BBVA firmly believes that principles-adjusted return is, in itself, a source of competitive advantage that ensures that the Group remains sustainable in the long term.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the Social Ecumenical Forum awarded BBVA the Latin American Prize for Corporate Responsibility in recognition of its commitment to education and its integration scholarships program, that promotes access to quality education for children and young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Latin America.
The efforts by BBVA Compass to bring customers a clear and transparent banking service have also been acknowledged, ranking second in the 2014 Checking Account Transparency Report 2014 on the WalletHub ranking website. It also received one of the top scores in a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which evaluates checking account practices by leading U.S. banks.
Other important milestones in the area of Environmental and Social Governance in the fourth quarter of 2014 are summarized below:
Transparent, Clear, and Responsible (TCR) Communication
BBVA has continued to make headway with its TCR communication strategy. It has set up a TCR Marketing Communication Code that guarantees the use of straightforward, accurate and to-the-point language in any of the Group’s marketing communications and advertising campaigns. This will help customers make the right decisions.
The IV Jornada de Pensiones (4th Pensions Conference) was held in October 2014, organized by BBVA Pensions under the theme “financial literacy for retirement”. During the event, the launch of a new tool intended to help people make decisions about their retirement was announced. This is a public pension simulator adapted to the latest Social Security reforms in Spain, which gives an expected pension based on various scenarios.
As regards financial literacy, BBVA Compass and NBA Cares surpassed their target of providing financial literacy, based on EverFi Internet, to 25,000 students in 2014.
BBVA Chile has launched financial literacy microprograms through various social networks and the channel CNN Chile, and set up a new website: www.educacionfinancierabbva.com. BBVA volunteer groups have also held several financial literacy workshops in Uruguay.
BBVA has set in motion the 5th Momentum Project in Spain and, for the first time in the program’s history, 5 out of the 15 participating social ventures will come from the entities acknowledged in BBVA’s VII Premio Integra (7th Integra Prize).
The Training Program to boost SMEs, run through the Business School of the Universidad Católica de Argentina, has benefited 120 business owners. Also, in Colombia, a total of 150 business owners from different economic sectors have received the BBVA SME Training qualification, a program funded by the bank and run by the Universidad de los Andes.
In terms of education for society, the agreement signed by the BBVA Bancomer Foundation and the SEP (Secretariat for Public Education) to double the number of beneficiaries of Adelante Scholarships is worth mentioning. These envisage a joint investment of 48 million pesos that will be used to increase the number of students receiving support from the program from 2,000 to 4,000.
These and other initiatives have turned BBVA in Mexico into an extremely active institution as far as education and community involvement are concerned. In addition, it is also important to highlight that at the end of the year the first generation of 180 students graduated from Universidad BBVA Bancomer, at which more than 1,100 students are currently enrolled.
Products with a high social impact
BBVA has received the Innovation and Community Involvement award from the SERES Foundation for creating jobs through its initiative “Yo Soy Empleo” (I am employment). This has helped 4,614 companies and self-employed individuals to create 7,427 jobs in Spain, around 70% with open-ended contracts. The people hired have been unemployed for 14 months on average and 40% are under 30. Of these new jobs, 1,000 are non-repayable €1,500 grants to each new person registered as self-employed. Also, in November, BBVA signed an agreement with the ONCE Foundation to allocate 750,000 euros to grants to create 500 new jobs for disabled people.
In November 2014, BBVA Compass announced a program worth $11,000 million for the next 5 years, which includes loans, investments and services to support individuals and districts with medium-low income. The bank is also planning to present new distribution channels, products and services for economically-disadvantaged individuals during 2015.
The BBVA Bancomer Foundation and the ITESM (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education) have driven new entrepreneurship projects through education and production centers, which have already benefited more than 53,000 people since they started in 2009.
BBVA, in partnership with Universidad de Deusto, has organized the Responsible Company and Banking series of conferences, which discusses the ties between banking and social innovation processes.
Aware of its responsibility to society and under the project “Lo que mejor se nos da” (What we’re best at), BBVA will donate up to €3 million to solidarity projects (Cáritas, the Spanish Red Cross and the Food Bank).
BBVA Compass has made one of the highest donations, $5 million, to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston for its remodeling.
In Spain, the 6th Integra Prize award ceremony was held, the first prize being awarded to the AMIAB group, that works for increasing workplace and social integration of disabled people in Albacete, worth €200,000. A special award of €100,000 and four runner-up prizes of €50,000 each were also awarded.
In December 2014, the 7th Integra Prize was launched. This time there will be two categories: a first prize of €150,000 in recognition of an organization’s track record and another €25,000 prize for innovative projects. In addition, all the winners will become Momentum Project participants. This initiative aims to drive and extend the activity and impact of social entrepreneurship projects and the privilege of becoming Momentum Project participants.
Lastly, BBVA’s 8th Solidarity Race saw participation from around 8,000 runners. A total of €140,000 was raised through runner registrations, an additional contribution from BBVA and money from “zero vest number” donations, all going toward the Cáritas Madrid solidarity cooperative.
BBVA in the Sustainability Indices
BBVA has a notable position on the main international sustainability indices, with a weight as of 31-Dec-2014 as follows:
- DJSI World 0.66
- DJSI Europe 1.55
- DJSI Eurozone 3.30
- MSCI World ESG Index 0.35
- MSCI World ex USA ESG Index 0.81
- MSCI AC Europe ESG Index 1.38
- FTSE4Good Global 0.33
- FTSE4Good Global 100 0.48
- FTSE4Good Europe 0.90
- FTSE4Good Europe 50 1.58
- Euronext-Vigeo Europe 120 0.67
- Euronext-Vigeo Eurozone 120 0.70
- STOXX Global ESG Environmental Leaders 0.42
- STOXX Global ESG Social Leaders 0.42
- EURO STOXX ESG Leaders 50 2.01
- STOXX Europe ESG Leaders 50 1.99
- STOXX Global ESG Leaders 0.28