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.

In 2012 the main change in the reporting structure of the business areas of the BBVA Group has been the transfer to the United States of the assets and liabilities of a branch in Houston, which previously belonged to Mexico (BBVA Bancomer). This has been done taking into account the geographical nature of the Group’s reporting structure. In addition, other changes have been made that affect other areas and which owing to their irrelevant nature need no comment.

Thus, the composition of the business areas in 2012 is very similar to that existing in the previous year:

  • Spain, which includes: The retail network, with the segments of individual customers, private banking, and small businesses 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. Europe includes BBVA Portugal, Consumer Finance Italia and Portugal, the retail business of the branches in Paris, London and Brussels, the wholesale activity carried out in the region (excluding Spain) and Turkey (including the stake in Garanti). Asia includes all the retail and wholesale business in that continent and the stake in CNCB and CIFH.
  • 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 also include eliminations and other items not assigned to the units.

Finally, the Corporate Activities area includes the rest of items that are not allocated to the business areas, as in previous years. These basically include the costs of headquarters 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 (formerly called Wholesale Banking & Asset Management –WB&AM– and now Corporate & Investment Banking –C&IB–) carried out by the BBVA Group. This aggregate does not include the asset management business. 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 by areas 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 reflects the conditions and prospects of the financial markets in this area. 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-March 2012. Million euros)

Adjusted net attributable profit Economic profit (EP)
Spain 452 158
Eurasia 284 142
Mexico 436 286
South America 296 203
The United States 72 (8)
Corporate Activities (211) (215)
BBVA Group 1,330 566

Mayor income statement items by business area

(Million euros)

Business areas

BBVA Group Spain Eurasia Mexico South America The United States Corporate Activities

Net interest income 3,597 1,113 182 1,013 947 420 (78)
Gross income 5,447 1,633 534 1,450 1,366 599 (136)
Operating income 2,862 946 362 897 813 216 (371)
Income before tax 1,423 324 330 568 690 168 (657)
Net attributable profit 1,005 229 299 430 370 115 (438)

Net interest income 3,175 1,110 103 955 694 415 (103)
Gross income 5,263 1,763 337 1,425 1,106 616 16
Operating income 2,904 1,064 245 905 637 241 (189)
Income before tax 1,659 674 222 584 502 133 (455)
Net attributable profit 1,150 478 197 428 279 95 (327)