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Unicaja holds its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and its Board of Directors appoints José Sevilla as non-executive chairman

The institution obtains the support of the shareholders, who have endorsed the Board of Directors' proposal to distribute a dividend of 132 million euros, representing 50% of the consolidated net income for 2023

05 APR 2024

6 Min reading

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Unicaja, held in Malaga, has approved by majority today, among other items, the annual accounts and the management of the Board of Directors in the past year, as well as the proposed distribution of a dividend of 132 million euros charged to the profit for the year 2023, which represents 50% (pay-out) of the ordinary consolidated net profit obtained in that year. This payment, which will be paid on 19 April, is equivalent to 0.049722 euros gross per share.

 

Likewise, the General Meeting of Shareholders ratified the appointment as independent director of José Sevilla Álvarez, who, after the Meeting, was unanimously appointed by the Board of Directors as the new non-executive chairman of Unicaja.

 

The Meeting also agreed to the re-election of María Luisa Arjonilla López as independent director, and to the appointment, at the proposal of the Fundación Bancaria Caja de Ahorros de Asturias, of Víctor Covián Regales as a new proprietary director, whose incorporation will take place once the corresponding regulatory authorizations have been obtained.

 

The Meeting of Shareholders also approved other matters such as the reduction of the bank's share capital through the redemption of own shares, for which the bank has launched a buyback program for 100 million euros (maximum 3.8% of the share capital). The Annual Report on Directors' Remuneration for the 2023 financial year was also submitted to a consultative vote, with a favorable result.

 

In his speech at the Meeting of Shareholders, the chairman, Manuel Azuaga, addressed the economic and financial context, specifying that "the challenges faced by banks are enormous and growing, given the increasing competitive and regulatory pressure, in a context of lower growth in margins, a worsening outlook for business generation opportunities and greater provisioning requirements".

 

Likewise, during the review of the institution’s main milestones in recent years, in which he stated that "we have witnessed important transformations in the regulatory and supervisory framework, and in the very configuration and evolution of the institution", he highlighted "the important process of renewal of the Board of Directors, which has taken place in accordance with the highest standards in Corporate Governance, in terms of structure and diversity of knowledge, experience and gender".

 

He added that, during 2023, the bank "has taken key decisions in a planned manner, systematically aimed at strengthening our strategic position and continuing to build the bank we want for the future". In order to achieve the goals set, he pointed out that "we have to appeal to the maintenance of the attributes that have enabled us to get this far, to the willingness to change and to the commitment and involvement in our business project of all the members of our human team".

 

Finally, in his farewell speech, he thanked customers and shareholders for their support and trust and, especially, "the main asset of this company, its human team, for their dedication and commitment in their daily work during all these years, without which all these achievements would not have been possible".

 

For his part, the CEO, Isidro Rubiales, took stock of 2023, a year which, he said, "has been notably impacted by an uncertain economic situation and by the continuity of the deleveraging process in the private sector and the increase in the cost of credit". However, he stated that the entity has managed to improve "all the margins of the account" and to optimize "its risk profile and the quality of investments", maintaining "high and robust levels of liquidity and solvency".

 

During his speech, Rubiales emphasized that the management priorities for 2024 are focused on "improving profitability, addressing the necessary transformation challenges with an impact on customers and strengthening the relationship with key stakeholders in accordance with the highest standards of Corporate Governance".

 

He added that "our ambition is to be a better company every day, which knows how to adapt in advance to the changing conditions of the environment, developing the structural levers that allow us to position ourselves adequately in the market, maintaining the attributes of solvency and financial soundness, proximity and links with our regions of origin and customer service, which have traditionally characterized Grupo Unicaja".

 

In this regard, he stressed the consolidation of Unicaja as "a bank that is committed to sustainability and supports the climate transition of our economy, and that promotes the financial inclusion of the most vulnerable groups, as well as the application of best practices in corporate governance".

 

Finally, Rubiales thanked the outgoing president of Unicaja, Manuel Azuaga, in what was his last General Meeting of Shareholders, for his dedication and commitment, after more than seven years in the position and almost forty years linked to the entity, praising his professionalism and effort, his prudence and his sense of responsibility.

 

 

Board of Directors

 

Following the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and the ratification of the appointment of José Sevilla as an independent director, the Board of Directors of Unicaja has unanimously approved his appointment as non-executive chairman of the company, replacing Manuel Azuaga. The Board thanked the latter for his work and the important role he has played in the history of Unicaja, which has now become one of the leading institutions in the Spanish financial system.

 

The new non-executive chairman of Unicaja, José Sevilla (Madrid, 1964), has extensive experience in responsibility positions in the financial sector.

His broad experience in banking provides him with a strategic vision that allows him to face the new scenarios and future challenges of Unicaja, in particular, and the financial sector, in general, with solvency and solidity.

 

After his appointment, José Sevilla stated that "it is an honor for me to join the Unicaja team. A bank born in Malaga, with a great history and that in recent years has been transformed into a national entity with different regions of origin". He also pointed out that "Unicaja has a renewed board, a committed management team and the enthusiasm of all of us to make a project, every day better, for our customers and shareholders". 

  • Institucional

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