Pablo Hernández de Cos has chosen the Cercle d’Economia as the auditorium in which he gave his last public intervention as governor of the Bank of Spain. And he has done so by asking that the degree of concentration and banking competition be analyzed within the framework of BBVA’s hostile takeover of Banc Sabadell.

Although Hernández de Cos has refused to assess the operation itself, the governor has been in favor of “knowing where the Spanish economy is” in terms of competition and the degree of banking concentration. Just like yesterday, the president of Banc Sabadell, Josep Oliu, was present in the first row of the auditorium.

Aside from the takeover bid, the governor has referred to the monetary policy of the European Central Bank (ECB) and has reiterated that the first rate cut will occur in the second quarter of the year. The governor wanted to be much more cautious about what could come after that first drop. “We are very cautious about the future,” he noted.

Hernández de Cos shared a discussion with the president of CaixaBank, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, moderated by the IESE professor and member of the Cercle board, Núria Mas. The president of CaixaBank wanted to take advantage of the event to thank the governor for all the years that he has been at the head of the institution. In the coming weeks, the new governor must be named.

In his speech, Goirigolzarri referred to the need to improve productivity to achieve healthier and more consolidated economic growth. The president of the bank warned that per capita income has been stagnant for 15 years.