Although BBVA opened its first U.S. branch in New York City in 1988, it wasn’t until 2004, with the acquisition of a small Southern California bank, Valley Bank, that it rolled out its first retail banking operations in the U.S. Over the next two years, the acquisition of three more banks – Laredo National Bank, Texas State Bank and State National Bank – allowed BBVA to become a leading bank in Texas. By then, it was clear that BBVA was targeting the U.S. market as a pivotal element in its strategy to become a relevant global player. A reality that crystalized 10 years ago, with BBVA’s acquisition of Compass Bank in 2007.
Since then, the Group has continued to build its presence in the U.S. The company now has a 657-branch network spanning the seven Sunbelt states of Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico, and it maintains the New York office; it has opened new offices in San Francisco, the world’s tech innovation capital, and the BBVA Creation Center in Dallas, which specializes in software engineering, UX and design.
BBVA’s activity in the United States has become increasingly diversified as it continued to grow. Recently, important deals have been closed aimed at underpinning the Group’s digital strategy. Deals include acquiring Spring Studio, a company specializing in user experience, and Simple, which has revolutionized digital banking. Last year, BBVA increased its investment in its San Francisco-based venture capital fund Propel Venture Partners to $250 million with the purpose of investing in new fintech startups.
Although the economic situation has been challenging with the financial crisis, significant regulatory changes, and a slump in commodity prices (especially oil), BBVA Compass has continued to build its future. Today -- after posting a remarkable Q1 net attributable profit of €134 million, up 163 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016 -- BBVA in the U.S. celebrates the tenth anniversary of Compass Bank’s acquisition.
The recent appointment of U.S. Country Manager Onur Genç, who’s taking on the challenge of leading the transformation and digitization process, marks the beginning of a new stage for BBVA Compass. BBVA Compass has outlined an ambitious roadmap for the coming years, with the ultimate purpose of boosting growth across business and corporate banking areas; capitalizing on the digital world to drive sales and strengthening and growing the bank’s retail customer base.
All this with help from our employee workforce of more than 10,000. A team of professionals that has worked hard to position BBVA Compass among the leading banking franchises in the world’s largest economy. The path ahead and the ongoing transformation process will make the coming years even more exciting. Welcome to the U.S. Welcome to BBVA Compass!