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Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rates BBVA Compass “Outstanding” for CRA performance

BBVA Compass today announced that the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta rated it “Outstanding” for CRA performance for its most recent examination period encompassing 2015 to 2017. The bank achieved “excellent performance” for community development lending and investments, and “high satisfactory” for service, which would translate to an overall “Outstanding” rating.

  • Marked Improvement: The bank’s “Outstanding” rating marks its second improved rating since 2014.
  • Rating reflects strong commitment: BBVA Compass has executed a plan dedicated to responsible banking through lending, investments, social impact and philanthropy.
  • Four years into a five-year commitment:  The bank made an $11 billion, five-year commitment implemented in 2015 for lending, investment and services supporting the low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods it serves.

The evaluation cited several reasons for BBVA Compass’ overall ‘Outstanding’ rating, including the bank’s excellent responsiveness to credit needs and the distribution of loans among borrowers of different income levels and businesses of different revenue sizes. In addition, BBVA Compass demonstrated leadership in making community development loans and investments, as well as leadership in providing community development services.

Ocañas: Over the past three years, BBVA Compass has continued to demonstrate our strong commitment to responsible banking across our footprint…

“Over the past three years, BBVA Compass has continued to demonstrate our strong commitment to responsible banking across our footprint with renewed and improved programs, and I think that hard work is reflected in this outstanding rating,” said BBVA Compass Director of Communications and Responsible Banking Reymundo Ocañas. “We’ve really entrenched ourselves in the communities we serve, too, with the formation of our Community Advisory Board, which helps us to identify and address the greatest needs in each community.” Ocañas also serves as the bank’s Community Reinvestment Act Officer.

Taylor: BBVA Compass is the perfect example of a lender who takes responsibility in LMI neighborhoods and with people of color.

“BBVA Compass is the perfect example of a lender who takes responsibility in LMI neighborhoods and with people of color,” said John Taylor, president and founder of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and a member of the bank’s community advisory board. “Their commitment is clearly demonstrated by the outstanding rating, but more importantly, in the lending, services and investments they make throughout their footprint.”

During the exam period, BBVA Compass implemented programs and enhanced processes in a number of key areas, including:

Lending

  • In 2015, BBVA Compass formed its Community Advisory Board, made up of leaders tasked with giving BBVA Compass executives and board members guidance and feedback on the bank’s CRA program and providing referrals for business opportunities in mortgage, small business and commercial lending that will help the bank meet its CRA goals.
  • The bank has reached in excess $2 billion in community development lending, surpassing its 5-year commitment.
  • In Year Four of its small business commitment, BBVA Compass is already more than halfway to its $6.2 billion goal, with $5 billion in lending as of 2018.
  • BBVA Compass provided a $17.5 million construction loan for and a $12 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit investment in a 187-unit Supportive Housing Complex in Houston for low income families who have experienced chronic homelessness. This is the first project of its kind in Houston for low income families struggling with homelessness. Most other Permanent Supportive Housing projects operate Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Units focused on supporting single adults only. The project coordinates a variety of social services related to health, substance abuse, education and job training.
  • The bank also provided a $10 million construction loan for and an $11 million equity investment in a 60-unit Permanent Supportive Housing Apartment Complex in Lakewood, Colo. with units set aside for low income veterans who have experienced chronic bouts of homelessness.

Investments (totaling $900 million):

  • $492.2 million in low income housing tax credit investments that financed the development of more than 5,000 affordable housing units.
  • Partnered with 20 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) located across its footprint and provided 73 equity equivalent (EQ2) loans, equity and stock purchases totaling $54 million to help increase CDFI lending capacity.
  • BBVA Compass provided a $12 million construction loan for and an $18.9 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit investment in a 100-unit Affordable Housing Complex for families in Birmingham, Ala. making less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The project is the redevelopment of an existing 500-unit public housing site consisting of “barrack style” buildings from 1952. The redevelopment will reduce the unit density and provide a more aesthetically pleasing design and site plan more conducive to community building.
  • BBVA Compass closed a $5 million equity investment investment to Pathway Lending, becoming the largest investor in Alabama’s effort to build up small businesses in the state’s Appalachian region.  Pathway Lending, a Community Development Financial Institution certified by the U.S. Department of Treasurer, currently operates the state’s new loan fund established in 2017 for small businesses in the 37 counties of Appalachian Alabama.

Opportunity Fellows Program is a joint initiative of BBVA Compass and Opportunity Finance Network aimed at boosting the CDFI industry’s leadership ranks and spurring greater access to capital in under-resourced communities

Community Giving

  • Over the exam cycle the Community Giving Program invested $22.5 million in charitable sponsorships from the Bank and grants from the BBVA Compass Foundation for community-based programs and events.
  • In addition, The BBVA Compass Foundation introduced social impact initiatives in community development finance and entrepreneurship. The Opportunity Fellows Program, designed to address the human capital pipeline for leaders in the CDFI industry was activated over a two year term beginning in 2016. BBVA Momentum launched in the U.S. in 2017, which, to date, has delivered professional education and awarded a combined $205,000 to aspiring entrepreneurs. The program will continue in 2019.
  • The Foundation also continued to act as a responsive grantmaker investing $597,500 in immediate disaster relief. This included donations for severe flooding in Central and Southeast Texas and Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey and Irma.

Last year, BBVA Momentum – the bank's accelerator program for social entrepreneurs – wrapped up its second year in the U.S. with 3 of 16 participants receiving funding to maximize their social impact. Applications for 2019 participation open in spring.

Employee Involvement

  • The bank’s employee volunteer opportunities have deliberately shifted from an 80 percent concentration in financial education for children to less than a 65 percent concentration in general financial education opportunities and only a small percentage focused on children.
  • Employees engaged in 4,136 qualified community development service activities, totaling 43,820 hours.

As part of the bank's 2018 Global Week of Volunteering, BBVA Compass employees collaborated with the Rotary Club of Birmingham in the upkeep of Rotary Trail, an abandoned railway recently transformed into a downtown greenspace with respect to the city's past.

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