BBVA Compass named inaugural Rural Matters award-winner during Texas Rural Challenge

- The event: The Texas Rural Challenge is the largest state event of its kind, focusing on business and economic development in the state's rural communities

- $79 million: BBVA Compass has channeled $79 million in community development loans and investments in rural Texas communities since 2015

- Strong commitment: BBVA Compass has supported plan to bring free broadband access to border community, more affordable housing to rural poor, among other efforts

July 13, 2017

HOUSTON, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- BBVA Compass, which has channeled $79 million in community development loans and investments in rural Texas communities since 2015, was honored with a Rural Matters award last month at the Texas Rural Challenge.

BBVA Compass corporate logo (PRNewsFoto/BBVA Compass)

The Texas Rural Challenge is the largest state event of its kind, focusing on business and economic development, community development and statewide issues including energy and health care access in the state's rural communities. The conference, which had more than 300 attendees from over 90 cities across the state, is hosted annually by the University of Texas at San Antonio's Small Business Development Center Rural Business Program and the Office of the Governor. The conference's steering committee selected BBVA Compass and four other organizations as recipients of the inaugural Rural Matters awards on the strength of their efforts to serve rural Texas.

"This award is particularly meaningful to BBVA Compass because our purpose is to create opportunities for brighter futures for all people," said BBVA Compass Waco City President J.D. King, who accepted the award on behalf of the bank at an evening reception during the conference at the Waco suspension bridge. "Let me underscore that last part: all people. It's not just those in big cities or their suburbs, but everyone. It's why we actively look for ways to support our rural communities."

One of those initiatives is BBVA Compass' sponsorship of the strategic plan and feasibility study that ultimately led to the Pharr Life Net pilot program in Pharr, Texas. The program is giving 50 families in the border community broadband access and bilingual training and technical support, with an additional 250 homes to receive broadband internet in the coming months. The bank's investment — it is the largest corporate sponsor of the strategic plan and feasibility study — was spurred by research by BBVA Compass economists that found internet access to be the dominant factor in financial inclusion, and that the McAllen area, of which Pharr is part, was ranked last among 250 cities for financial inclusion levels.

The BBVA Compass Foundation also awarded a $50,000 grant in 2016 to the Housing Assistance Council, whose mission is to improve housing conditions for the rural poor. 

"BBVA Compass' interest and investment is making rural Texas more competitive and sustainable," said Gil Gonzalez, director of the SBDC Rural Business Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "But, more importantly, it's restoring hope and opportunity for rural Texans." 

UTSA's SBDC Rural Business Program is a specialty center affiliated with the university's South-West Texas Border Small Business Development Center Network, a 79-county service area that covers the Gulf Coast of Texas as well as South and West Texas. Rural communities in the network area have been principally agricultural based. The program's focus is to provide rural communities and small to medium-sized businesses with technical assistance to help them grow, develop and create new jobs across the state's rural areas.

About BBVA Group
BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group is the largest financial institution in Spain and Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States; and it is also the leading shareholder in Garanti, Turkey's biggest bank for market capitalization. Its diversified business is focused on high-growth markets and it 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. More information about BBVA Group can be found at

About BBVA Compass
BBVA Compass is a Sunbelt-based financial institution that operates 657 branches, including 342 in Texas, 89 in Alabama, 63 in Arizona, 61 in California, 45 in Florida, 38 in Colorado and 19 in New Mexico. 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 has been recognized as one of the leading small business lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and ranked 5th nationally in the total number of SBA loans originated in fiscal year 2016. Additional information about BBVA Compass can be found at For more BBVA Compass news, follow @BBVACompassNews on Twitter or visit



For further information: Kimberly Tabor, External Communications, Tel. 713 831 5511,, To learn more about BBVA Compass, visit:, For more news visit: and

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