Banking

BBVA Compass Takes $60M Charge On Simple

BBVA Compass, the bank and savings and loan holding company, reportedly has to take a writedown on Simple, its digital banking business.

According to a report, BBVA took a $60 million goodwill impairment charge during the fourth quarter, bringing the total writedown on Simple to $89.5 million. The report noted that, three years ago, when BBVA paid $117 million for Simple, some were concerned it was overpaying given the digital bank had only 100,000 customers at the time. BBVA Chief Executive Torres Vila is upbeat about the prospects for Simple, despite the charge, saying Simple is “growing very well” and has signed up greater than 30,000 customers a month, noted the report.

While BBVA Compass had to take a charge on its Simple acquisition, that hasn’t stopped the bank for making purchases. BBVA announced Tuesday (Jan. 3) it inked an agreement to buy Openpay, a startup in Mexico that offers online payments.

In a press release, BBVA said the move is part of its efforts to speed up transformation of the company by increasing its portfolio of digital businesses. Openpay is a payment service provider (PSP) that enables digital payments, including on mobile devices, for large businesses and SMEs. It combines a real-time platform that allows users to make card, cash and loyalty points payments and bank transfers in a single integration. BBVA said the Openpay platform also uses advanced tools to prevent fraud.

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