Banking Beyond the Crisis

200 banking professionals gather at IESE, Madrid



"Change in the banking system has provoked a sense of dizzying uncertainty," began IESE’s Juan José Toribio, IESE Professor Emeritus of Economics at the opening session of the 9th Banking Industry Meeting. Organized jointly by IESE’s Center for International Finance (CIF) and Ernst & Young, Prof. Toribio, the event’s Academic Director, set the tone for an agenda encompassing the current topics at the top of the industry’s agenda.

Transformation and restructuring, overcoming recession and looking towards the future were among the issues that brought 200 banking professionals to IESE’s Madrid campus. "Throughout history, banking has demonstrated its ability to overcome adversity," said Prof. Toribio, referring to the sweeping changes that include the system’s €80 billion recapitalization, and the drastic downsizing of bank branches and employees. With its resilience to emerge from the crisis, the meeting underscored Spanish banking entities’ readiness to look ahead, particularly for the upcoming ECB evaluation, despite many pending matters relating to restructuring.

Among the presenters were José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President of Bankia; Juan Rodríguez Inciarte, Member of the Board and SEVP, Strategy & Asia, Banco Santander; Ángel Cano, President and COO, BBVA; Gonzalo Gortázar, CFO CaixaBank; Francisco Gómez, CEO Banco Popular; Jaime Caruana, General Manager, Bank for International Settlements (BIS); Josep Oliu, Presidente, Banco Sabadell; José Miguel Andrés, President, EY; Luis María Linde, Governor, Bank of Spain; Miguel Martín, President, Spanish Banking Association; Juan José Toribio, President of CIF; and IESE professors José Manuel Campa, José Luis Suárez and José Manuel González-Páramo.

While IESE’s Jose M González-Páramo discussed pending to-dos relating to restructuring before Spanish financial entities are able revive lending, he also pointed out that the current fragmented state of affairs in the financial system is incompatible with a banking union.

Gortázar of CaixaBank emphasized the need to "strengthen income given that new capital standards will produce important changes affecting margins, and also, to continue reducing the cost of liabilities."

Meanwhile Goirigolzarri, President of Bankia, pointed to his institution’s ability to swiftly comply with its plan to reduce bank branches from 3,000 to 2,000, something unprecedented in the European financial system.

"With impending steps toward a banking union, Eurozone institutions will be asked to adopt medium-term measures that imply significant changes for the financial sector," Francisco Gómez of Banco Popular told the audience, pointing out his institution’s readiness for the changes ahead.

In addition to banking union, internationalization was another central topic. Juan Rodríguez Inciarte discussed the importance of a regulatory framework that guarantees a "level playing field" between financial entities across the Eurozone so that they all have access to financing under the same conditions. Ángel Cano meanwhile discussed new trends in customer relations, with a focus on moving towards increasingly digital interactions with clients as a means to maximize value.

With banking moving beyond crisis, the meeting concluded with Luis María Linde’s reflections on the road and challenges ahead.