Magazine article American Banker

BBVA 'Will Not Mess With' Simple, U.S. CEO Says

Magazine article American Banker

BBVA 'Will Not Mess With' Simple, U.S. CEO Says

Article excerpt

Byline: Penny Crosman

ORLANDO -- BBVA's purchase of upstart Simple gives the bank a digital banking platform it could not have built on its own while providing Simple with the resources to continue to innovate, BBVA Compass Chairman and Chief Executive Manolo Sanchez said Tuesday.

Speaking at a retail banking conference here hosted by American Banker and its affiliated publications, Sanchez also insisted that BBVA Compass would keep Simple independent. Simple, formerly known as BankSimple, has won over customers with an app that allows them to quickly and easily track their spending.

"We'll let them flourish and create and finalize what they've started to build, then we'll roll out new products and services on this platform," Sanchez said. "We will not mess with them. They'll be on their own."

Spanish banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria bought Portland, Ore.-based Simple last month for about $117 million. Simple will operate as a unit of BBVA Compass, its U.S. unit headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

The acquisition is part of the bank's efforts to stay ahead of the curve in the "digital revolution" taking place everywhere, including in financial services, Sanchez said. The bank has also implemented a real-time core banking system and adopted mobile check capture.

Staying ahead of the curve, he added, sometimes means seeking out nontraditional banking platforms.

"The way I see it, [Simple] has developed the first pillar of native Internet banking," Sanchez explained to attendees of Retail Banking 2014. …

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