BBVA Compass, City of Birmingham form working group to push forward city's renaissance

- Mayor William Bell announces news at mayors' annual gathering in Washington, D.C.

- Working group will explore ways to best strengthen city's 99 neighborhoods

May 29, 2015, 15:20 ET from BBVA Compass

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass and the City of Birmingham are teaming up to push forward the city's renaissance, Mayor William Bell announced at the 2015 African American Mayors Association conference.

The two have formed a working group to explore ways the bank can support the city's economic and community development programs and strengthen its 23 communities and 99 neighborhoods. The news, which puts one of Birmingham's major employers and most vocal boosters behind the city's revitalization efforts, is part of the bank's recent pledge to put $11 billion in lending, investments and services toward supporting low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods across its footprint. It comes on the heels of several moves BBVA Compass has made to build up its headquarters city.

"Birmingham is tremendously important to BBVA Compass — to its past, to its present and to its future," said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sanchez. "It's where we are literally building a new foundation for 21st century banking, so we have a big stake in seeing Birmingham reach its full and considerable potential."

Mayor Bell has spearheaded various projects during his two terms that have raised Birmingham's profile and earned praise, including the building of Regions Field, Railroad Park, the Birmingham Crossplex and the Uptown entertainment district. The mayor has made working with legislators and the business community a hallmark of his tenure.

During Mayor Bell's speech, he shared his vision for R.I.S.E., a comprehensive economic and community development program that he says could serve as a blueprint for other cities' revitalization efforts. R.I.S.E. is an acronym for Remove Blight; Increase Values; Strengthen Neighborhoods; and Empower Citizens.

"As mayor of the City of Birmingham, we see this partnership as a huge push for our local economy and another strong example of a public-private partnership," Mayor Bell said. "Our goal is helping our communities be the best they can be. We look forward to sharing this initiative around the nation as an example of a corporate leader stepping up to invest in a city."

As part of deepening a commitment to Birmingham, its technology hub, BBVA Compass recently opened its $13 million technology development center downtown and is reaching out to Birmingham's tech vanguard in its new space at Innovation Depot, the city's business incubator. More of the bank's employees work in Birmingham than in any other city in the BBVA Compass footprint.

The bank has also made a mark on Birmingham outside business. It gave $1.5 million to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in November 2014 for BBVA Compass Field, a soccer venue in the heart of downtown. And it played a critical role in 50 Years Forward, helping Birmingham commemorate its five decades of progress since the turning point of the civil rights era by sponsoring the BBVA Compass Concert for Human Rights in 2013.

In the coming weeks, the new working group will evaluate the city's priorities for revitalization and determine which projects would have the most meaningful impact on the city. 

For more information on BBVA Compass, click here.

About BBVA Group
BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) (MAD: BBVA). BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, is the largest financial institution in Mexico and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt region of the United States. Its diversified business is geared toward high-growth markets and relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes. More information about the BBVA Group can be found at

About BBVA Compass BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 672 branches, including 341 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 77 in Arizona, 62 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 20 in New Mexico, and commercial and private client offices throughout the U.S. BBVA Compass ranks among the top 25 largest U.S. commercial banks based on deposit market share and ranks among the largest banks in Alabama (2nd), Texas (4th) and Arizona (5th). BBVA Compass earned the top ranking with customers in American Banker's 2014 annual reputation survey of the top 25 largest U.S. retail banks. It also has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration, and its mobile app recently earned the Mobile Banking Leader in Functionality Award for the second consecutive year from Javelin Strategy & Research. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at, by following @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visiting

Editor's Note: BBVA Compass is a trade name of Compass Bank.

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