January-December 2012

Operating income

Between January and December 2012, operating expenses amounted to €10,786m, with a year-on-year increase of 10.8%. This is due to the investment efforts being made, basically in emerging geographical areas and in technology. The size and scale of the Group have enabled it to undertake significant investments in global technology projects, particularly in the area of transformation and innovation. They have positioned the Bank at the forefront of technological innovation in the sector. BBVA started up a number of projects in 2012, including the implementation of the new BBVA Compass technological platform in all its branches in the United States.

Progress has also been made in the Group’s multichannel distribution model, of which one example is the launch of “Dinero Móvil BBVA Bancomer” in Mexico.

The following are worth highlighting in terms of number of employees, branches and ATMs:

  • The reduction in staff of over 1,600 people in the last quarter, largely due to the sale of BBVA Puerto Rico, the restructuring plan in Unnim and the streamlining of operating circuits through the implementation of the new platform in BBVA Compass. Despite this, the number of employees, at 115,852, is 5,207 higher than at the end of 2011.
  • The number of branches has also fallen during the quarter to 7,978 branches. There are two main reasons for this: the sale of the Puerto Rico business and the restructuring process in Unnim. In contrast, the number continues to grow in Latin America, where it has increased by 521 in 2012.
  • Finally, there was a slight rise in ATMs in the quarter to 20,177 units as of 31-Dec-2012, despite the withdrawal from Puerto Rico and some closures in Unnim. Overall, the number rose by 1,383 units in 2012. The investment effort made by the Bank in ATMs continues to be notable, as they are considered one of the key differentiating elements in BBVA’s multichannel strategy.

The above factors, combined with the good performance of revenue, mainly recurring in nature, have led to an improvement in the Group’s efficiency ratio to 48.1% in 2012 (48.6% in 2011). It continues to be one of the lowest at global level.

As a result, operating income is up 13.3% over the year to €11,655m. This recurring and resilient generation of operating income has laid the sound foundations that have enabled the Bank to absorb the provisions for additional impairment in the value of its real estate assets in Spain.

Breakdown of operating costs and efficiency calculation

(Million euros)

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2012 Δ % 2011
Personnel expenses 5,662 9.1 5,191
Wages and salaries 4,348 8.1 4,022
Employee welfare expenses 819 9.8 746
Training expenses and other 495 17.1 423
General and administrative expenses 4,106 10.8 3,707
Premises 916 9.2 839
IT 745 15.2 647
Communications 330 14.5 289
Advertising and publicity 378 2.4 369
Corporate expenses 102 (1.5) 103
Other expenses 1,201 8.8 1,104
Levies and taxes 433 21.8 356
Administration costs 9,768 9.8 8,898
Depreciation and amortization 1,018 21.4 839
Operating costs 10,786 10.8 9,737
Gross income 22,441.3 12.1 20,027.6
Efficiency ratio (Operating costs/Gross income, in %) 48.1

Operating costs

(Million euros)

(1) At constant exchange rates: +7.6%.


Number of employees (1)

(1) Excluding Garanti.

Number of bransches (1)

(1) Excluding Garanti.

Number of ATMs (1)

(1) Excluding Garanti.

Operating income

(Millones de euros)

(1) At constant exchange rates: +9.8%.