Joy Macknight

For the first time in three years, the leading lights in the global banking industry came together in London to celebrate their successes.

Congratulations to all the well-deserving winners of the Bank of the Year Awards 2022. It was such a great feeling to be able to host this exclusive group from across the world for a gala event in London on December 1.

This year, banks in 134 countries won a coveted Bracken trophy, named after The Banker’s founding editor Brendan Bracken. We received hundreds of award submissions this year, so thank you to all for taking the time and trouble to enter.

Each winning institution had to demonstrate their agility in adapting to a quick-changing environment over the past year. At the start of the year, there was plenty of cause for optimism as the worst impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic begun to let up. However, geopolitics intervened and tragically Russia invaded Ukraine, which has caused a humanitarian crisis in Europe and impacted other regions. We have also seen skyrocketing inflation in most countries, and central banks began to raise interest rates in response.

The Bank of the Year winners proved their stamina to withstand the headwinds affecting their business, but also the ability to be nimble, innovative, responsive and deliver results for their clients, stakeholders and shareholders.

There were two major trends that emerged from the winning entries in 2022. First, digital transformation is accelerating in every region and continent. Institutions are refining their plans with the customer – and, importantly, the employee – experience front and centre. The winners in 2022 have raised their game when it comes to rolling out new digital offerings.

The second trend is the embedding of sustainability in financial services. Banks across the globe have been stepping up their efforts to provide essential advice, support and funding to help their clients on the great transition to net-zero emissions. This is vital not just for the banking industry, but for the planet.

In tandem with the focus on environmental, social and governance criteria – and bringing the ‘S’ to the fore – momentum is building around banks rethinking their purpose and role in society. This includes – but goes well beyond – corporate social responsibility to a real commitment to building a more sustainable and inclusive future.

BBVA is an example of an institution that has embedded sustainability in everything it does. According to Luisa Gómez Bravo, global head of corporate and investment banking at BBVA, “It’s not just one area that is doing sustainability in the bank, it is part of the whole bank and we have set sustainability as part of the strategic agenda of the group. Last year we created a sustainability group that reports to the chair and the CEO, which helps the whole bank progress in sustainability.

“This involves ensuring that we are: tracking and monitoring all the sustainability data from our clients, changing processes along the whole end-to-end value chain, reporting and, of course, training – 80,000 employees including branch staff have done some sort of sustainability training,” she says.

BBVA was highly successful in this years Bank of the Year Awards, taking home country awards for Colombia, Peru, and its home market of Spain, as well as the western Europe regional award. It also picked up the accolade as the Global Bank of the Year 2022, a huge tribute to the bank’s endeavours.

To gain insights into the winning strategies, please read the write-ups here.

Congratulations again to all of the winners. 

Joy Macknight is editor of The Banker. Follow her on Twitter @joymacknight

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