BBVA Timeline in the USA

The story of our growth

On March 2, 1964, we opened our first branch in Birmingham, Alabama as Central Bank & Trust Company. Customers soon discovered we were different, better. We were more innovative, more willing to serve people in ways that other banks wouldn’t.

From our founding, few could have predicted the path of our growth over the next 50 years. It’s been an exciting ride. Our challenges have been great; our achievements notable. And through it all, our willingness to serve customers in ways unfamiliar to traditional banks has fueled a remarkable trajectory of growth in assets and earnings. 



  • Central Bank opens its doors on March 2, 1964.
  • It is the first new bank to open in Birmingham in almost 20 years.


  • We shook up the banking establishment by introducing all-day banking and becoming the first bank to open on Saturdays


  • Central Bank acquires State National Bank to form what will later be named Central Bancshares of the South, Inc., the state’s second multibank holding company.


  • Central reaches an important milestone—surpassing $1 billion in total assets.


  • Central pioneers two new services—HandyBank and HandyCheck—the first ATM and debit card in Alabama. Central cleverly introduced HandyCheck first to ensure customers could use the new HandyBank ATMs immediately. Within three months, ATMs around Birmingham report transaction volume well above national average.


  • Central merges ten of its affiliate banks to form the first statewide bank and largest bank in Alabama.
  • Central’s expansion into high-growth markets begins when it becomes the first out-of-state bank holding company to enter Texas.
  • The first branch in New York is established.


  • Central’s expansion continues with its initial foray into the Florida market. Total assets in Texas exceed $1 billion.
  • Central changes its name to Compass to reflect the growing diversity of the franchise.


  • Total assets surpass $10 billion. In a more important measure of success, the company’s market capitalization exceeds $1 billion.
  • Compass expands customer service delivery channels through the addition of Online Banking and the opening of a telephone banking center.


  • Following the 10th consecutive year of record earnings, Compass is named to the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. “Honor Roll” as one of the best performing banks over the past 10 years. Compass would receive this honor in each of the years following including 2004.


  • Compass enters its fourth Sunbelt market—Arizona—with the acquisition of Tucson-based Arizona Bank, the largest independent bank in the state. Within six months, Compass acquires 15 banking centers—primarily in Phoenix—to form the state’s fourth largest bank.


  • Compass continues its high-growth expansion through the addition of two new Western markets—Colorado and New Mexico. The repositioning strategy that began in 1987 transforms an Alabama bank into a Southwestern franchise with more than two-thirds of its deposits and banking centers outside of its home state.


  • Focus on expansion and diversification of its fee-based businesses accelerates as Compass acquires three insurance agencies within its footprint—Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix—and a wealth management firm in Jacksonville.


  • Compass introduces “Just a little better,” a brand position that embodies the beliefs on which the company was founded.


  • Compass celebrates its 40th anniversary by being added to the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Select Dividend Index.
  • Forbes names Compass as one of the best-managed companies in America for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Assets as of 12/31/2004, $15.1 billion.


  • Compass Bancshares became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second largest bank in Spain. Following the acquisition, Compass Bank was renamed BBVA Compass.  


  • BBVA launches its first iPhone app.


  • Inauguration of BBVA Stadium.

2013 - 2014

  • The BBVA Mobile Banking app was also recognized by Javelin Strategy & Research in 2014 for leading the industry in innovative mobile technology and in 2013 for Best in Mobile Functionality Award.  


  • BBVA is recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranks 6th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2015.
  • In Money magazine’s “Best Banks in America 2015-16” list, BBVA was named the best regional bank in the South and West and also earned recognition for the best mobile banking app.


  • BBVA was named the Best Digital Bank in North America by global finance magazine Euromoney.


  • The BBVA Mobile Banking app earned the 2016 Javelin Mobile Banking Leader award for functionality for the third consecutive year in Javelin Strategy & Research's Mobile Banking Financial Institution Scorecard.
  • Manolo Sánchez retires as Non-Executive Chairman of BBVA Compass board of directors; longtime director Terry Strange steps into role.


  • Onur Genç succeeds Carlos Torres Vila as Group CEO.
  • BBVA names Javier Rodriguez Soler as Country Manager and CEO for BBVA in the USA.