BBVA held its general shareholders' meeting today with the Credit Suisse crisis and the ECB's monetary policy as background issues. Despite the stock market turmoil in recent days, the bank's top executives have avoided influencing the turmoil in the sector and, without mentioning the Swiss bank at any time, have limited themselves to transmitting the message that the risk profile is "adequate " and that the uncertainty will continue in the coming months.
"The most recent financial volatility has changed the market's expectations" regarding interest rate rises, the bank's president, Carlos Torres, told shareholders, after assuring that this year "the context of uncertainty, both from a geopolitical point of view and from a financial point of view".
Torres has offered a scenario in which the economic data "are better than expected just a few months ago" and in which the Spanish economy "resists better than expected." "Looking ahead, and despite uncertainties and volatility, we face 2023 with confidence, with prospects for profitable growth in our core markets," he says.
The bank has a capital ratio of 12.6%, which it notes is above regulatory requirements. The current environment has not affected the board's proposals, which include the distribution of 3,015 million euros in dividends, 47% of the profit. "At times like the present, it is when the solidity and strength of banks like BBVA is valued the most," says the president.
In his speech, the bank's CEO, Onur Genç, has also tiptoed through the current banking crisis. He has limited himself to saying that the entity is "growing the business in a healthy way" and describing the risk profile as "adequate". "Risk indicators have evolved positively," he says. During the past year, the bank reduced the delinquency rate to 3.4%, in line with the rest of the large Spanish banking entities.
The BBVA meeting has been held in a particularly difficult week for banks. Last Friday, the US bank Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) had to be intervened and suspended from operations due to the lack of liquidity due to the rapid withdrawal of deposits and on Wednesday Credit Suisse dragged the entire European banking sector on the stock market after its main shareholder, the Saudi National Bank, withdrew its support.
Credit Suisse asked the Swiss National Bank for help, which promised to provide it with whatever liquidity it needed. The bank in trouble, which at the end of last year suffered withdrawals of deposits for close to 120,000 million euros and which has recognized material inconsistencies in the formulation of its accounts, has estimated its needs at 50,000 million euros.