenges of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals".

CaixaBank's first Social Bond will include loans granted by MicroBank to individuals or families who live in Spain, whose total available income is 17,200 euros or less, with a view to fund daily needs such as health care, education or household and vehicle repairs. The current average amount of microloans granted by MicroBank to families is 4,100 euros. Since it was created 12 years ago, MicroBank has granted more than 930,000 microloans to families, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The bond will also be used to fund loans granted to self-employed workers, micro businesses and small businesses operating in Spanish provinces with lower per capita GDP and/or a higher unemployment rate.

Currently, almost 83,000 loans meet the strict eligibility criteria defined by CaixaBank to drive job creation in the most disadvantaged areas of Spain. 75% of these correspond with self-employed people who do not have guarantees or securities.

The price of the bond has been set at 113 basis points over the mid-swap, and the coupon has been established at 0.625%. The success of the issuance is reflected in its demand, which amounts to 2.25 billion euros.

It will have a rating of Baa3/BBB/BBB+/AL by Moody's, S&P, Fitch and DBRS, respectively. The banks placing this new issuance are ABN, Bank of America ML, Credit Agricole, CaixaBank and HSBC.

Framework for the issuance of Green, Social and Sustainable Bonds

This August, CaixaBank published the framework for issuing Green, Social and Sustainable Bonds, to support the SDGs of the United Nations, on its corporate website. The framework was verified by Sustainalytics, an expert independent adviser, which affirmed that CaixaBank has established a 'credible and high-impact' agenda. The company also carried out a roadshow across different European cities to present this framework to institutional investors.

The SDGs are 17 objectives that were set in motion in 2015 to comply with the 2030 Agenda of the UN. Through its dimension and social commitment, CaixaBank is contributing to all SDGs via its activity, social action and strategic alliances, integrating them into its Strategic Plan and its Socially Responsible Banking Plan.

In particular, it is focusing on 12 of the 17 goals. Among them, its priorities are the fight against poverty, job creation and economic growth; as well as climate change, gender equality, sustainable production and consumption, and industry, innovation and infrastructure; whilst also seeking to support projects such as promoting health, education, clean energy and peace, among others.

]]>
CaixaBank has become the first Spanish bank to issue a Social Bond to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The company has raised 1 billion euros, maturing over 5 years, in the form of non-preferred senior debt, with an objective to facilitate activities that contribute towards economic and social development. Specifically, with this initial issuance, loans are being funded to fight poverty, advocate dignified employment and create jobs in disadvantaged areas of Spain, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. CaixaBank is the only financial institution of the Ibex 35 that has issued bonds like these.

CaixaBank CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlights that this issuance "strengthens our condition as pacesetters in socially responsible banking, directly contributing to the economic and social development of our customers, particularly those in a situation of vulnerability". He also emphasised that "CaixaBank's first Social Bond reaffirms our commitment to the major economic and social challenges of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals".

CaixaBank's first Social Bond will include loans granted by MicroBank to individuals or families who live in Spain, whose total available income is 17,200 euros or less, with a view to fund daily needs such as health care, education or household and vehicle repairs. The current average amount of microloans granted by MicroBank to families is 4,100 euros. Since it was created 12 years ago, MicroBank has granted more than 930,000 microloans to families, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The bond will also be used to fund loans granted to self-employed workers, micro businesses and small businesses operating in Spanish provinces with lower per capita GDP and/or a higher unemployment rate.

Currently, almost 83,000 loans meet the strict eligibility criteria defined by CaixaBank to drive job creation in the most disadvantaged areas of Spain. 75% of these correspond with self-employed people who do not have guarantees or securities.

The price of the bond has been set at 113 basis points over the mid-swap, and the coupon has been established at 0.625%. The success of the issuance is reflected in its demand, which amounts to 2.25 billion euros.

It will have a rating of Baa3/BBB/BBB+/AL by Moody's, S&P, Fitch and DBRS, respectively. The banks placing this new issuance are ABN, Bank of America ML, Credit Agricole, CaixaBank and HSBC.

Framework for the issuance of Green, Social and Sustainable Bonds

This August, CaixaBank published the framework for issuing Green, Social and Sustainable Bonds, to support the SDGs of the United Nations, on its corporate website. The framework was verified by Sustainalytics, an expert independent adviser, which affirmed that CaixaBank has established a 'credible and high-impact' agenda. The company also carried out a roadshow across different European cities to present this framework to institutional investors.

The SDGs are 17 objectives that were set in motion in 2015 to comply with the 2030 Agenda of the UN. Through its dimension and social commitment, CaixaBank is contributing to all SDGs via its activity, social action and strategic alliances, integrating them into its Strategic Plan and its Socially Responsible Banking Plan.

In particular, it is focusing on 12 of the 17 goals. Among them, its priorities are the fight against poverty, job creation and economic growth; as well as climate change, gender equality, sustainable production and consumption, and industry, innovation and infrastructure; whilst also seeking to support projects such as promoting health, education, clean energy and peace, among others.

]]>
0
<![CDATA[More than 450 CaixaBank employees graduate with a Master's in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra]]> https://blog.caixabank.es/?p=23645 2019-09-16T11:00:00.0Z 2019-09-16T11:00:00.0Z <![CDATA[More than 450 CaixaBank employees graduate with a Master's in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra]]> A total of 455 CaixaBank employees have graduated with a Master's in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice, taught by the UFP's Barcelona School of Management. This degree, which is groundbreaking in Spain, is specially designed for professionals of the banking sector, and provides them with high-level training that far exceeds the requirements of the regulator, pertaining to financial advice, knowledge of markets, assisting customers in their financial planning and risks analyses of banking transactions.

The new graduates came together in Barcelona in an event led by Juan Antonio Alcaraz, head of CaixaBank Business; Xavier Coll, Head of Human Resources and Organisation of CaixaBank; Jaume Casals, rector of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra; and Xavier Puig, academic director of the Master's degree in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice.

Juan Antonio Alcaraz highlighted “the guarantee that comes with having a team of professionals that are better equipped to offer high-quality financial advice to our customers, designed to give tailored responses to their financial planning needs, which are adapted to the situation of the market”.

According to Xavier Coll, "the impetus to provide continual training to our professionals is fundamental for CaixaBank, and allows us to progress towards the objectives outlined in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan to develop talent, favour meritocracy and, essentially, strengthen an agile and collaborative people-focused culture".

Jaume Casals congratulated the graduates and thanked CaixaBank for the trust placed in the UPF's Barcelona School of Management, a leader in educating professionals of the banking sector in Spain.

Meanwhile, Xavier Puig highlighted the efforts of CaixaBank to achieve excellence in its services through high-quality financial advice. "The crisis of 2008 created a need to elevate the levels of requirements and standards required from the financial sector. What we have done in the UPF's Barcelona School of Management is adapt these requirements into a high-quality, academically renowned training programme, which is unique in Spain, and has a clear practical element so that banking professionals can perform their jobs as competently and rigorously as possible".

More than 2,000 hours of study and three post-graduate diplomas

The new graduates have completed more than 2,000 hours of study to acquire knowledge corresponding to three post-graduate courses: Post-graduate diploma in Financial Advice, Post-graduate diploma in Savings and Forecasting and Post-graduate diploma in Banking Risk Analysis. The Banking Business Master's Degree can only be obtained once these three post-graduate courses have been passed. In 2018, 70 of the company's employees graduated with this master's degree.

We must emphasise that the majority of the new graduates are primarily dedicated to financial advising in the fields of Individual Banking and Premier Banking: 75% of them are branch managers in the CaixaBank network.

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A total of 455 CaixaBank employees have graduated with a Master's in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice, taught by the UFP's Barcelona School of Management. This degree, which is groundbreaking in Spain, is specially designed for professionals of the banking sector, and provides them with high-level training that far exceeds the requirements of the regulator, pertaining to financial advice, knowledge of markets, assisting customers in their financial planning and risks analyses of banking transactions.

The new graduates came together in Barcelona in an event led by Juan Antonio Alcaraz, head of CaixaBank Business; Xavier Coll, Head of Human Resources and Organisation of CaixaBank; Jaume Casals, rector of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra; and Xavier Puig, academic director of the Master's degree in Banking Business and Management and Customer Advice.

Juan Antonio Alcaraz highlighted “the guarantee that comes with having a team of professionals that are better equipped to offer high-quality financial advice to our customers, designed to give tailored responses to their financial planning needs, which are adapted to the situation of the market”.

According to Xavier Coll, "the impetus to provide continual training to our professionals is fundamental for CaixaBank, and allows us to progress towards the objectives outlined in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan to develop talent, favour meritocracy and, essentially, strengthen an agile and collaborative people-focused culture".

Jaume Casals congratulated the graduates and thanked CaixaBank for the trust placed in the UPF's Barcelona School of Management, a leader in educating professionals of the banking sector in Spain.

Meanwhile, Xavier Puig highlighted the efforts of CaixaBank to achieve excellence in its services through high-quality financial advice. "The crisis of 2008 created a need to elevate the levels of requirements and standards required from the financial sector. What we have done in the UPF's Barcelona School of Management is adapt these requirements into a high-quality, academically renowned training programme, which is unique in Spain, and has a clear practical element so that banking professionals can perform their jobs as competently and rigorously as possible".

More than 2,000 hours of study and three post-graduate diplomas

The new graduates have completed more than 2,000 hours of study to acquire knowledge corresponding to three post-graduate courses: Post-graduate diploma in Financial Advice, Post-graduate diploma in Savings and Forecasting and Post-graduate diploma in Banking Risk Analysis. The Banking Business Master's Degree can only be obtained once these three post-graduate courses have been passed. In 2018, 70 of the company's employees graduated with this master's degree.

We must emphasise that the majority of the new graduates are primarily dedicated to financial advising in the fields of Individual Banking and Premier Banking: 75% of them are branch managers in the CaixaBank network.

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