BBVA Compass has achieved a number of milestones in 2011, and made significant progress in other initiatives, including the following:
- Continued consolidation of the BBVA franchise in the country. This has involved the re-alignment of vital segments of BBVA Compass to better respond to the recent challenges of the economy.
- Progress continues to be made on improving the bank’s IT platform, developed as planned. The branch platform project, which includes a new teller system, in-branch CRM, check image capture, and marketing campaign management tools, has been completed. Moreover, the core banking platform development is at full speed and includes benefits such as customer-centric architecture and real-time processing, both contributing to improve the bank’s efficiency. Likewise, the implementation of the Commercial lending origination platform is on track and it will improve the risk admission processes. BBVA has also been working to improve the on-line banking platform. Indeed, BBVA has obtained recognition from US Banker and Bank Technology News for its technological achievements so far and its vision of the future in this field.
- An important effort has been made to enhance brand awareness in the U.S. Thus, BBVA was named retail bank of the year in 2011. The bank also reaped great rewards from its relationship with the National Basketball Association (NBA), which includes collaboration with four NBA teams, and two WNBA teams, all of them in key markets for the bank. In addition, in the fourth quarter of 2011 BBVA Compass and the Houston Dynamo announced a multi-year agreement for the rights to the name of the new Major League Soccer (MLS) team stadium in the center of Houston, which is currently under construction. It is also worth noting that BBVA uses its relationship with the NBA to provide services for the community. As an example, over 700 employees and participants worked as volunteers last year on the Team Works project for schools reconstruction.
- The bank’s customer-centric business model strategy has made progress in building up the loyalty of the customer base and launching innovative products and services. Customer retention and cross-selling ratios are showing good trends backed by sound mortgage activity that is growing above the industry average, while improving customer satisfaction and production levels.
- In 2011, the Corporate and Commercial Banking units expanded into new industrial segments, including public finance and healthcare, thus helping to diversify the revenue base.
- From a distribution point of view, greater emphasis has been placed on developing alternative banking distribution channels. As a result, BBVA has significantly increased the number of mobile banking users.
- There have also been improvements in the bank’s infrastructure, processes and risk procedures. Worthy of note are the proactive steps taken by management to reduce problem assets, while improving the loan portfolio mix and increasing loan production. The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program includes the corporate implementation of enterprise risk assessment, as well as other new tools and methodologies such as loan grading. Methodologies are being improved and the Data Integrity project has been implemented to ensure key risk-data flows are available across the processes.
- Finally, BBVA’s presence in the United States has been expanded through the selective search for new talent and the retention of current employees, all with the aim of making BBVA Compass the best place to work. In response to employee requests, the Best Place to Work Journey program was launched, with a focus on four main areas: Leadership and Management Alignment; Cooperation and Collaboration; Career Growth and Development; and the Work-Life Balance.
BBVA Compass strives to differentiate itself from the competition by putting customers first. There are more than 50 action plans underway to increase customer satisfaction, from engaging in the social media to participating in training programs and developing “Customer First” project teams. New products have been launched and mortgages have been used as a loyalty-building product.
During 2011, the bank was named retail bank “Brand of the Year,” putting it ahead of all its competitors in terms of its brand value. Its commitment to the BBVA Compass Bowl and the NBA has led to the bank being named the Grand Sports Marketer of the Year.
To sum up, the Group continues to make major progress in constructing the U.S. franchise, improving its technological platform, extending the range of products and services available to customers and by boosting brand recognition.
For 2012, the franchise will continue to make progress along the same lines of action:
- It will continue to improve management and risk control.
- It will take additional steps to enhance customer experience through innovative products and services that are adapted to customer needs.
- It will continue to work on alternative channels such as the Internet and mobile banking.
- It will take further steps in its strategy of differentiation by building up brand recognition, by focusing attention on customers, and by reaching them through alternative channels.
- It will continue to improve and develop the franchise IT platform.
In conclusion, the Strategic Plan in the area aims to create brand differentiation by aligning the bank’s processes and capacities and reaching out with them to its customers. Customers have to be reached through innovative products and services that use a judicious mix of both traditional (physical banking) and alternative (virtual banking) distribution channels.