The Covid-19 crisis has posed a new challenge for banks. Although this was not financial in origin, the sector has also been hit hard by the pandemic. After a year and a half, the guild already sees the light at the end of the tunnel, even with respect to trends that already came from before. This has been stated by César González-Bueno, CEO of Banco Sabadell, in the XXVIII Meeting of the Financial Sector, organized by ABC and Deloitte, with the sponsorship of the Appraisal Society.
“There is a season of a certain reversal of the perfect storm that the financial sector has experienced,” he explained, referring to the fact that banking was dragging problems such as negative interest rates, excessively high structural costs, digital transformation … A series of tests that, in his opinion, “are beginning to be overcome”.
The CEO of the entity has commented that negative rates in Europe will continue to be a reality but internationally the climate is already changing. The uncertainty and the impact of risks, such as inflation or debt derived from the crisis, also pose challenges to the sector, as highlighted, but «In the short term the trend is positive; activity and consumption are returning, investment … ».
González-Bueno has been in charge of Sabadell for less than a year, but he has already left his mark on the way of working, with a new organization and a new strategic plan. Thus, he pointed out that upon arrival he found an organization “that was too distributed and needed more focus and verticality by business lines.” I also detect that greater efficiency was needed in the use of capital, so as not to focus so much on the commercial branch. «They have been nine very exciting months, seeing that the bank has traction, that the bank executes, that it knows how to do things. Such a privileged landing ”, he said.
One of the great unknowns of the bank was in TSB. In the past, because the situation of the British subsidiary has changed greatly in a matter of a year, going from losing more than 200 million to contributing more than 30 million. “Now it is in a magnificent trend,” he said.
«It was one of the great doubts of our business portfolio. He was badly valued, we have suffered a lot, but we are on a very positive path and his contribution to the group is going to be high. It will be a key element of the profitability of Sabadell Bank», Highlighted the CEO in reference to TSB.
González-Bueno has also referred to the relationship that we now have with clients. Banking is in full transformation, with personnel adjustments and office closures, driven by digital transformation and the need to gain efficiency. Even so, the CEO of Sabadell is not left with a single model: «We are not going to a digital model, or an office model, but to an integrated model, which is what customers want». In this sense, he has pointed out that what the client seeks and values the most is to be accompanied, to be known.