BBVA Links Bonuses to Digital Push in Spanish Bank's Pay Review

  • Staff will be set bonus targets reflecting group performance
  • Variable pay to be based on financial, non-financial targets

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is changing how it rewards its employees by linking bonuses to performance metrics including digital sales and the share of mobile banking customers.

The new pay structure, which is effective from this year, will also include targets reflecting the performance of the group and the business units, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News. A spokesman for BBVA declined to comment further on the note.

BBVA, Spain’s second-biggest bank, in the last year has reorganized its top management to accelerate the company’s technology transformation, and named digital-banking specialist Carlos Torres chief executive officer. In an interview last month, Torres signaled the lender’s 3,800 branches in Spain could shrink to 1,000 as automation leads more clients to bank online, while the firm has no current plan to close that many outlets.

Employees will now be set a target bonus, and the payout will depend on whether the individual’s and unit’s goals are met. The measurement of group performance is split equally between financial metrics, such as the bank’s cost efficiency and profit, and non-financial objectives, the memo shows.

Digital sales, percentage of mobile customers and sales from new digital businesses make up about half of the non-financial targets, the memo shows.

The lender reported a 54 percent drop in first-quarter profit April 28 on lower trading revenue and currency fluctuations. BBVA employs about 137,400 in countries including Spain, Mexico and Turkey.

In 2015, BBVA invested about $65 million in Atom Bank Plc, a British online lending startup, and in March it acquired Holvi Payment Services Ltd., a digital bank in Helsinki, for an undisclosed sum.

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