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José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, president of Bankia, during his attendance at the commemorative event of the FROB.

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Goirigolzarri: "It is very important that, ten years after the crisis, we have stable regulation"

The chairman of Bankia has reflected on the current situation of the financial sector and stressed that the restructuring carried out in the last decade has been "extremely positive".

Communication Bankia

By  Communication Bankia

Publish on 
05 July 2019 - 12:15

  • The chairman of Bankia considers it necessary to communicate why the financial system is useful for society

Bankia's chairman, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, has called for stability in the regulation of the banking system ten years after the onset of the financial crisis, given that "permanent" changes create difficulties and "are not good for either banks or society".

Goirigolzarri has participated in a round table organized within the framework of the conference celebrating the tenth anniversary of the FROB, where it has summarized the history of Bankia from May 2012 to today and where it has expressed the need for financial institutions to communicate why they are useful to society.

We have to improve our practices and communicate why the financial system is useful. The reality of banking is stronger than the image that is shown of it.

José Ignacio Goirigolzarri
Bankia's chairman

"We have to improve our practices and communicate why the financial system is useful. It is important to show the sustainability of any project or sector to society", he underlined.

The manager stressed that over the last decade there has been a process of restructuring "extremely positive" and has stated that, facing the future, banks face three challenges: increasing profitability, dealing with digitalisation and changing the habits of customers and working on the image of the sector. "The reality of banking is stronger than the image that is shown of it", he said.

At this point, he has stressed the need for stable regulation, as well as maintaining the same rules of the game for all actors. "Same regulation for the same activity, regardless of the stakeholder. I think it can also be predicated on shadow banking", he said.

The Bankia challenges in 2012

During his speech, the chairman of Bankia summarized the bank des history since May 2012, when the situation was delicate in general due to factors such as the fragmentation of the European financial system, high risk premiums and doubts about the solvency of banks entities.

In this context, in which he was appointed chairman of Bankia, the bank had two short-term challenges: getting audited accounts and drawing up a restructuring plan that ultimately did not come to light because the government requested European assistance. Added to this was the urgency to change the board and the organization.

"I have to admit that that time was disappointing for me. He was determined that everything would be very fast and meant a break until November. Seen with perspective, it was a very positive point because it gave us stability. They were hard months internally”, he recalled.

After launching the Restructuring Plan in 2013, Bankia began to take on muscle and in 2014 managed to stabilize the franchise and gain access to the market again. The Restructuring Plan was closed in 2017 and Bankia became a "normal bank from the business point of view".

When drawing lessons about those years, Goirigolzarri has highlighted the need for collaboration, coordination and communication from different levels and the importance of having professional and independent teams.

He also invited a reflection on the possibility of avoiding the marketing of bail-line products in retail networks.

Goirigolzarri has shared a round table with ex-Commissioner for European Affairs Joaquín Almunia; the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain, Margarita Delgado, and the former Secretary of State for Economy Íñigo Fernández de Mesa.

New panorama ten years after

The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, was in charge of opening the day. In his opening address, he recalled that in the last ten years the number of bank branches has dropped by 43%, while the number of national entities has dropped from 122 at the start of the crisis to 61 in 2018.

During this time, practically all of the former savings banks (with the exception of two) have been transformed into banks. Hernández de Cos has indicated that most of the merger and absorption processes have given way to healthier entities with significant cost savings. "The FROB, for its part, has played a prominent role in facilitating some of these consolidation processes", he pointed out.

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