BBVA to add 2,000 software engineers to workforce this year

Spanish bank BBVA is boosting its IT department while its traditional workforce reduces amid digital transformation

BBVA expects its recruitment of software engineers to hit 2,000 this year as part of the expansion of its global software development division.

The Spanish bank has already recruited around 1,000 IT experts in 2022 as in rebalances its workforce in the digital age. This process has seen BBVA made large cuts to its more traditional workforce, including branch staff.

In June 2021, it announced it was cutting 3,000 jobs, including more than 2,000 branch staff, to adjust its workforce due to competitive pressure including the arrival of digital bank competition. It said in a statement at the time: “An adjustment plan is needed to ensure the competitiveness and the sustainability of employment in the future, given the current context of profound transformation in the sector, marked by a tremendous competitive pressure, low interest rates, the accelerated adoption of digital channels by customers and the entrance of new digital players.”

This year, the bank is recruiting high numbers of IT professionals to support its move into digital channels. “At the end of June, we had recruited 935 engineers in all the countries where we operate. Our goal is to hire around 2,000 engineers across our footprint by 2022,” said José Luis Elechiguerra, global head of engineering at BBVA. This figure could increase between 2023 and 2024, according to the bank..

BBVA is mainly recruiting software developers and data specialists who will work on accelerating the digital transformation of the bank’s channels.

“Our forecast is that, in addition to these technical profiles, further recruitments will be made as the needs of the projects, the different business and technology areas are analysed,” said Elechiguerra.

“The recruitment process is progressing at a good pace. By the end of the year, we will boast a larger team around the world, which will help us to continue to build an innovative, sustainable and customer-focused bank,” he added.

Traditional banks everywhere face challenges with increased competition from specialist digital banks. These banks, known as challengers, have the advantage of a low-cost base resulting from their automation of digital services.

They are also balancing existing models, which have been used to serve customers for years, with new digital banking services. This is seeing costs cut through branch closures, job reductions and even the closure of offices, while their investment in technology increases.

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