One of Spain’s largest banks plans to reenter South Florida through a subsidiary that will open an office in the heart of Miami’s financial
BBVA Compass, a subsidiary of Spain-based Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, or BBVA, will open a commercial banking office at 1450 Brickell Ave. in spring, the company announced this week.
The Brickell office will focus on commercial banking with health care companies, government agencies and schools, as well as those in the real estate, trade and finance industries, said Robert F. Muñoz, the bank’s South Florida regional executive and Miami-Dade County president. “We’ll primarily be providing business loans for small to relatively mid-sized companies,” Mr. Muñoz said.
BBVA Compass is an Alabama state-chartered bank. Its parent bank is the latest of several of Spain’s major banks to establish a presence in Miami either directly or through subsidiaries, including Banco Santander, Banco Popular and Banco Sabadell.
“The question always was “When are they coming to South Florida?'” said Ken Thomas, a Miami-based independent banking consultant and economist. “The Spanish banks that have come here have come in a very committed way. They’re here for the long haul. The Spanish banks are good operations — they’re patient capital.”
Mr. Thomas said he wouldn’t be surprised if BBVA eventually expands its South Florida footprint. With its strong ties to Latin America, South Florida is “a natural place” for Spanish banks such as BBVA, and it’s a positive note for the economy, said Florida Bankers Association President Alex Sanchez. “It says a lot about Florida and Miami that banks want to come to our state that are not here now.”
Source: Miami Today
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