BBVA stained itself with blood in Bilbao [videos]


Denunciation in the board of shareholders of BBVA

Today on Friday March 12th, whilst a protest took place on the other side of Palacio Euskalduna where the board meeting of shareholders the BBVA bank had begun, eight activists disguised as BBVA shareholders were able to fool the police cordon and throw red paint over themselves. As stated by one of them, the red paint represented the blood, which resulted from the investments made in the production and exportation of arms, the basic rights instilled/ inculcated of many people by destructive projects financed by the bank, which also finances the environmental destruction of climate change, and the economies of many countries which affects the well being of its citizens.

The activists entered at the point when the meeting took place, where the profit margins were to be announced, for being a moment of crisis when banks and in particular the BBVA has produced great profits and in which the directors continue to enrich themselves.

We criticize the excessive attitude of the Ertzaintza (Basque autonomous police force) which reacted by clobbering activists at their discrimination and dragging them along the ground. Some of them needed medical assistance.

Meanwhile, members of the Platform and those who oppose the BBVA chanted slogans against the Bank and their scant ethics.

The Platform against the BBVA, on this occasion, also released information regarding the unethical financing of this bank which has the gall to boast that they help care for environmental, social and human issues. These denunciations add to the already abundant collection ( and it will be used in May at the International People’s Tribunal in Madrid.

BBVA 2010: more profits and more nonsense

We are in 2010 and we continue to maintain all the previous complaints and have added more, which we were unaware of, due to the financial opacity which BBVA, as well as other banks, have used to hide their financial operations.

On the other hand the main complaint to be made today is the continuous economic growth, profits and wages of their administrative boards, which are happening in such critical times for society in general. This are now even criticized by the less radical sectors due to these disproportionate profit margins/ figures.
The BBVA, along with Santander Bank, are amongst the most important banks due to opaque, irregular activities, thanks to tax havens.

BBVA’s 2009 profits presented today will amount to over 4200 million euros, a daily profit of 12 million. It is less than last year (16% less than 2008) but this amount is made in a time of general crisis.

In the last three years BBVA doubled their management, most of which is based in Latin American expansionism. In Mexico alone they earned 1.369 billion.

Immoral Finance: armament and environmental destruction

BBVA, despite their talk about not financing projects which violate human rights or which have an impact on the environment, not only do they disassociate themselves from those projects but they are continuing to finance others.

BBVA have made no attempt to make amends regarding the financing of the fabrication and exportation of arms except in relation to cluster bombs, which have been banned internationally. BBVA continued to finance the major global arms manufacturers (including nuclear arms): Boeing, EADS ($200, 000) and Thales. These businesses have been excluded by the Government of Norway from their Public Funds.

In February 2009 we saw how the OCP (Oleoducto de Crudo Pesado Ecuador) – denounced for their possible impact-poured out 14,000 barrels of crude which contaminate the large Amazon rivers and, through this, the life of those ecosystems.

Another project which has been denounced of several other gas leaks in the Camisea extraction field, has been expanded in a second phase thanks to, amongst the other things, the financing of BBVA: 400 million dollars between seven banks.

BBVA (along with other banks) has spent seven years financing the main agricultural industry, amongst which Bunge stands out, the major soya producer in Latin America with 57,000 metric tonnes a day. These businesses are guilty of deforestation, land dispossession of small agricultural farmers and chemical pollution (fertilizers/ pesticides) of thousands of hectares in the Southern Cone of South America.

In recent years HidroAysén (half belonging to Endesa and half to Colbun) has also financed the construction of five dams in Chilean Patagonia. BBVA interrupted this financing and states that they did this for environmental reasons, when really the project has been postponed for years due to the difficulties of overcoming legal obstacles, of the devastation of a protected area.

BBVA also participates in the financing of the Extra-heavy Crude Refinery of Extremadura with 2.5 billion euros, another locally contested problem, which shows little sign of being resolved. They are being denounced for the polluting effects of the project and their contribution to global warming.

Here in Bilbao, BBVA financed Super Sur (variant South Metropolitan of Bilbao), a project, highly contested by environmental groups, due to the doubling of road capacity and boosting of auto vehicle transport. It has been denounced for all the environmental consequences of such a project: pollution, climate change as well as visual, sound and environmental impacts etc.

The lack of BBVA’s ethical planning can be seen through the financing of internationally criticized businesses, such a Wal Mart, who prevent their employers from affiliating themselves, Suncor, emitter of 25% of Canada’s CO2, Vedanta Resources, denounced because of numerous violations of human and ecological rights in India, or the French oil company Total, who, amongst other things, ignores the international boycott of the military regime of Burma, by extracting million of dollars worth in gas and building a gas duct which has resulted in great violations taking place.

Questionable services and work violations

BBVA uses the micro-credit systems in order to cultivate the loyalty of clients and win them over for their business. BBVA has accrued 500,000 clients in Latin America in two years.
By taking advantage of the economic crisis, BBVA has implemented a restructuring of business and staff. It has therefore closed 15 offices of Dinero Express (remittances firm) by dismissing 121 workers. Between 2008 and 2009 they closed more than 400 offices in Spain. In Chile 500 bank workers were dismissed (February 2009), 200 of which were from BBVA.

The staff is immersed in a process of making jobs more unstable, outsourcing workers and delocalizing jobs to Latin America at a ridiculous cost: 300 euros a month!

Fewer workers, more directors: in 2000 there were 100 directors, in 2009 there were 2200. A director earns 37.20 times more than a worker.

BBVA has been pressurizing their workers in Colombia, amongst others, to renounce their Right to Association, a unionist demand for which various bank unionist leaders have been assassinated.

Astronomical Wages

In September 2008 the board director of BBVA, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, was forced into early retirement with a cost of 3 million euros a year, causing general shock amongst society. On the other hand, he was earning a salary of 7.15 million euros a year and the director Francisco González earned 8.74 million (2008), as well as a pension fund which increased this year to over 7 million euros. He will have already accumulated 80 million by the time he retires! The 14 members of the BBVA’s Board of Directors earned a joint salary of 16.9 million euros, with over 1.3375 billion euros in agreements for pension funds and plans.

Whilst the Spanish government earmarked 100 billion euros of the people’s money to the banks and building societies, in 2008 BBVA’s tax contribution to Companies in Bizkaia were reduced by a third due to the crisis, despite their high profit margins.

BBVA, meanwhile, has invested vast amounts of money in propaganda (1st and 2nd division Football leagues, marathons, Ruta Quetzal etc), in a huge campaign in SCR (Social Corporate Responsibility). It has also adopted all sorts of agreements with the aim of cleaning up its image, such as for the Principios de Ecuador, the Carbon Disclosure Project, Global Impact etc, which, as proven by all these complaints, it simply has not achieved. This year they awarded, for the first time, The Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, cynically including the category of climate change.


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