Making Banking Inclusive
Title: Director, Digital Banking Business Operation
Name of Organization: Bank of America
Maria Silvana Vargas is a COO for Bank of America’s Digital banking platform, specializing in Non-English Language matters. In her role, she supports strategic growth by driving operational enhancements. Currently, Bank of America services 42.6MM digitally active users, of which about 4MM prefer to be serviced in Spanish. She joined Merrill Lynch Brazil in 2006 as an intern and has held several COO roles covering multiple businesses and regions. Prior to her current role, she was the Americas Head of Business Operations for the Global Corporate and Investment Banking segment, which caters to clients with annual revenues above $2bn. She relocated to New York in 2014.
Ms. Vargas has been part of the leadership team of Bank of America’s Hispanic/Latino Employee Network (HOLA) since 2015. She played a key role in the New York chapter’s 600% growth to over 2,000 members in 2 years. The network executes initiatives focused on Latino employees, clients and community across its 4 pillars: volunteerism, business strategy, recruiting and professional development. Ms. Vargas also served as co-chair of the group’s Executive Advisory Board in 2019-2021 and she is currently part of Bank of America’s HOLA Enterprise strategy team.
Ms. Vargas was awarded a Global Diversity & Inclusion Award from Bank of America’s Global D&I Council in 2017 and received a Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers award from the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility (HACR) in 2018. The latter recognizes Hispanic/Latinos under 40 years old who have shown exceptional leadership qualities in Fortune 500 companies along with a proven commitment to the Hispanic community. In 2020, she was named first ever Woman of Hope by Boys Hope Girls Hope, a non-profit organization that provides housing, education, support and guidance to underserved students so they can navigate their studies and launch successful careers
Ms. Vargas was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay and moved to Brazil in 2004 for her undergraduate studies. She graduated with a major in economics in 2008 and holds FINRA licenses for Investment Banking (Series 79) and Securities Supervisor (Series 24). She speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English.“
Words of Wisdom: Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” By John D. Rockefeller.