International Banking Conference 2021′, a reflection on the challenges of the post-Covid world

The International Banking Conference has become a world reference event in the financial sector. This year, which celebrates its XIV edition, the conference will focus on how, at the current turning point, all social and economic actors – governments, multilateral organizations, companies, individuals, educators and NGOs – must assume new roles and responsibilities to each other and to society in the new post-COVID context.

How can we best ensure that global cooperation – rather than regional competition and fragmentation – drives this new order? How can Europe “level up” as it emerges from the pandemic? How can we ensure competition in the financial sector, drive the ecological transition and provide better services to businesses and people? These are some of the many questions that will be the focus of the debates, which will bring together leading international and Spanish personalities from the world of finance, politics, business and technology.

The Group’s corporate headquarters, in the Ciudad Financiera de Boadilla del Monte (Madrid), will once again host this year’s Conference, which will be held in a mixed format to allow attendees to choose whether to follow it live virtually or in person. The opening ceremony will be given by the Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, Ana Botín. Botín will also participate as a speaker at the panel on The climate challenge, commitment and COP26, together with Håkan Samuelsson (CEO of Volvo Cars), Theodor Weimer (CEO of Deutche Börse) and Bill Winter (CEO of Standard Chartered). The debate will be moderated by James Harding, founder of Tortoise Media. They will share their views on building a carbon-neutral economy, the opportunities this new model creates, the pace and nature of the transition and the need for a new global social compact so that no community or region is left behind on the road to a greener economy and society.

The second debate, entitled The European crossroads: beyond the pandemic, will focus on the challenges facing the old continent: the high levels of public debt, the withdrawal of support measures by Covid, the difficulties that could be posed by growing inflationary pressure and the opportunities and risks in terms of politics and geopolitics. This roundtable will include the participation of Danuta Hübner (miIrene Tinagli (chair of the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee) and Guntram Wollf (director of the influential think tank Bruegel).

Bridging the great divide: post-pandemic challenges and emerging economies will address the widening income and welfare gaps caused by the health emergency. Charles Goodhart (Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics), Susana Malcorra (Senior Advisor at IE University) and Luis Alberto Moreno (former President of the IDB) will discuss the situation of emerging markets and the need for a global consensus to boost the dynamics of these economies, involving governments, companies, banks and multilateral organisations.

Epidemiologist Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a global charity that aims to fund scientific projects to address the urgent health challenges facing humanity, will discuss Lessons Learned and the Future of Pandemics . Farrar will discuss how to more robustly manage future pandemics and the challenges that Covid continues to present, especially improving vaccine delivery in emerging countries.

Financial services and the demands facing banking will be the focus of the panel on Regulatory realignment: financial services and the rules of the game in a changing economy. The regulatory reforms implemented after the great financial crisis have fulfilled their objective of ensuring prudential soundness and banking stability. However, new competitors have emerged which, while driving innovation, also represent risks and challenges. This, together with the transition to a more sustainable model, poses new requirements for banking. How can authorities maintain competition, dynamism and soundness – critical factors for the financial system – while ensuring a level playing field? José Antonio Álvarez (CEO Banco Santander), Burkhard Balz (member of the executive committee of the Bundesbank), Pablo Hernández de Cos (Governor of the Bank of Spain) and Fernando Restoy (President of the Financial Stability Institute of the Bank for International Settlements) will discuss the requirements and also the many opportunities for the future of the sector.

In the last panel, the intervention of Tobías Adrián, financial advisor and director of the department of money and capital markets, will be the last one.The IMF’s Adrian will focus on three themes: the global outlook, digital currencies and technology in the markets . Adrian will share his views on financial stability, inflation, and monetary policy around the world, as well as the opportunities and challenges posed by digital currencies and the entry of nonbanks into the financial services sector. He will also address the potential of capital markets to help drive a more sustainable economy.

The closing ceremony of the International Banking 2021 Conference will be attended by Nadia Calviño, Vice President and Minister of Economy and Digitalization of the Government of Spain.

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