Caja Navarra

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Caja Navarra
Type Caja de Ahorros
Industry Banking
Founded 1921
Headquarters Pamplona, Spain
Key people Enrique Goñi CEO
Products Financial services

Caja de Ahorros de Navarra or Caja Navarra or CAN was a medium-sized savings bank based in the Navarre province of northern Spain with headquarters in Pamplona. The financial institution broke up in 2012 among allegations of irregularities and failure by the relevant control organ of the Government of Navarre to audit the savings bank for several years.[1] On an yearly basis, UPN's regional Government was handed over a copy-paste, two-page long activity report by Caja Navarra, as revealed in 2014.[2]

The bank resulted from the merger of the Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad Municipal de Pamplona (founded by the Pamplona city council in 1872) and the Caja de Ahorros de Navarra (founded by the Provincial Council of Navarre in 1921) on January 17, 2000. Caja Navarra was one of the three banks that merged to become Banca Civica.[3]

Caja Navarra

In Spain, savings banks or cajas are private financial institutions organized as foundations. When they were created, their identifying features were their concern for saving, focus on the poorer classes, concentration in a geographical area, and allocation of a significant part of their profits to social and charity projects.[3] Today their commitment to the community continues. These savings banks devote a percentage of their resources to charity and community projects, in CAN's case 30 percent.[4] Caja Navarra is known for its unique Civic Banking model, which it developed under current CEO Enrique Goñi.

Civic Banking[edit]

Civic Banking is a banking model. Civic Banking has sought to turn traditional banking on its head by placing the customer at the center of its business practices and ascribing them rights, while creating duties for Caja Navarra itself to follow.

Caja Navarra today[edit]

The results of Civic Banking have been greater than expected with more than 80% of customers choosing where their money is spent each year. Between 2002 and 2006 CAN's business customers increased from 120 to nearly 800. Between 2001 and 2007 Caja Navarra moved from 22nd to 17th in terms of volume among other Spanish savings banks, from 20th to 12th in profit after tax, from 16th to 5th in margin per employee and from 41st to 4th in ROE.

Scholars at some of the world's top universities including Georgetown University, New York University Stern School of Business, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, IESE and the Instituto Pamamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresa have studied the bank.

Caja Navarra is seeking to expand internationally into Eastern Europe.

Civic banking[edit]

Civic Banking is a business model that Caja Navarra (CAN) introduced in 2004 under its current CEO, Enrique Goñi. CAN introduced the model with its “You Choose: You Decide” initiative, or “Tu Eliges: Tu Decides” in Spanish, which evolved into its present form, the Five Rights. The key, however, remains the first right, under which CAN's clients can direct 30% of CAN's annual profit to social projects.

The Five Rights[edit]

The customers' Five Rights are:[5]

  • 'Social Project Work: CAN's customers choose the projects that qualify for donations under the Civic Account program;
  • The Civic Account is the amount that each customer can direct to up to three social projects, and represents 30% of the profit that CAN has made from that customer that year;
  • Project Accountability, which consists of reports from the social projects that detail how they have used the money that CAN's customers have directed to them;
  • Volcan represents an opportunity for customers to volunteer at the projects they are funding;
  • Know Where Your Savings are Invested: Initially this consisted simply of CAN reporting on how much of its lending was going to each of the areas to which it lent. Now customers can direct in which areas CAN should deploy any new deposits that the customer might make.

You Choose: You Decide[edit]

Civic Banking and its main program entitled “You Choose: You Decide” (encompassed in the first right of Civic Banking), has made the bank's customers responsible for deciding to which social ventures the bank should donate money. Cajas do not have share holders like a publicly owned commercial bank. Civic Banking has sought to incorporate the bank's customers in a way that shareholders would be incorporated in a publicly traded company – by giving them the decision making power and thus making them feel more attached to the bank.

Officially started in 2004, “You Choose, You Decide” identified nine groups of social projects: disability and welfare, research, cooperation, environment, employment and entrepreneurs, culture, preservation of heritage, sports and leisure. Then, each time a customer contracted a product or service from Caja Navarra they would choose where the profits were spent in an effort to make the customer feel more in touch with the bank and with the community. This is very different from the other Spanish cajas, where the board of the foundation that directs the savings bank chooses the social projects and monetary allocation. Thus in 2005, for the first time, 100 percent of 2005's social budget was decided by CAN's customers. The program was a success with 82% of the banks customers choosing where to allocate their money in the first year alone.[3]

Since 2004 CAN has continued to innovate within their Civic Banking platform. These innovations include reporting to customers in an individualized annual letter exactly how much money CAN has made from the customer (the social account - the second right). The nine broad categories of social projects have now been expanded into over 2500 individual projects for the customer to choose from.[6] In addition customers can propose their own social projects to add to the current list of over 2500 if they cannot find one they identify with. Caja Navarra also encourages its customers to participate in the social ventures they support (Volcan - the fourth right).


Caja Navarra Cancha

Civic Banking is transforming CAN's branches. Branches are normally a place to go to contract bank services, however, in keeping with their idea of growing customer loyalty and participation, Caja Navarra is transforming their branches into open community spaces that CAN calls canchas. At Canchas customers may conduct banking business, but the canchas also feature play areas for children, free internet access for the public, free coffee, and once a week, after banking hours, live entertainment. Groups within the community may also use the cancha to hold meetings.


  1. ^ "La Cámara de Comptos constata que el Gobierno hizo dejación de funciones al no controlar Caja Navarra". Noticias de Navarra. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "CAN despachaba en dos folios, que repetía cada año, las explicaciones al Gobierno foral sobre su actividad". Noticias de Navarra. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Corporate Governance. Vol. 7, No. 4, 2007. p. 436.
  4. ^ Lafferty Retail Banking Insider. Issue: 2008/6. April 7, 2008. p. 11.
  5. ^ Caja Navarra: Your Rights Accessed July 3, 2008.
  6. ^ Euromoney. December 2007. p.112