The evening sky was visible through the skylights in the multi-story lobby of the Weston Centre as the seventh largest bank in San Antonio welcomed guests to the official grand opening of its flagship branch Monday night.

BBVA Compass hosted a reception at the retail banking location in the same building where the bank recently moved its San Antonio corporate offices, setting up in the heart of the Tech District, just blocks from Frost Bank.

“This move is very strategic and speaks to our intent,” said Yoly Davila, community relations executive for BBVA Compass in Texas. “We expect to be here a long time and this move is significant in that we want to be part of a revitalization of an area where San Antonio is growing.”

The bank has operated in San Antonio for more than 30 years and entered the market as BBVA Compass after purchasing Laredo National Bank in 2008. There are now 25 BBVA Compass branches and 130 ATMs in the area. In March, the bank announced its headquarters’ move into downtown by lighting a bright blue BBVA Compass sign atop the 32-story Weston Centre.

But small business and the nonprofit community in San Antonio had already felt the impact of the bank’s presence. In 2015, BBVA Compass made a $1 million gift to LiftFund for a building on the microlender’s new Westside campus and provided a $4 million low-rate loan.

Last year, the BBVA Compass Foundation donated more than $450,000 to help fund 24 local nonprofits, and the bank’s San Antonio employees contributed 2,400 hours of community service.

Recently recognized by the San Antonio Small Business Administration district office as the 2016 Lender of the Year in the area, BBVA Compass completed 198 7(a) program loans in the San Antonio-Austin region amounting to more than $39 million, according to Davila.

BBVA Compass community relations executive Yoly Davila chats with fellow businessmen at the BBVA Compass grand opening at the Weston Centre.
BBVA Compass Community Relations Executive Yoly Davila chats with an attendee at the BBVA Compass grand opening at the Weston Centre. Credit: Hannah Whisenant / San Antonio Report

“We want to be not only a financial resource, but also a capital resource, lending our expertise, for example, to someone out there who wants to start his own business but has no idea how to do it,” Davila said. “We want to offer that service with no strings attached, ultimately allowing that to grow San Antonio.”

Also attending the grand opening reception was BBVA Compass CEO Onur Genç, Texas Regional Executive Jeff Dudderar, and San Antonio Commercial Banking Manager Ryan Parker.

The location has been to key to increased business acquisitions, Parker said, especially among the law firms and other businesses housed in the Weston Centre. BBVA Compass occupies the main level and second story.

Located in the heart of the Tech District at East Pecan Street, the Weston Centre is San Antonio’s tallest office building.

“It made sense for us to pair up with a flagship building like the Weston Centre because this is our flagship branch,” Davila said. “And in Texas, if you’re going to go in, you better go in big.”

Shari Biediger

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.