PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Report: Spain’s BBVA Considering Opening Digital Consumer Bank in Germany

Spanish bank BBVA is reportedly considering opening a digital consumer bank in Germany.

In this effort, the bank will use existing technology to lower the cost of expansion, Bloomberg reported Monday (June 17), citing unnamed sources.

BBVA did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The project is led by the head of BBVA’s digital bank in Italy, Javier Lipuzcoa, and the bank is preparing a feasibility study and putting together a team that would lead the new unit, according to the report.

This effort follows a similar expansion by BBVA into Italy, a move that exceeded expectations and drew more than 420,000 sign-ups, the report said.

The move also comes at a time when JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other firms are also looking to offer digital banking services in Germany, per the report.

BBVA launched in Italy in October 2021, offering a fee-free account and card for customers’ everyday business and competitively priced financing and savings products, the bank said in a November 2023 press release.

“The products most in demand by Italian customers include the Stipendio in Anticipo, which lets you request a salary advance of up to €1,500 [about $1,610], and which is totally free if the customer advances the salary up to five days; the Prestito Immediato, a personal loan that can be taken out online in just a few clicks or the Pay&Plan, which makes it possible to split payments of up to €1,500,” the company said in the release. “Overall, nearly 9,000 customers have requested these services.”

In another recent move, BBVA launched a hostile takeover bid for domestic peer Sabadell days after Sabadell rejected an earlier merger proposal.

BBVA’s latest bid mirrors the terms of the previously rejected one, which Sabadell’s board of directors concluded did not align with the best interests of the bank and its shareholders. BBVA said the offer was generous.

The roots of that corporate saga trace back to November 2020, when both banks initially unveiled plans for a merger, citing the need to fortify themselves amid the economic uncertainties stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.