By CAPosts 23 February, 2021 - 05:49am 51 views
After a merger that failed with BBVA in 2020, Sabadell ends the rumors and refuses to leave the Mexican market, but on the contrary announces new plans to grow in the country. The first project is to give continuity to the 100% digital banking model to offer financial services to more people through alliances with Telefónica Movistar, Fintonic, retailers and a delivery app, Francisco Lira, new CEO of Sabadell stands out in an interview.
Sabadell seeks create alliances with companies that have a wide portfolio of clients and thus grow your business.
Sabadell has been present in Mexico since 1991, and in 2015 it obtained a license from the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) to operate as multiple banking. Since its inception it was 100% digital, so it does not have branches and until the end of 2020 it was the fifteenth largest bank by number of assets, with 112,314 million pesos (mp) and had a portfolio of 88,349 million pesos, according to figures from the CNBV. Francisco Lira took over the leadership of Sabadell on February 2 and spoke with Expansión about the plans they have to grow in the country. What are the plans for Mexico in the coming months? The main word would be continuity. In the traditional business, we will continue to be very active in credit, supporting companies, our clients, offering innovative services and an ever-expanding range of products. On the digital side, I think it has been a great bet that we are a 100% digital bank, without branches, without cash handling and I think that time has proved us right, we are on the right path. There had been talk of his departure from Mexico after not reaching an agreement with BBVA. After meetings at the Board of Directors level, it was decided not to go ahead (with the alliance). It was not so much that Sabadell was going to leave Mexico but that it was a purchase or a merger between BBVA Spain and Sabadell Spain and because of the dominant power that BBVA has here in Mexico that was inferred, but it was not that Sabadell left Mexico . Sabadell's bet in Mexico continues. I am the employee number nine here in Mexico, the bet is clear and we continue in the same way. In the traditional business part - which has already taken us to the 10th place in size in commercial banking - we continue to talk about products for our business and corporate banking and investment clients, we review fiduciary, leasing. The Bank of Mexico (Banxico) has just given us the license to operate derivatives, it was the first virtual license they made in Mexico and we are very happy. On the other hand, in the digital business, Sabadell's big bet in Mexico is to continue developing products. We signed two major business relationships in banking as a service and we are going to manufacture financial products for their clients. In the case of Telefónica Movistar we are going to grant credits to its 100% digital users, where you receive an SMS and Sabadell makes up the entire process for the evaluation of the credit risk and it is deposited into your account. The Telefónica project is in a testing phase. Francisco Hernández is called the first customer who already had his first credit by SMS, I would tell you that it is a relatively small number for the potential of millions of users that we want but there are already hundreds of credits that we carry with them. Additionally, the agreement we made with Fintonic, which is a very large Spanish company that already has several users in Mexico, is already in production where it brings together the accounts and services of the different banks in a platform so that it is very easy to manage you. The card is granted by Sabadell. How much have they invested to achieve the development of these alliances? In 2020, approximately we have invested more than 400 million pesos in technology systems and platforms, it is a significant amount. 2021 will depend, we have a budget of 200 million, but it will depend a lot if we continue to sign strategic alliances with important clients that have many clients in turn. The budget can be extended. What are the challenges? We have to continue growing our credit portfolio. It is complex to know which industries are least affected and have a great future because at the end of the day, we have the task of lending money, but the money belongs to our clients and we have to take care of their resources. This is one of the great challenges we have, to continue strengthening our entire organization and understanding its needs, because we are operating remotely and finally we are seeking to offer various products for our clients from both the traditional business and the digital business. We do a combination of two things: we are closely monitoring how our clients are behaving: their numbers, the credit bureau. We are doing everything with a technological platform and we are monitoring much more continuously and on the other hand we are doing an analysis of each sector: how much was impacted by the crisis and how much more can be impacted in the pandemic. The impact that cinemas and restaurants had, for example, is not the same as that of now that you are at home and you like to eat healthier; the issue of agriculture and exports are having an important boom. How is your participation in the Infrastructure Plan announced by the federal government going? The main government project for this 2021 is Metro line 1 and there we are working very closely with financing. The (investment) figure is still confidential because we do not know how much the Chinese sponsor is going to finance and how much it is going to want in financing; As we are a group of banks led by Banobras, there the shares of each bank will depend on the amount they wish to finance.