''Banking can still be profitable despite zero interest rates. CaixaBank is a good example of this. Our returns are currently running at 10% because 55% of this figure is generated by other activities.'' During his talk at Matins ESADE this morning, Gonzalo Gortázar, CaixaBank CEO, was quite emphatic, ''traditional banking is not profitable but activities such as insurance, payments, investment funds and consumer credit are'', and this is where his bank has a competitive edge. In addition, ''in the first quarter of 2014 the Spanish economy started to pick up and employment began to grow, although the banking sector still faces many challenges.'' Gortázar outlined the four challenges: regulation, profitability, reputation and digitisation.
Gonzalo Gortázar, the keynote speaker in this Matins ESADE Alumni session, was accompanied by Pedro Navarro, Executive Vice President of the ESADE Foundation board of trustees, and Maite Barrera, founding partner of Bluecap and sponsor of Matins ESADE.