The loan is designed to help small business owners with closing costs related to the purchase of commercial real estate, provided the property meets certain environmental sustainability standards. The loan is another step the bank is taking in support of the second pillar of its strategic plan - focusing on aligning business efforts with economic, social and environmental sustainability.
"This product underscores both the economic and environmental concepts of the bank's strategic plan," said BBVA USA Small- to Medium-Enterprises Network Executive Elizabeth Dobers. "It helps small business owners build their business portfolio with savings on closing costs as well as their green portfolio by acquiring energy-efficient property. We've long been champions of small businesses, the economic backbone of this country, and this is another way we're continuing that mentality, while encouraging sustainable behavior."
BBVA USA's new sustainability-focused loan allows small business owners to receive a discount of 1 percent, up to $10,000, of their loan amount toward closing costs if they buy or build an energy-efficient building, or renovate an existing building to improve its energy efficiency. To qualify for the loan to build or purchase an existing building, the property must obtain one of the following certifications: LEED® green building program, National Green Building Standard™, Green Globes®, Living Building Challenge™, or ENERGY STAR™. If the loan is for a building renovation, the building must secure one of the previous certifications or achieve a verifiable 20 percent increase in efficiency from measures not required by building code, or can include adding an on-site renewable power system that supports at least 20 percent of the renovated building's total electrical load.
"This product is a starting point in the larger sustainability picture that we're piecing together," said BBVA USA Client Solutions Director of Sustainability Evan Matzen. "This rollout is essentially a momentum-builder for BBVA. It signals a new way of doing business that not only provides solutions for our clients that will benefit them financially, but ones that will benefit their - and our - communities in the long run."
Environmental sustainability has consistently been one of the cornerstone priorities for BBVA in the U.S. and across its global footprint - a message that has continued throughout 2020 and amid the ongoing global pandemic. In February 2018, BBVA announced its global strategy around climate change and sustainable development, Pledge 2025, where the bank plans to mobilize €100 billion in green finance, sustainable infrastructures, social entrepreneurship and financial inclusion through 2025. In June, BBVA Group announced that it had secured €40 billion in sustainable finance, reaching 40 percent of its sustainable finance target for Pledge 2025 just two and a half years after its launch.
"Today, more than ever, banks play an important role in addressing the sustainability challenge," said BBVA Group CEO Onur Gençat a banking industry conference at the end of 2019. "Only banks can play a central role in distributing the resources, which is a key part of the climate change challenge."
BBVA Group BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a strong leadership position in the Spanish market, is the largest financial institution in Mexico, and has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. It is also the leading shareholder in Turkey's Garanti BBVA. BBVA's purpose is to bring the age of opportunities to customers by providing the best solutions and helping them make the best financial decisions through an easy and convenient experience. The institution's responsible banking model aspires to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable society. BBVA rests on three solid values: customer comes first, we think big and we are one team. Its responsible banking model aspires to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable society.
BBVA USA In the U.S., BBVA is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 641 branches, including 330 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 44 in Florida, 37 in Colorado and 17 in New Mexico. The bank 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 (6th). In the U.S., BBVA has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 14th nationally in terms of dollar volume of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2019.