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Responsible banking 31 Oct 2019

BBVA USA recommits: Bank pledges more than $15 billion to community development program

BBVA USA pledged today to put nearly $15.5 billion in lending, investments and services toward supporting low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods in the U.S. over the next six years, renewing its 2014 5-year $11 billion commitment to boost economic development across all the communities in its footprint.

Over the next six years, the bank plans to originate $3 billion in mortgage loans to low- and moderate-income (LMI) homebuyers and in LMI neighborhoods, nearly $7.3 billion in small business lending, $4 billion in community development lending, and to make more than $1.1 billion in community development investments. The plan was developed with input from stakeholders on the bank’s 20-member advisory board, established in 2014 to provide input, guidance and feedback on its community giving initiatives.

Rodríguez Soler: BBVA has demonstrated its commitment to creating opportunities for everyone…

“BBVA has demonstrated its commitment to creating opportunities for everyone through its previous $11 billion community development program,” said BBVA USA President and CEO Javier Rodríguez Soler. “The results we see from this commitment are both good business and responsible banking. Through a combination of community investment, financial education and small business support, we are able to deliver on the bank’s mission to bring the age of opportunity to everyone.”

BBVA announced its first 5-year commitment in 2014, pledging $11 billion to boost economic development in its communities through lending, investments and services. The bank achieved that original financial commitment goal nine months early and has surpassed the goal, reaching over $12 Billion in lending and investments through October 2019.

On average, 4,000 BBVA USA employees volunteer time each year, significantly influencing the bank’s social impact focus. “Employees receive 16 hours of time off each year to participate in activities that promote or facilitate affordable housing, community services targeted to low- and moderate-income individuals, and economic development by educating or financing small businesses,” said BBVA USA Director of Communications and Responsible Business Reymundo Ocañas.

During the time period, BBVA created The Center for Financial Education and BBVA Momentum, which are BBVA’s signature community development service programs designed to improve opportunities and financial outcomes for individuals and small businesses.

As part of it's Center for Financial Education initiative, in March 2019, the bank fully launched its Center for Financial Education Community Workshops program, teaming with 50 nonprofits in 29 markets from its footprint to build a comprehensive network of financial education offerings for low- to moderate-income individuals.

Ocañas: BBVA has made more than $1 billion in LMI mortgages through its Home Ownership Made Easier (HOME) program over the past five years.

“BBVA has made more than $1 billion in LMI mortgages through its Home Ownership Made Easier (HOME) program over the past five years,” said Ocañas. “Those 7,000 loans, combined with more than $22 million in bank assistance, have helped us made progress toward one of our key sustainability goals: establishing sustainable communities.”

The bank provided additional community and small business support through its $100 million investment in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). That partnership will continue as part of the new commitment, which includes another $100 million to support CDFIs across the bank’s footprint.

CDFIs are critical engines of opportunity in low-income communities, providing capital and technical assistance to those who don’t have access to traditional bank financing. In October 2019, BBVA USA completed its 49th investment in CDFIs, reaching its $100M CDFI investment commitment three months ahead of its five-year target established from 2014.

The bank announced its renewed commitment at its Texas Regional Partner Summit, a biannual meeting of community development stakeholders from across Texas working in affordable housing, small business development and economic inclusion.  The meeting is intended to share relevant research and data from trusted experts, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Urban Institute, and to gather stakeholder input on regional needs for community development. Similar summits will be held in Birmingham and Phoenix next year to gather stakeholders in the bank’s West and East regions.

At BBVA USA's 2019 Texas Regional Partner Summit, community development stakeholders participated in an open forum and roundtable discussions and shared their insights on affordable housing, small business development and economic inclusion for low- to moderate-income individuals.

“Our biannual partner summits, which grew out of our initial Community Advisory Board, keep us connected to the communities we serve,” said Ocañas. “By maintaining that connection, we can ensure that our efforts are always focused on the initiatives that will impact the communities most significantly.”

 Rodríguez Soler: The programs we have supported over the past five years have helped us to establish meaningful connections with the people we serve.

“The programs we have supported over the past five years have helped us to establish meaningful connections with the people we serve,” said Rodríguez Soler. “The programs have also helped fulfill the bank’s mission to bring the age of opportunity to everyone, and we expect to deepen them over the next six years.”

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