Business areas

In this section we discuss the more significant aspects of the activities and earnings of the Group’s different business areas, along with those of the main units within each, plus Corporate Activities. Specifically, we deal with the income statement, the balance sheet and the main ratios: efficiency, NPA ratio, NPA coverage ratio and the risk premium.

Following the acquisition of 24.9% of the Turkish bank Garanti and its incorporation into the financial statements of the Group starting in March 2011, BBVA began to have a significant presence in Europe and Asia in terms of its balance sheet and earnings. In addition, since the start of the crisis, the importance of the geographical location of business has been clear for providing a proper perception of risks and an improved estimate of the capacity for future growth. Finally, the new regulations favor a local management of structural risks that avoids possible contagion between financial systems. For these motives, the businesses included in Spain and Portugal and WB&AM during 2010 have been regrouped into the following areas:

  • Spain: includes BBVA businesses in all segments, within the country.
  • Eurasia: covers all BBVA activity in the rest of Europe and Asia, including the Group’s stake in Garanti.

This responds to the increased demand for geography-specific information from different users, including the regulators.

In addition, it is worth noting that in 2010 liquidity conditions on the financial markets have made access to finance more expensive for Spanish credit institutions. BBVA has been no exception to this, and thus since January 2011, and with retroactive effect for 2010 data, the liquidity premium imputed to business areas through the system of internal reference rates has been increased. The aim is to adapt to the new reality of the financial markets.

The business areas are now organized as follows:

  • Spain, which includes: The retail network, with the segments of individual customers, private banking, and small business and retail banking in the domestic market; Corporate and Business Banking (CBB), which handles the needs of SMEs, corporations, government and developers in the country; Corporate and Investment Banking (C&IB), which includes activity with large corporations and multinational groups; Global Markets (GM), with the trading floor and distribution business in the domestic market; and other units, among them BBVA Seguros and Asset Management (management of mutual and pension funds in Spain).
  • Eurasia, which includes business in the rest of Europe and Asia. In 2010 it was reported either in Spain and Portugal (BBVA Portugal, Consumer Finance Italy and Portugal, and the retail business of branches in Paris, London and Brussels), or in WB&AM (Corporate and Investment Banking, Markets, CNCB and CIFH). Additionally, it also includes the information on Garanti.
  • Mexico: includes the banking, pensions and insurance businesses in the country.
  • United States: encompasses the Group’s business in the United States and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • South America: includes the banking, pensions and insurance businesses in South America.

As well as the units indicated, all the areas also have allocations of other businesses that include eliminations and other items not assigned to the units.

Finally, the aggregate of Corporate Activities includes the rest of items that are not allocated to the business areas. These basically include the costs of head offices with a strictly corporate function, certain allocations to provisions such as early retirements and others also of a corporate nature. Corporate Activities also performs financial management functions for the Group as a whole; essentially management of asset and liability positions for interest rates in the euro-denominated balance sheet and for exchange rates, as well as liquidity and capital management functions. The management of asset and liability interest-rate risk in currencies other than the euro is recorded in the corresponding business areas. It also includes the Industrial and Financial Holdings unit and the Group’s non-international real estate businesses.

In addition, supplementary information is provided of the global business (WB&AM) carried out by the BBVA Group. Homogeneous products and risks, and common characteristics of the customers served, make this aggregate of businesses relevant to better understand the BBVA Group.

Furthermore, as usual in the case of The Americas, both constant and current exchange rates have been applied when calculating year-on-year variations.

The Group compiles reporting information on a level as disaggregated as possible, and all data relating to the businesses these units manage is recorded in full. These basic units are then aggregated in accordance with the organizational structure established by the Group at higher-level units and, finally, the business areas themselves. Similarly, all the companies making up the Group are also assigned to the different units according to the geographical area of their activity.

Once the composition of each business area has been defined, certain management criteria are applied, of which the following are particularly important:

  • Capital: Capital is allocated to each business according to economic risk capital (ERC) criteria. This is based on the concept of unexpected loss at a specific confidence level, depending on the Group’s capital adequacy targets. These targets have two levels: the first is core equity, which determines the capital allocated. This amount is used as a basis for calculating the profitability of each business. The second level is total capital, which determines the additional allocation in terms of subordinate debt and preferred securities. The calculation of the ERC combines credit risk, market risk, structural balance-sheet risk, equity positions, operational risk and fixed asset and technical risks in the case of insurance companies. These calculations are carried out using internal models that have been defined following the guidelines and requirements established under the Basel II capital accord, with economic criteria prevailing over regulatory ones.

    ERC is risk-sensitive and thus linked to the management policies of the businesses themselves. It standardizes capital allocation between them in accordance with the risks incurred and makes it easier to compare profitability across units. In other words, it is calculated in a way that is standard and integrated for all kinds of risks and for each operation, balance or risk position, allowing its risk-adjusted return to be assessed and an aggregate to be calculated for the profitability by client, product, segment, unit or business area.
  • Internal transfer prices: Internal transfer rates are applied to calculate the net interest income of each business, on both the assets and liabilities. These rates are composed of a market rate that depends on the revision period of the operation, and a liquidity premium that has been revised as indicated above. Earnings are distributed across revenue-generating and distribution units (e.g., in asset management products) at market prices.
  • Assignment of operating expenses: Both direct and indirect costs are assigned to the business areas, except where there is no clearly defined relationship with the businesses, i.e. when they are of a clearly corporate or institutional nature for the Group as a whole.
  • Cross selling: in some cases, consolidation adjustments are required to eliminate shadow accounting entries in the results of two or more units as a result of cross-selling incentives.
Recurrent economic profit by business area
(January-September 2011. Million euros)

Adjusted net attributable profit Economic profit
Spain 1,339 571
Eurasia 654 265
Mexico 1,316 955
South America 577 323
The United States 222 12
Corporate Activities (553) (549)
BBVA Group 3,555 1,576
Mayor income statement items by business area and presence in emerging and developed countries
(Million euros)

Business areas


Spain Eurasia Mexico South
The United States
Corporate Activities
Emerging (1) Developed
January-September 11
Net interest income 9,676 3,308 516 2,874 2,255 1,182
5,398 4,738
Gross income 15,052 4,900 1,319 4,208 3,214 1,711
8,228 7,124
Operating income 7,753 2,806 887 2,686 1,751 613
5,001 3,742
Income before tax 4,145 1,633 837 1,722 1,385 305
3,620 2,262
Net attributable profit 3,143 1,162 705 1,275 754 218
2,508 1,605
January-September 10
Net interest income 10,182 3,734 247 2,748 1,843 1,384
4,614 5,343
Gross income 15,964 5,461 743 4,126 2,814 1,963
7,205 7,901
Operating income 9,322 3,389 528 2,717 1,599 828
4,540 4,522
Income before tax 5,260 2,653 495 1,716 1,277 308
3,211 3,236
Net attributable profit 3,668 1,881 418 1,254 698 223
2,172 2,304

(1) Mexico, South America, Turkey and Asia.