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Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A.
Sociedad Anónima
Traded as BMAD: BBVA
ISIN ISIN: [ ES0113211835]
Industry Financial services
  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, S.A.
  • Argentaria, S.A.
Founded Bilbao, Spain
May 28, 1857; 167 years ago (1857-05-28)
Bilbao and Madrid
Key people
Carlos Torres Vila
(Group Executive Chairman)
Onur Genç
Services Banking, insurance, asset management
Revenue Increase €29.54 billion (2023)
Operating income
Increase €17.23 billion (2023)
Increase €8 019 million (2023)
Total assets Increase €775.55 billion (2023)
Total equity Increase €55.26 billion (2023)
Number of employees
Increase 121.488 (2023)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaŋko βilˈβao βiθˈkaʝa aɾxenˈtaɾja]), better known by its initialism BBVA, is a Spanish multinational financial services company based in Madrid and Bilbao, Spain. It is one of the largest financial institutions in the world, and is present mainly in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, South America, Turkey, Italy and Romania.

The bank was founded as Banco de Bilbao, on May 28, 1857, in Bilbao. BBVA's operational headquarters are located in Madrid, in the "Ciudad BBVA" complex. It is Spain's second largest bank after Banco Santander. It is listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange and on the Mexican Stock Exchange. It is also a part of the IBEX 35 as well as the Dow Jones EURO STOXX 50.

As of December 31, 2023, BBVA's assets amounted to around €775 billion, making it the second largest Spanish financial institution by volume of assets. At that same date, it had 5,949 offices, 121,488 employees and 71.5 million customers, and was present in more than 30 countries. On April 2, 2018, it was ranked the 42nd largest bank in the world by total assets.

In 2022 BBVA was recognized as the country's overall best-performing bank by "The Banker".

BBVA has been designated as a Significant Institution since the entry into force of European Banking Supervision in late 2014, and as a consequence is directly supervised by the European Central Bank.

History in Spain

Banco de Bilbao and Banco de Vizcaya

The history of BBVA began in 1857 in Bilbao, a city located in the Basque part of northern Spain, when the Board of Trade promoted the creation of Banco de Bilbao as an issuing and discount bank.

Banco de Vizcaya was founded in 1901 and carried out its first operations in Bilbao. Little by little, it spread throughout the country.

In 1988, the merger agreement between Banco de Bilbao and Banco de Vizcaya was signed. And in 1989, the BBV brand was adopted.

Merger of BBV and Argentaria: Creation of BBVA

Logotipo de BBVA
BBVA's former logo.

In 1991, the Spanish government of Felipe González created the public bank Argentaria, grouping in it the Spanish public banks. Subsequently, between 1993 and 1998 the process of privatization of the entity was carried out. BBV and Argentaria announced their merger project on October 19, 1999, with the aim of continuing to create value. The new bank (BBVA) was born with a significant size, a strong financial solvency and a large financial structure, an adequate geographical diversification of business and risks and, as a consequence of all this, a greater potential for profit growth.

Acquisitions of Unnim Banc and Catalunya Banc

La vela bbva
BBVA head offices in Madrid

After several years dedicated to external growth, BBVA takes advantage of the restructuring of the financial system in Spain to grow especially in Catalonia, one of the regions where it had the lowest market share. To this end, it acquired between 2012 and 2014 the two financial groups nationalized by the Government of Spain (Unnim Banc and Catalunya Banc), which grouped 6 Catalan savings banks.

In 2020, BBVA entered into negotiations with smaller competitor Sabadell to create Spain's second-biggest domestic lender by assets; according to Reuters, the bank would have nearly 600 billion euros ($710.52 billion) in assets in Spain and a combined market value, based on the share prices at the time, of 26.7 billion euros. Shortly after, both parties ended their talks after failing to agree on price.

Digital transformation

In 2007, the firm started an initiative to digitally transform the bank. Following implementation, it saw a 19% year-on-year increase in new customers. As of 2015, the total number of these clients stood at 14.8 million.

In 2019, BBVA decides to unify its brand worldwide and introduces a new logo. This meant the disappearance of local names in Argentina (Francés), Mexico (Bancomer), Peru (Continental), and the United States (Compass). Garanti Bank, the Group's franchise in Turkey, changed its name to Garanti BBVA.

In January 2021, BBVA said that it was looking for plans to lower the costs, then in February 2021, it was reported that BBVA is planning to cut around 3000 jobs in Spain after a fall of 48% of its net profit in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Credit ratings

As of January 2023, BBVA had the following debt ratings with the four major rating agencies:

Rating Agency Long Term Rating Short Term Rating
S&P A (Outlook: Stable) A-1
Moody's A3 (Outlook: Stable) P-2
Fitch A− (Outlook: Stable) F-2
DBRS A (high) (Outlook: Stable) R-1 (middle)

International expansion

Torre del Banco de Bilbao 17
Former offices in Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid

The international presence of BBVA began in 1902, when the Banco de Bilbao opened a branch in Paris and in 1918 another in London, thus becoming the first Spanish bank with a presence abroad. In the 1970s, Banco de Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya and Banco Exterior were configured as international groups, with the installation of operational and representative offices in the financial capitals of Europe, America and Asia. Likewise, the bank initiated a policy of expansion in America through the purchase of local banks in various countries of the continent.

In 2019 the Bank changed its name to BBVA, dropping local brand names in Argentina (Francés), Mexico (Bancomer), Peru (Continental), and the United States (Compass). In addition to the rebranding, Garanti in Turkey was renamed to Garanti BBVA.

Latin America

The Banco de Vizcaya acquired the Commercial Bank of Mayagüez in Puerto Rico in 1979, a bank founded in 1967 by a group of merchants and industrialists. When it became BBVA Puerto Rico, in 1992 it began a growth stage through acquisitions, which gave rise to BBVA Puerto Rico.

In 1995, the group entered Peru, with the privatization and subsequent acquisition of Banco Continental, and in Mexico, with the purchase of Probursa, which later merged with BBVA Bancomer to form the financial group BBVA Bancomer that operates in the banking and insurance sector.

In 1996, it entered Colombia, with the acquisition of Banco Ganadero and in Argentina, with the acquisition of BBVA Francés. It also makes new acquisitions in Mexico, buying Banca Cremí and Banco de Oriente.

In 1997, BBVA entered Venezuela by acquiring the Provincial Bank, which had been founded in 1953. It also expanded its presence in Argentina with the acquisition of Banco de Credito Argentino. It also enters into the pension funds business in Bolivia, founding BBVA Previsión AFP.

In 1998, the bank installed in Chile after buying Banco BHIF, and AFP Provida one year later. It also enters Brazil with the purchase of Banco Excel-Econômico; and, in Argentina, BBVA buys the insurer Consolidar, created in 1994.

In 2000, the merger of BBV Probursa with Bancomer occurred in Mexico to create BBVA Bancomer, the first bank in the country by volume of assets. At the beginning of 2004, the Group announced the takeover bid for 100% of the shares of Bancomer that did not yet belong to BBVA, buying all the shares of the Mexican bank. In 2004 it acquires 100% of Hipotecaria Nacional, a private entity specialized in the mortgage business.

In 2001, the implementation of the unified platform for all businesses and all countries was completed, and the BBVA brand was installed in the Group's entities in Latin America.

Torre BBVA Mexico
Headquarters of BBVA México in Mexico City

In 2004, the banks of Chile (BHIF) and Colombia (Banco Ganadero) changed their commercial denomination and were simply called BBVA.

In 2006, through a public auction, it acquired the old savings and housing corporation, Banco Granahorrar de Colombia, whose shares belonged to the Grancolombian group, and with the financial and economic crisis of the late 90s, it passed into the hands of the state through Fogafin. Later, it merged with BBVA Colombia, creating one of the largest banking groups in the country.

In 2017 BBVA acquires the Mexican company Openpay, startup fintech specializing in online payments.

As of July 6, 2018 Scotiabank Chile takes control of BBVA Chile, with which the legal trademark will be renamed as Scotiabank Azul until its full integration with Scotiabank. The total change was made in October 2018.

United States

In 2004, the Group began another line of international expansion with entry into the US market, with acquisitions of entities in the south of the country (Sunbelt region), taking advantage of the strength of its Mexican subsidiary BBVA Bancomer.

In the second quarter of the year, the Group announced the purchase of Valley Bank in California through BBVA Bancomer.

In 2005, it bought the Banco Laredo (located in Texas), and in 2006 the Texas Regional Bancshares (Texas State Bank).

In 2007, BBVA acquired Alabama Compass Bank in the US, strengthening its franchise in that country. Later, BBVA unified its corporate image in the country by reorganizing its entire portfolio of brands under the name "BBVA Compass".

In 2009, it acquired the Guaranty Bank in Texas, following the collapse of this entity.

In 2014, BBVA acquired the US digital banking company Simple for 117 million dollars. In its push towards a digital future in 2015 acquired the California company Spring Studio, specializing in user experience and digital design.

By 2018, BBVA USA was one of the 30 largest banks in the US.

In 2020, BBVA USA was sold to PNC Financial Services for US$11.6 billion.


In 2010, the Group acquired 24.9% of the capital of Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS, the second largest bank in Turkey, and reached an agreement with the Dogus Group — the reference shareholder of Garanti — to manage the entity jointly. Subsequently, this participation increased to 25.01%. In November 2014, BBVA acquired an additional 14.89% of the Garanti bank from Dogus Holdings for €1.988 billion, bringing its share to 39.9% of the entity.

In February 2017, it reached a new purchase agreement with Dogus to acquire 9.95% more from the Garanti bank for €859 million. Increasing its participation to 49.85% .

On November 15, 2021, BBVA offered to purchase the remaining shares 50.15% of shares in Garanti bank. In May 2022, BBVA reaches 86% stake in Garanti BBVA.


In 2021 the bank virtually opened in Italy.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In 1932, the Economic Research Department was created to disseminate knowledge of financial matters among society. In May 2010, BBVA created BBVA Research, a platform that merges the Economic Research Department with the Global Market unit.

In 1988, the BBVA Foundation was created to support and promote scientific research and cultural creation, the dissemination of culture and knowledge, and the recognition of talent through various awards, grants and scholarships.

In 2007, BBVA set up the Microfinance Foundation in Latin America, a non-profit organization created with the aim of promoting the sustainable development of entrepreneurs in vulnerable situations. In 2021, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recognized the BBVA Microfinance Foundation as the first to contribute to development in Latin America and the first in the world to contribute to gender equality.

In March 2022, in line with the European Commission and OECD's framework for financial competence for adults in the European Union, BBVA implements a plan to promote financial education programs aimed at improving the financial inclusion and health of one million people and promoting sustainable development and investment.


BBVA's link to sustainability and sustainable finance began in 2007, when it became one of the banks to participate in the first green bond issued by the EIB.

In 2021, BBVA joined, as one of the 43 founding members, the "Net-Zero Banking Alliance" initiative, promoted by the United Nations to encourage banks' lending and investment portfolios to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In February 2022, BBVA will be ranked first in the "Dow Jones Sustainability Index", becoming, together with KB Financial Group, the "most sustainable bank in the world".

In March 2022, BBVA invests 18.5 million euros in "LowerCarbon", a venture capital fund specializing in financing projects and companies focused on climate change.

In July 2022, BBVA joins the "Carbonplace" platform as a founder with the aim of facilitating access to carbon credits for individuals and companies.

Presence on stock market indexes


BBVA is included in the IBEX 35, the official index of the Spanish Continuous Market composed of the 35 most liquid stocks traded on continuous market. The BBVA has a market capitalization of 15,816 million euros (09-30-20) with a share value between 5 and 8 euros.

Eurostoxx 50

BBVA bank lists in Eurostoxx 50 along with other banks like Santander Bank and Deutsche Bank.


BBVA bank is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mexican Stock Exchange

BBVA bank is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Emerging and growth-leading economies (EAGLEs)

Emerging and growth-leading economies (EAGLEs) are a grouping of key emerging markets developed by BBVA Research. The EAGLE economies are expected to lead global growth in the next 10 years, and to provide important opportunities for investors.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: BBVA para niños

  • BBVA Rising Stars Challenge NBA exhibition basketball game
  • BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award annual science and humanities award since 2009
  • Big Four (Spanish banking)
  • List of banks in Spain
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