Spanish bank BBVA is promoting its US operations head to the chief executive role as part of a management reshuffle designed to further its digital ambitions.
Onur Genç, country manager for BBVA US, will assume his new role at the end of December. Current chief executive Carlos Torres Villa will replace the outgoing Francisco Gonzalez as executive chairman before the year-end.
Gonzalez has been at the helm of BBVA for the last 18 years and is credited with leading the bank’s digital development. The incoming Genc has cited “the need to respond to the ever-changing customer in the digital age” as the key challenge facing the bank.
BBVA has stated that it hopes to have half of its clients banking through digital channels before the end of 2018. It currently has 26 million digital customers with digital transactions accounting for 40% of sales, a marked increase from 15.3% back in 2016.
The BBVA appointment follows rival Spanish bank Banco Santander’s recent recruitment of UBS investment banking head Andrea Orcel as its new chief executive, replacing Jose Antonio Alvarez.