May 18, 2021

Zarich seeks stable relationships with Wall Street investors

Zarich seeks stable relationships with Wall Street investors



The executive president of BBVA Francés, Martín Zarich, celebrates 25 years of quotation of the Argentine bank on Wall Street with a commitment to maintain regular contacts with international investors, to which he says that Argentina will be in a "reasonably positive" situation in the medium term .

In an interview with Efe during his visit to New York to talk with analysts and investors, Zarich explains that his commitment to the transformation of the bank is "at full speed", and, as an example of this, he foresees that in "one year or year" and a half "BBVA Francés will process and develop application systems in the cloud, migrating computing centers that will speed up access to the client in the country where it is located.

From the start and on account of these 'silver weddings' in the New York parquet, Zarich puts in value that the French BBVA present a "supervision of regulators unique in the world".

And in addition to Argentina, the bank is added the demanding financial control of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as that of the European regulator to be in more than 60% owned by Spanish bank BBVA.

"We have a unique control and that is very good because the American market is absolutely transparent and forces us to a discipline that we consider very positive, and that always gives confidence to investors", explains Zarich, who wants a "regular dynamic of contacts "with investors beyond if there is" a news or a market operation "because, regardless of the situation," you have to come here and face it ".

Zarich, who has had a professional career at BBVA Francés, has had to deal with all kinds of situations in his country and that gives him a unique perspective when analyzing how Argentina faces the present and, above all, the future, something that worries analysts in the United States.

For the CEO of BBVA Francés, the change of Administration with the Macri Government meant "an important turning point": "But I am one of those who always thought that Argentina would have enormous difficulties in this transition due to the magnitude of the imbalances that had been inherited from the economic point of view, apart from other more institutional and political issues ".

"A simple change of command could not reverse the situation by magic, I never got into any triumphal car and I try to look with a certain perspective, Argentina is in a process of correcting structural weaknesses, what happens is that in the process of doing so is weak, "explains Zarich, who believes that" a change in the environment, more surely some unsuccessful short-term economic policy decisions, put us in a currency crisis ".

"But Argentina is in the process of correcting" its imbalances, says Zarich, who predicts: "I have a reasonably positive view of the medium term in Argentina," especially since it sees the current government firmly on course, without the abrupt changes of the past. despite the "acceleration of the process" that the IMF supported and, thus, it is pleased that there is a forecast of a balanced budget for 2019 and even with a surplus for 2020.

In this context, BBVA Francés, in the leading group of Argentine private banking, mainly due to its profitability, arrives in New York with good figures in its income statement in the first nine months of the year -3,007 million pesos. Net profit in the last quarter, 117% more-, with 2.5 million customers and incorporating between 5,000 and 6,000 companies per year in its business portfolio

Its 250 offices and a staff of 6,000 employees are enough to undertake its digital transformation, with an increasingly online customer: 44% of sales are digital and 57% of customers have digital links, with more than 30 % via mobile, the imminent future.

The BBVA Francés has increased its client base by 25% in two years, while the number of cash transactions has decreased by 20%, in addition to eliminating paper in its relationship with the customer, "a series of transformations that allow us to improve our efficiency ratio, beyond providing better customer service. "

"We have some structural projects, which do not look good in the short term but will do so over the long term, for example, we are a year or a year and a half away from starting to process and develop our application systems in the cloud, migrating computing centers, starting to develop a collaborative system, "explains Zarich, who believes that all this will make BBVA Francés more competitive and efficient to operate agilely from any terminal in the world.

To celebrate its 25 years of listing on Wall Street, Zarich and his management team starred this morning the so-called "Opening Bell", the traditional start-up bell of the stock market session in the New York Stock Exchange.

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