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BBVA: Taking technology a step further

BBVA: What can be bad when so much is good?

Francisco González Rodríguez, chairman of BBVA has a radical view of the role technology can play in making his bank one of the most efficient in the world. Although most banks primarily see technology as a means of cutting costs and outsourcing back-office work to lower-wage countries, González believes that it can also dramatically enhance productivity. For BBVA technology is also the key to bancarización, bringing entirely new customers into the banking system.

You say that BBVA will need to take unconventional measures in order to meet your target of a 35% cost/income ratio by 2010. What are some of these measures?

A lot of banks talk about the importance of scale in the business. Gaining scale and cutting costs is all well and good but it’s conventional and only addresses half of the issue. It’s simply not enough to be successful in the future. In addition to scale and costs you also have to dramatically improve your productivity and in order to do that you have to think unconventionally, which requires innovation and research. We are one of the few banks, if not the only bank in the world, to have developed a R&D department working on an entirely new range of products.

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