BBVA in 2012

Operating income

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The most significant aspect of operating expenses is their control in developed countries and their growth in emerging areas, in line with the figures mentioned in the quarterly reports for 2012. Between January and December 2012, they totaled €10,786m, with a year-on-year increase of 10.8%. This is due to the investment efforts being made, basically in emerging geographical areas and in technology. The size and scale of the Group have enabled it to undertake significant investments in global technology projects, particularly in the area of transformation and innovation. They have positioned the Bank at the forefront of technological investment in the sector. BBVA started up a number of projects in 2012, including the implementation of the new BBVA Compass technological platform in all its branches in the United States. Progress has also been made in the Group’s multichannel distribution model, of which one example is the launch of “Dinero Móvil BBVA Bancomer” in Mexico.

7 BBVA Group. Operating costs

(Million euros)

(1) At constant exchange rates: +7.6%.
Breakdown of operating costs and efficiency calculation

(Million euros)

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2012 Δ% 2011 2010
Personnel expenses 5,662 9.1 5,191 4,698
Wages and salaries 4,348 8.1 4,022 3,642
Employee welfare expenses 819 9.8 746 677
Training expenses and other 495 17.1 423 379
General and administrative expenses 4,106 10.8 3,707 3,309
Premises 916 9.2 839 739
IT 745 15.2 647 551
Communications 330 14.5 289 274
Advertising and publicity 378 2.4 369 336
Corporate expenses 102 (1.5) 103 86
Other expenses 1,201 8.8 1,104 1,005
Levies and taxes 433 21.8 356 318
Administration costs 9,768 9.8 8,898 8,007
Depreciation and amortization 1,018 21.4 839 754
Operating costs 10,786 10.8 9,737 8,761
Gross income 22,441 12.1 20,028 20,333
Efficiency ratio (Operating costs/Gross income, in %) 48.1
48.6 43.1

This heading has grown well below revenue, making it possible to:

  • Improve in the efficiency ratio, which at the end of December stood at 48.1%.
8 BBVA Group. Efficiency
  • Maintain its leadership position in efficiency among its peers.
9 Efficiency. BBVA and peer group (1)


(1) Peer group: BARCL, BBVA, BNPP, CASA, CMZ, CS, DB, HSBC, ISP, LBG, RBS, SAN, SG, UBS, UCI. Figures at September 2012, including BBVA.

The following are worth highlighting in terms of number of employees, branches and ATMs:

  • The number of Group employees as of December 31, 2012 totaled 115,852, an increase of 5,207 people throughout the year.
10 BBVA Group. Number of emplyees (1)
(1) Excluding Garanti.
  • The number of branches also increased by 521 over the year and totaled 7,978.
11 BBVA Group. Number of branches (1)
(1) Excluding Garanti.
  • Lastly, 1,383 new ATMs were installed over the last twelve months, bringing the total number to 20,177 as of 31-Dec-2012. The investment effort made by the Bank in ATMs continues to be notable, as they are considered one of the key differentiating elements in BBVA’s multichannel strategy.
12 BBVA Group. Number of ATMs (1)
(1) Excluding Garanti.

As a result, operating income is up 13.3% over the year to €11,655m. This recurring generation of operating income has laid the sound foundations that have enabled the Bank to absorb the provisions for additional impairment in the value of its real-estate assets in Spain.

13 BBVA Group. Operating income
(1) At constant exchange rates: +9.8%