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Goirigolzarri: "It is essential to protect the business fabric in order to preserve the jobs and wages of citizens"

The chairman of Bankia, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, assures in an interview with Informativos Telecinco that, given the current crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19, “banking has the liquidity and capital to finance the economy and support families and companies”. He states that the savings of Spanish citizens are protected.

Bankia Comunicación

By  Bankia Comunicación

Publish on 
22 April 2020 - 13:15

We have heard a second report after the Bank of Spain announced a 13% drop in the Spanish GDP, as a worst-case scenario. A fact that is very worrying in the midst of this coronavirus crisis, right?

Yes, indeed. Yesterday the Bank of Spain issued a report on the evolution of the economy for 2020 and for 2021, and the authors mentioned that they created this report in an environment of extreme uncertainty. And that's why they defined three scenarios. A more benign scenario, where the GDP would drop by 6.5%, and a harsher scenario, with a drop of 13.6%. The truth is that what happens in 2020 will depend a lot on the evolution of the pandemic.

When we talk about forecasts, if I may, I think it is very important to talk not only about 2020 but also about 2021, because I think we must talk about the future, about recovery. This recovery, of course, will depend on the evolution of the pandemic, but I think we have to work on it. And we have to work hard to recover. Strict observance of health guidelines is a priority; I think there are two elements that are very important in this regard and we have to work on them now.

First, we must preserve the income of people who have lost it. We cannot leave anyone behind. This is absolutely key for me. But, secondly, I think we also have to protect economic activity. And when I talk about economic activity, I’m not talking about an abstract concept, I’m talking about people and citizens, preserving their jobs and preserving their salaries. And for this, I think it is very important, it is essential to protect the business fabric.

A stronger business fabric will mean a faster recovery, more jobs and, therefore, a very positive impact for citizens. Moreover, if we do so, it will be the best way to improve public income and, ultimately, to contain public deficit.

The situation of the Spanish banking system is very solid, both in terms of capital and liquidity, and the savings of citizens are protected

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
Chairman of Bankia

The head of the Government and the leader of the opposition have taken a step in search of agreements to build trust and save the economy. I suppose that is encouraging, at least for now, but what can the banking industry do to support companies so that employment rates do not sink?

At this moment, after the work of all these years, banks have liquidity and capital, and therefore they can finance the economy and must be closer than ever to households and companies, supporting them.

Not only have banks done their homework over the years, households and companies have too, and the truth is that companies and households have gotten rid of a lot of debt these last few years.

To give us an idea, households have gone from the highest debt level in 2010 to one that is similar to that of 2003. The same could be said for companies that have reduced their debt level by 50% and that provides enormous financial strength for banking, but also for agents, households and companies.

Many households are concerned about paying their mortgages, for instance, in situations of unemployment or temporary downsizing, but many citizens in these situations are also thinking about their savings. Are savings guaranteed?

Absolutely, without any doubt. The situation of the Spanish banking system, as I mentioned earlier, is very solid and they have reason to be calm..

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