The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banker of the year: The unstoppable Francisco González

BBVA’s executive chairman has thrown himself into every challenge he has faced in a career spanning more than 50 years. Now Francisco González is focused on what that future will actually be. ‘Platform as a service’ does not trip off the tongue as a killer phrase to describe the future of banking, but the visionary that other bank CEOs flock to for insights into the transformation of their industry sees it as the destination for winning banks.

BBVA Gonzalez-400

Illustration: Andrew Archer

As 600 senior bankers at Euromoney’s 2016 awards for excellence dinner at the Tower of London digested each other’s views on the likely fallout from Brexit last month, it fell to Francisco González, executive chairman of BBVA, to remind them of a much bigger, more profound and pressing concern than the short-term volatility of sterling, the capital needs of Italian banks or the status of London as Europe’s financial capital.

Picking up Euromoney’s award as banker of the year for 2016, one bestowed in large part for his relentless drive to put BBVA in the vanguard of the digital transformation of banking, González reminded his peers that deploying new technology is much more than a differentiator between winning banks, with the cleverest apps and most robust back offices, and the laggards. 

It is now an existential question for the whole industry: will banks even survive? González thinks that the industry will – at least in some form – but that many of today’s leading banks will not. Those that fail to adapt to the world of big data, artificial intelligence, robotic software, cloud computing, blockchain, biometrics and the rest, will die, he told his audience. 

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree