Spanish banks begin to shield themselves against the coronavirus. The European Central Bank (ECB) has asked the supervising entities to be prepared and assess actions to minimize the effects of the Wuhan virus, especially to protect the “critical” positions that require face-to-face. In Spain, BBVA has already taken the first steps. The entity has decided to move a hundred of its Market team -25% of the total- from the treasury room of the BBVA City to a contingency room located in Las Rozas.
From the new location, displaced employees will replicate their daily activities. The action is justified in that this business area is "very critical" for the operation of the business, “Since they cannot telework” due to the complexity of the required equipment, indicate sources of the entity. "There are always specialists attending the tables, these can never be left alone," explains BBVA on its website. “The equipment of a treasury room is used to work transversely and in open spaces”. If this is added to the holding of several daily meetings, the risk of spread to an outbreak of the virus It is high. Therefore, the group seeks to separate the team to, in case of contagion, ensure the solidity of the links in its value chain consisting of: structuring, 'trading, sales, analysts and' e-Commerce '.
“In this room they meet 400 super specialized workers that intervene daily in more than 9,000 financial operations. They buy stocks, issue bonds, structure debt and cover the risks of exposure to foreign currencies. Daily in the room you can operate in 40 currencies and the volume of customer transactions can reach 18,000 million euros, ”explains BBVA.
What do you do?
These positions in the BBVA treasury room make up the nerve center of the activity carried out by the entity in the financial markets for all types of clients, from large corporations to institutional investors, through the bank's networks, both individuals and companies. In this gear sales are responsible for the direct relationship with customers. The “traders” quote the prices of the operations for the sales and manage the risks derived from them. Structures, meanwhile, are responsible for designing solutions that combine different instruments. Within this room there is also the figure of the specialist "Quant & Business Solutions", who develops and implements mathematical models and analysis tools, as well as the figure of the "e-Commerce" expert, whose main objective is to develop, improve and improve distribute the offer of services and prices through the different digital channels.
The bank and the stock market
Despite the decision launched today, sources of the entity stress that "there is no one affected by coronavirus." "This is just one more preventive measure" which is added to other recommendations of the BBVA medical service, among which are restrictions when traveling to affected areas and basic hygiene measures. In the last hours, Ernst & Young It has also decided that all its employees in Madrid teleworked after identifying a positive coronavirus at its headquarters in the Spanish capital and Indra has temporarily closed two of the eleven plants of its Roc Boronat center (Barcelona).
The epidemic also extends to the stock exchanges that again suffered a day down. Despite the timid bullish opening, the IBEX 35 closed with a fall of 2.55%, which led the Spanish selective to stand at 8,683 points. Fear of the impact of the coronavirus directly hit Spanish banks. In this scenario, the greatest falls were Mediaset (-6.72%), ArcelorMittal (-6.39%), Banco Sabadell (-5.25%), Banco Santander (-5.1%), IAG (- 4.82%) or BBVA (-4.69%). On the opposite side, Indra subion 1.89%, MásMóvil 1.05%, Cellenex 0.88% and Colonial 0.32%. At the macroeconomic level, after the surprising decision of the Federal Reserve to cut rates by 50 basis points, investors do not rule out the idea that the European Central Bank and the Bank of England take monetary stimulus measures to address the effects of the virus in the economy, explains XTB analyst Álvaro Giménez-Cuenca Roig.