The Confederation of Employers of La Coruña (CEC) held a lunch-talk with the president of Bankia, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, in the Pazo de Mariñán (Bergondo). The president of the Deputación da Coruña, Valentín González Formoso, and the president of the CEC, Antonio Fontenla, presided over the event attended by more than fifty businessmen.
The president of Bankia, who gave a talk on the future prospects of the sector, defended that "a solid financial system is necessary to ensure a sustainable growth of the economy which, in turn, is the means to ensure a better standard of living for citizens and the necessary condition to fight against unemployment ".
José Ignacio Goirigolzarri pointed out that, currently, the profitability of Spanish banks "is below the cost of capital", a situation that "is not sustainable over time". This circumstance could lead to the financial system being undercapitalized and, as a consequence, "could not increase its credit portfolio and finance the economy, being a brake on its development".
"Society should not think that banks should not make money. Banks must have an adjusted return, because unprofitable banks, or with insufficient profitability to attract capital, can not finance the growth of the economy, "he argued. For Goirigolzarri, maintaining a permanent suspicion about the financial system means that "decisions can be taken that, although in the short term they reap applause, in the end they are bad for society as a whole".
"I believe deeply in a financial system model that is profitable and transparent. A financial system that finds its justification in the service to customers, because without them there are no jobs, salaries, or legitimacy, "he said. In this sense, has raised the need to "worry and deal" with the reputation of the sector "listening to what society is claiming us" because, he acknowledged, "society is very disappointed with the functioning of the financial system during the economic crisis "
"When we look to the future, the first thing we must ensure is that our behaviors respond to clear and defined values and principles, which requires excellent corporate governance practices," he stressed to point out that "we must explain to society what the utility of the banking system ". From there, he stressed that "the objective" of Bankia is to become "the preferred entity by society", what happens to be "the most profitable, most efficient and most solvent bank in Spain".
Fontenla proposed to Bankia a greater presence in Galicia
At the closing of the event, Antonio Fontenla thanked all attendees for their presence at the event. On the challenges of the financial sector exposed by Goirigolzarri, Fontenla pointed out that the good health of the banks is also essential for the good progress of the economy, and proposed to Bankia a greater presence in Galicia, "Risking with new products and supporting business plans of entrepreneurs."
The president of the CEC stressed that the banking market has seen its plurality "drastically" reduced in Galicia. "In ten years we have gone from a score of operators to half a dozen that control 90% of the business. This is a very high concentration, only surpassed in Europe by Greece, "Fontenla said, while assuring that the outlook does not seem to change, as the EU calls for the growth of small entities to deal with current risks.
Against this background scenario, Antonio Fontenla argued that business expects banking brands to maintain "healthy competition" and that new operators establish themselves in Galicia to favor business development. "We are an appetizing land for historical and current reasons: reduced delinquency, high savings, good trade balance, enterprising and committed people, and we have companies that excel in areas such as textiles, distribution, energy, food, naval, fishing, forestry, engineering or tourism "-explained-.
Following the economic analysis, the president of the CEC said that Galicia is the sixth autonomy whose gross domestic product (GDP) grew more in the last twenty years, according to the National Institute of Statistics, and two Galician provinces are among the ten most exporting from Spain. "Textile, automotive and foreign trade were the keys to success, a path that we must maintain and expand. Technological innovation and industrial activity will help us to be increasingly competitive "-she emphasized-.
More help and institutional support for companies
On the other hand, the head of the Confederation of Coruña pointed out the important role of employers as "generators of employment", and taking advantage of the business meeting requested the Public Administrations more aid and institutional support for companies at a time when they face new administrative and economic burdens, such as the data protection law, the recent application of the hourly registration of the workforce or the digitization process. "We are the SMEs that generate 70% of the jobs" He recalled.
Fontenla added that the CEC continues to increase its internal activity at the service of its associates, offering legal-labor and economic-fiscal consultancy, training actions, as well as providing advice in the collective bargaining process of relevant business sectors.