BBVA USA is a bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. It has been a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria since 2007 and operates chiefly in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.
The company is the 30th largest bank in the United States.
BBVA USA holds naming rights to BBVA Stadium, a soccer venue in Houston, Texas. From 2011 to 2014, BBVA USA was the title sponsor of the Birmingham Bowl, a college football bowl game played annually in Birmingham.
HistoryThe company was founded on March 2, 1964 as the Central Bank and Trust Company by Harry B. Brock Jr., Schuyler Baker and Hugh Daniel with $1 million of capital. Other founding directors included Frank L. Hardy, John R. Israel, Wendell H. Taylor and Stewart Welch.
Soon thereafter, Wally Nall, John Evins, Inos Heard, and Tom Jernigan joined the board.
In 1967, the company moved into a new 15-story new headquarters building on 20th Street South.
In 1969, Central made a hostile takeover bid for Decatur's State National Bank, the only bank that could open branches across county lines. The bid was supported by Hugh Agricola and other shareholders of the First National Bank of Gadsden, which had been bought by State National. It was financed by a $10 million line of credit from the Bank of Virginia, which was pioneering its own statewide banking company. By July, Central was able to assemble a voting trust representing about a third of State National's shares in advance of a public offering of $70 per share. The City National Bank of Birmingham, which had also been planning a merger, countered with $80 per share. Central instructed their brokers to buy as many shares as they could up to $85 and ended with enough shares to control State National's board.
In response, Alabama's other major banks filed several court actions in an attempt to block the merger. One action, brought in Federal Court, did succeed with blocking it, on the technicality that Alabama's banking laws, under which the state-chartered bank operated, were incompatible on a few points with Federal banking laws that governed the national banks in the area of mergers. While this finding was being appealed, banking lobbyists were pushing for new legislation that would prevent the merged company from being able to operate in more than one county. Brock and Central Bank's other officers personally lobbied against the bill, and though it would have passed easily, died in committee without reaching the floor for a vote.
The result of the failed bill was that statewide bank holding companies were recognized as a legal possibility for the first time, and the other major banks moved quickly to organize while Central was waiting for a decision on their appeal. Another group, led by Frank Plummer, Norman Pless, and Bob Lowery, was able to form Alabama's first statewide holding company while Central's appeal was pending. This group even stole Brock's intended name for Central's proposed holding company, First Alabama Bancshares–forerunner of Regions Financial Corporation. Central did win their appeal and reorganized as the Central and State National Corporation, which was soon renamed Central Bancshares of the South. In 1973 this new company issued a new stock offering to fuel the growth of the statewide network. In 1979, the bank opened a large branch office at 1560 Montgomery Highway in Hoover.
In 1981, Central and a coalition of other bank holding companies successfully lobbied for the Bank Merger Act, allowing statewide bank branching under a single banking company. For the next two years, Central Bancshares of the South was the largest bank holding company in Alabama.
The bank began pursuing interstate banking in the legislature, and was successful, again with the help of other big banks, in passing enabling legislation that took effect in 1986. The bank's first acquisition out of state was the failing First National Bank of Crosby, Texas in February 1987. Central Bancshares became the first bank in Alabama to own a bank in another state and the first out-of-state bank to own a bank in Texas.
D. Paul Jones took over the CEO position from Brock in 1991. Jones blocked a sale of the bank to First Union that was favored by Brock. Soon afterward, the bank changed its name to Compass Bancshares to reflect its expansion outside the South.
In 1995 Harry Brock tried, unsuccessfully, to sell Compass Bancshares to First Union Corp. for $ 1 billion.
During Jone's tenure, Compass Bancshares expanded into Florida and the west with the acquisitions of banks in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
On September 7, 2007, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, then second largest bank in Spain, acquired the company. In late 2008, Compass modified its name to BBVA Compass.
In January 2008, Gary Hegel became CEO of the company.
In March 2008, BBVA announced that it received Federal approval to integrate its four subsidiary banks—State National, Texas State Bank, Laredo National Bank and Compass Bank—into a single organization, which would become known as BBVA Compass.
In December 2008, Manolo Sanchez became CEO of the company.
On August 21, 2009, in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-supervised transaction, BBVA Compass acquired the deposits and other core assets of Guaranty Bank of Austin, Texas, which suffered from bank failure. The deal gave BBVA Compass a presence in California and expanded an existing presence in Texas.
In 2013, BBVA further expanded its regional presence with the opening of BBVA Compass Plaza, a 312,000 square foot office building in Houston.
In 2009, the bank launched the BBVA Compass ClearPoints Card, a rewards card with an associated mobile app that notably allows for real-time, in-person redemption of rewards points.
In 2010, Garcia Meyer-Dohner stepped down as the bank's chairman and U.S. country manager for BBVA. BBVA Compass president and CEO Manolo Sánchez was appointed to also assume Garcia Meyer-Dohner's role as the U.S. country manager for BBVA. Board member Lawrence R. Uhlick was chosen to serve as BBVA Compass chairman.
In April 2011, BBVA Compass announced the construction of a new-eco-efficient corporate office building in Houston's Galleria area, which would serve as BBVA Compass Bancshares, Inc. headquarters.
BBVA Compass was one of over 30 banks accused of improperly manipulating customers’ checking account transactions to generate excess overdraft fees by posting them in highest-to-lowest dollar amount instead of in chronological order. In July 2012, the bank agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle the lawsuit.
In April 2014, BBVA USA opened its renovated Development Center.
In 2014, BBVA Compass disclosed that the results of its periodic examination for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act would probably restrict its ability to engage in additional mergers and acquisitions until after its next scheduled examination. Since that disclosure, BBVA Compass has announced several actions to address the issues of community reinvestment, including committing $11 billion to community development lending, and retaining additional staff at the regional and national level to manage community development investment.
In 2015, Money Magazine recognized BBVA USA for the best mobile banking app of the year.
In December 2016, Onur Genç became CEO of the company. Manolo Sánchez became non-executive chairman. In 2017, Sánchez retired.
In December 2018, Javier Rodríguez Soler became CEO of BBVA Compass.
In June 2019, BBVA unified its brand worldwide and BBVA Compass is renamed BBVA USA.
Corporate ResponsibilityIn October 2016, BBVA USA announced its Opportunity Fellows Program, an initiative to train leaders of Community Development Financial Institutions, organizations focused on helping in low-income communities. In March 2017, the program welcomed its inaugural class.
In 2017, BBVA Momentum, BBVA's global accelerator program for social entrepreneurs landed in the U.S., first in Texas. The program then expanded across BBVA USA's seven-state footprint in 2018. For the first two installments of the program in the U.S., a total of $205,000 in seed money was awarded and divided among the six winning pitches. In 2019, the program was supported with $175,000 in seed funding divided among the top three final pitches.
In 2018, BBVA USA launched a four-month pilot of its financial education program. The effort involved teaming with 28 nonprofits in 19 markets from across the bank's footprint to build a comprehensive network of financial education offerings for low- to moderate-income individuals. In 2019, the bank fully launched, expanding to 12 additional markets with a goal of educating 10,000 low- to moderate-income adults.
In May 2018, the Museum of Fine Arts - Houston revealed the Glassell School of Art at its new Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus. As the leading corporate donor, BBVA USA contributed $8 million to the visual arts school, representing the bank's largest donation ever to any single organization. The BBVA Roof Garden, positioned on the top of the building, is named in honor of the bank's donation.
In September 2019, BBVA USA became a founding signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, joining 130 banks worldwide committed to aligning their business with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Awards and RecognitionsIn 2018, for the second consecutive year, BBVA USA received “Gold level recognition” from the American Heart Association, earning a spot on its annual Workplace Achievement Index.
In 2019, BBVA USA earned a perfect score on Diversity Inc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity 2019 list, the bank's second recognition since 2017.
In 2019, for the second consecutive year, BBVA USA also earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index, an annual LGBTQ workplace equality scorecard.