Banco Sabadell wants to strengthen its sustainability unit, for which it has created a new management and has appointed Ana Ribalta, the deputy general director of corporate banking, until now. Her appointment is closely linked to the personal career of this executive who joined Banco Sabadell in 2003 as Manager of Real State, Structured Finance and M&A, from the Santander group.
With this position, Ana Ribalta joins the management committee of the group led by César González-Bueno, and becomes the only deputy general director who enters the bank’s decision-making nucleus. “Quite a challenge”, declares to Cinco Días this directive born in Barcelona in 1970, and who has a wide professional and academic career. His objective is to promote sustainability in the bank and create, although he prefers not to give a deadline yet – “I just landed in office”, he jokes – the equivalent of the entire range of the entity’s products to green products. For now, you’ve started by going around the bank and are eliminating plastic water bottles or all plastic that can be used in the single-use bench.
“Since I was little I have been educated to protect the planet. Always aware of not contaminating. My father was a man far ahead of his time. Look, when I threw a spiral notebook into the trash, since I was little, I made the whole family separate the paper from the metal spirals in the notebook to recycle the trash ”.
His father, Ramón Ribalta, was an engineer obsessed with the ecosystem and with helping to leave his children a more sustainable world, so much so that he designed all kinds of gadgets to achieve as much as possible that everything in his house could be recycled. So much was her education in Ana that her current house is totally ecological, even its enclave, thus avoiding wasting water or putting on the air conditioning.
He even has, together with his sister Vicky, a line of bio cosmetics and fully recyclable packaging, RRR Biocosmetics. “But I have learned that it is not easy to be sustainable in the way you work, in the way you consume,” he stresses.
Ribalta has a team of 10 people in the bank’s new unit to carry out its objectives. Its first measure has been to place a person from its team at each bank address so that all Sabadell divisions are involved in applying, designing, marketing or measuring the risks of the green economy. “We have incorporated sustainability in a transversal way in our business model”, he emphasizes.
In addition, it has begun to apply reductions in loans to companies or individuals based on the sustainable commitments that these clients materialize. “The challenge is to incorporate all loans into green loans,” says this directive, which aims to accelerate all processes related to sustainability in the bank. “The bank has stated that this is totally serious and that the culture of the bank and its customers should be given a turn. We must advise them, in addition to financing them, “he assures, adding that now” there is not a single investor who does not ask now about the sustainable challenges of banks and companies.
Banco Sabadell has decided to accompany its clients by providing investors with their contribution to sustainability, adapting the organization to the new paradigm and contributing to the transition towards a sustainable society, the entity explains.
The bank has formalized more than 3,240 million euros in sustainable financing until May, including mainly Corporate and Project Finance financing, as well as more than 300 million euros in loans with eco-purposes (mortgages, loans, renting and leasing), and close to 1,850 million euros in loans that had a social objective.