Venezuelan Banking Sector - Bbva Research Paper

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This would then imply an increased on-the-job satisfaction, generated by a reduction in stress and organizational pressure. The increased satisfaction on the job materializes in increased performances and an increased support in helping the bank reach its overall objectives.

Aside from the direct impacts upon the satisfaction of the customers, the benefits of introducing the newer technological advancements have also resulted in more efficient communications. This was available between company representatives and shareholders, customers, employees, as well as communities.

Future benefits of the investment are also likely to materialize in the following years. As such, the $95 million funds allocated to the modernization of BBVA Banco Provincial would increase the number of customers. It would also imply that the current customer base becomes more loyal, ensuring as such constant and reliable corporate incomes. More specifically, the investments in technology are expected to increase the sector of private loans by 27% (South American Business Information, 2000).

Corporate social responsibility programs

Throughout the past recent years, BBVA's interest in implementing programs of social responsibility has significantly increased. "BBVA understands corporate responsibility to be a wholehearted commitment to providing the utmost value possible in a balanced manner to all its direct stakeholders -shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers- and to the sum of societies in which it operates. The prevailing commitments that the Group seeks to fulfil through its corporate responsibility (CR) policy are as follows:

Uphold excellence at all times in our core business operations

Minimize the negative impacts caused by our business activity

Develop "social business opportunities" that generate both social value and value for BBVA

Invest in those societies in which the Group is present through support for social projects, especially those involving education" (Website of the BBVA Group, 2008) most relevant example of how BBVA Banco Provincial creates value for the community is given by the measures it took this year to offer scholarships to the financially disadvantaged youth to continue their education. They invested 2.37 million euros in this program (Website of the BBVA Group, 2008).

The introduction of corporate social responsibility programs into the strategic approaches of BBVA Banco Provincial has proven beneficial from various standpoints, such as an increased customer satisfaction, better consumer reviews or increased employee pride for working within an organization committed to social development. Ultimately however, the most important benefit is that of creating a strong brand that is favourably perceived by the market.

Product specification

The strategy of product specification is most common among the products and services offered to the business customers. Based on the premises of supporting the Venezuelan entrepreneurs in conducting international trade, the bank developed a wide offering for economic entities. They revolve around:

Import and Export letters of Credit

Operations under ALADI agreement (Latin-American Association of Integration)

Remittance and Receipt of Payment Orders

Issuance of Foreign Currency Checks

Import and Export Documentary Colletion

Insurance of surety Bonds and Guarantees in foreign currency

Export Bonds transsaction and processing

Checks and effects collection in foreign currency

Foreign currency acquisition procedure before CADIVI (Venezuelan Government Currency

Administration Commission. CADIVI, for its initials in Spanish: Comision de Administracion de Divisas)" (DDEX)

The strategy had benefits on multiple levels. First of all, the business customers achieved increased satisfaction, became more loyal and through word of mouth, brought in new clients. Then, the measures promoted increased the trust and support in the development of the Venezuelan economy, which once more helped create a favourable image within the market. Ultimately however, all these benefits materialized in increased corporate profits.

4. Conclusions

BBVA Banco Provincial was initially established as a Venezuelan banking institution but, through an opening to capitalization, it was then purchased by the Spanish Group BBVA. The new owners commenced a process of modernization and in this instance, they developed and implemented a wide series of strategic approaches. All of these measures aimed the registration of increased corporate profits through the achievement of multiple subgoals, such as the attraction of additional customers or the increased satisfaction of the customers. Throughout the past recent years, the management at BBVA Banco Provincial has been focused on integrating the latest technological developments into their operations, placing an increased emphasis on corporate social responsibility programs and increasing the offering to some customers by increasing the product specification.

All three strategies revealed in the recent past of BBVA Banco Provincial are in fact based on the same concept: growth through customer satisfaction. In this order of ideas then, the banking company introduced new technologies for its private customers, introduced product specialization for its business customers and implemented social responsibility programs for all stakeholders. These measures are all part of a grater approach, meant to create a new vision within BBVA Banco Provincial. "Since 1997, when Spain's BBV Group became the main shareholder in Banco Provincial, this Venezuelan financial institution has followed a strategy of growth to strengthen its leadership position in the market. This is being done with high standards of profitability and by creating value that can be sustained over the long-term. This strategy is based on building a new business model, characterized by a high level of orientation toward the client and growing emphasis on quality of service. This has required the use of new operational programs that include changes in the models for branches, controls, systems and commercial support" (Global Finance, 1999).

The long-term impact of the strategies is currently unknown, but if the measures are appropriately implemented, they should retrieve positive results for both the discussed banking company, as well as the banking sector as a whole. For BBVA Banco Provincial, they could mean an increased operational efficiency, a cost reduction, an increased customer satisfaction or a more favourable image on the market. These would constitute net advantages in consolidating their leading position and would ultimately materialize in increased corporate revenues.

In terms of the impacts that could be generated upon the sector, the likely outcome is also a positive one. First of all, the modern banking system in Venezuela has been presented as overdeveloped in comparison to the populations' living standards, the international trade balance or the country's infrastructure. In this order of ideas then, the future investments could better control the rapid development of the banking sector. Otherwise put, the allocation of funds for investments would achieve a sustainable growth. Then, in the same order of ideas of an overdeveloped sector, its future growth could support the further development and stability of other sectors and industries. For instance, by continually implementing CSR programs, BBVA Banco Provincial would be able to ease the Venezuelans' access to education or better healthcare. They would also support the international trade by allowing local farmers and entrepreneurs increased access to financial resources. This is in fact the most interesting aspect of this paper - how the strategies of an institution can impact the future of multiple players in the market.

References

Bakos, J.Y., Treacy, M.E., June 1986, Information Technology and Corporate Strategy: A Research Perspective, MIS Quarterly, pp. 107-119

Fuentes, H., Grifell-Tatje, E., Perelman, S., November 27, 2005, Product Specialization, Efficiency and Productivity Change in the Spanish Insurance Industry, Ecole de Gestion de'l Universite de Liege

March 11, 2008, Fitch Special Report: Venezuelan Banking Sector Expands, Faces Challenges, Business Wire, New York

April 25, 2008, Venezuela Commercial Banking Report Q1 2008, Business Wire, Dublin

July 31, 2008, Factbox - Key Facts about Venezuela's Banking Sector, Reuters

September 2008, Corporate Social Responsibility, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/corpstrtgy/corpsocres/csrfact.html. Ast accessed on November 3, 2008

2008, BBVA Banco Provincial, S.A., Google Finance, http://finance.google.com/finance?q=CLS:BPVlast accessed on November 3, 2008

2008, BBVA's Commitment to Society, Website of the BBVA Group, http://ws1.grupobbva.com/TLBB/tlbb/jsp/rii/El_Grupo_BBVA/Responsabilidad_corporativas/index.jsp#0last accessed on November 3, 2008

2008, the World Factbook - Venezuela, Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ve.htmllast accessed on November 3, 2008

June 2000, Venezuela: BBVA Invests U.S.$95.6 million to Modernize Banco Provincial, South American Business Information

June 1, 1999, Banco Provincial Strengthens Leadership in Venezuelan Market, Global Finance…[continue]

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