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José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, chairman of Bankia, during the ceremony of the ‘2018 Internationalization Awards'.


At a conference in Logroño called 'Bankia and the challenges of the financial industry'

Goirigolzarri: "We have financed 4,000 projects in La Rioja this year and we have increased funding by 16%"

The chairman of Bankia reaffirms the entity's commitment to the Riojan business sector, a sector that stands out for its "strong dynamism and entrepreneurship."

Communication Bankia

By  Communication Bankia

Publish on 
02 October 2019 - 20:15

  • The chairman of Bankia has participated in the '2018 Internationalization Awards' granted by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of La Rioja with the support of the Regional Government of La Rioja
  • Goirigolzarri announces that the bank has granted 139 million euros in financing in the region so far this year, and extends his appreciation to 103,000 people from La Rioja and more than 6,000 companies for "trusting" Bankia
  • "I would like to reaffirm my sincere and firm commitment to all citizens and institutions of La Rioja and, in particular, to the business sector. We firmly believe in the business fabric, in its entrepreneurial capacity and in the possibilities of a region with a very bright future", he said.

The chairman of Bankia, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, announced that the bank has supported 4,000 projects in La Rioja so far this year and that, in its commitment to "be close to companies," the bank has granted a total of 139 million euros in financing, of which 102 million euros went to companies, a 16% increase from last year.

Goirigolzarri gave a conference in Logroño entitled 'Bankia and the challenges of the financial industry', within the framework of the '2018 Internationalization Awards' that, since 1989, have been awarded by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of La Rioja with the support of the Regional Government of La Rioja, through the Economic Development Agency of La Rioja (Agencia de Desarrollo Económico de La Rioja, ADER).

The event was also attended by the President of the Regional Government of La Rioja, Concha Andreu, and the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Jaime García-Calzada. In addition, Bankia’s executives Begoña Hernández, territorial manager of the North Region, and Belén Martín, business manager of Companies North also attended the event.

The chairman of Bankia has once again stated his "sincere and firm commitment to all citizens and institutions of the region”, and specifically “the business sector”. He has also acknowledged the "pride" and "responsibility” of having 103,000 people and more than 6,000 companies as customers of the bank.

La Rioja is a fundamental territory for Bankia; For this reason, our firm commitment to the customers, institutions and business of the region.

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
Chairman of Bankia

"One in three people in La Rioja trusts us and we have a market share in the region of 18%", said Goirigolzarri, as he pointed out that La Rioja is "a very important region, not only because it is part of our history and our roots, but also from a business perspective".

In this regard, he assured that he believes "firmly in the business world of La Rioja", "in his entrepreneurial capacity" and "in the possibilities" of a region for which he sees "a very bright future". "The future must be built on one of the main strengths of the regional economy: the strong dynamism of the Rioja business sector, with a strong focus on growth and exports".

He also communicated to the 200 attendees that the entity puts at their disposal all their financial capacities, as well as the 45 offices in La Rioja and the 271 professionals who "work tirelessly to serve you".

Great challenges of the financial industry

In his speech, Goirigolzarri also analysed the three great challenges of the financial sector: the low profitability derived from negative interest rates and the strong regulatory demands, the change in customer habits due to the irruption of new technologies and the reputation of the industry.

The chairman of Bankia has argued that "a country needs a solid and profitable financial system", because "if the return is below the cost of capital required by investors, banks cannot enter the market, the system will be undercapitalised and, therefore, it will not be able to increase its credit portfolios and, consequently, will not be able to finance its economy, hindering its development".

The financial sector has to face three major challenges: the low profitability derived from negative interest rates and the strong regulatory demands, the change in customer habits due to the irruption of new technologies and the reputation of the industry.

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
Chairman of Bankia

"Bank managers must react to this situation, within their range of action, and one of the key components for achieving this is, without a doubt, technology", he assured, and noted that "technology allows us to improve our efficiency and, at the same time, provide excellent service to our customers”.

In this regard, Goirigolzarri has acknowledged that new players who are entering the financial industry "are good for customers", but has called for "equal rules". "I am optimistic, because I am convinced that banks that have clear strategies and a good implementation capacity have very important competitive advantages over new players", he said.

Regarding the third industry challenge, reputation, he has argued that "bank managers must care about and take care of the issue” and explained that "a healthy and profitable financial system is key for the welfare of the citizens of a country".

"Undoubtedly, the banking industry must abide by excellent professional and ethical criteria because otherwise it will be subject to a permanent suspicion that will result in weakness. And this must be an objective for each and every entity. That is the best way to contribute to improving the reputation of the industry", he remarked.

Bankia, growth stage

Goirigolzarri has admitted that his "first concern" when he joined the bank was reputation and that was one of the reasons for renewing the Board of Directors “completely” to obtain "excellent corporate governance".

From there, he recalled that after "very complicated years" after 2012, "at the end of 2017 we were able to meet all the objectives of the Restructuring Plan, which allowed Bankia to become a bank that competes under the same conditions as the rest”. And that it was able, among other things, to merge with BMN in 2018.

The chairman of Bankia stressed that the bank has "the same strategic challenges as the rest of the industry", in addition to that of privatisation. And Bankia also has "three very important strengths": its capacity for growth, a model that generates a large amount of capital, which makes Bankia "the most solvent bank among the major Spanish banks" and its efficiency.

In the general context, Goirigolzarri has called for "caution in terms of economic policy" because, just as the Spanish economy has "elements of positive inertia" and is clearly growing above the European average, there are "risks in the medium term, which we must prioritise and manage”.

According to Goirigolzarri, "the great structural challenges" of our economy are unemployment and the level of public debt. He stressed that "in the last six years the Spanish economy has grown significantly" and "has undergone a massive transformation" because exports already account for 33% of our GDP. "That makes international economy more relevant to our country", he said to the entrepreneurs.

In this regard, about the international context, he said that "the world has experienced very reasonable and very synchronous economic growth between the different regions", but that "the world economy is now more dependent on the United States", while the European and Chinese economy have weakened "significantly".

Goirigolzarri has acknowledged that "economic growth is subject to downside risks" such as the US-China trade war, imbalances in emerging markets such as Argentina or Turkey, Brexit and the uncertainties surrounding its final outcome, the Italian situation and the lack of European leadership. "Some of these risks have been materialising and this complex situation is affecting global economic growth", he said.


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