Annual Report 2014 Global growth The regulatory environment in the financial industry Unique banking model A new environment for the financial industry Transformation journey Business organization chart and structure Responsible Business Plan

A new environment for the financial industry

Technological changes and consumer preferences are transforming society and the way of doing business… 

A new environment that poses a significant challenge for the financial industry


Changes in post-crisis industry

  • Higher supervision
  • Restructuring processes 
  • Reputation
  • New regulatory requirements 

Pilar III


Basel IV






  • Irruption of competitors (startups and fintech)
  • New business models
  • With a superior customer experience and lower operating costs


  • The number of mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 201
  • 10x: Global mobile data traffic will increase nearly tenfold between 2014 and 2019
  • >50%: By 2019, more than half of all devices connected to mobile network will be “smart” devices 

(1) CET1 average, including BBVA and its European Peer Group (BARC, BNPP, CASA, CS, CMZ, DB, HSBC, ISP, LBG, RBS, SAN, SG, UBS and UCG).

​…and promoting an accelerated and profound transformation of the banking industry.


  1. Customers demand services in a completely different way:

    a. Internet and social media make it easier to compare products and services and to share that information immediately.

    b. The availability of more information and a greater number of options (increased competition) are exerting a pressure on business margins and reducing customer loyalty.

    c. The most valued brands offer convenience and simplicity, as customers are less tolerant to services with "friction", i.e. services where the customers have to complete several procedures, fill in a form, cope with waiting times, etc.
  2. Digitalization enables new customer demands to be met:

    a. Technological innovations reduce unit costs thanks to process automation and scalability.

    b. Big data can be used to offer more customized services that are more appropriate to each moment in the customer's life cycle.

    c. Smartphones are part of everyday life, enabling the population to be connected anywhere and becoming the main contact channel via applications (App).

The socio-demographic changes taking place also need to be added to these trends:

  1. The millennial generation (those born between 1981 and 1995 who became adults at the turn of the millennium), with a clear digital profile, are reaching consumption age.
  2. Digitalization is reaching the adult population (greater number and with more purchasing power in developed markets).
  3. The middle classes in emerging countries are also increasing their digital potential.

In addition, this new environment poses a significant challenge for the financial industry, since: 

  1. More moderate growth in activity and lower spreads;
  2. Increased regulatory pressure and capital requirements;
  3. Context of widespread mistrust of traditional banking;
  4. New competitors, which are beginning to offer disruptive propositions with lower operating costs;
  5. And large digital companies (such as Amazon, Google and Apple), which may compete with banks in the short term…

… are exerting a pressure on the system's profitability, calling into question the viability of certain businesses and limiting the ability of banks to finance their growth.