BBVA Compass announced today it will eliminate 35 positions in Decatur and 200 in Birmingham. The call-canter positions are being outsourced to Spain-based Atento, a part of Telefonico. See article here.
BBVA, also based in Spain, bought Compass in 2007.
Like Royal Bank of Canada-owned RBC Bank when it bought out Alabama National BanCorporation (First American Bank), BBVA reassured the community it would not be making cuts. RBC laid off two top executives from Decatur, both active in the community.
The main disaster may end up being in Birmingham, headquarters for BBVA Compass. Despite protests to the contrary, BBVA is shifting more and more of its operations to Texas. The call center will at least start in Texas — who knows what overseas home Atento will find tempting. With considerable FDIC assistance, BBVA Compass last month took over Texas-based Guaranty Bank.
Banks operate to make a profit, not to preserve employees. Nonetheless, it is increasingly clear that Decatur residents should not rejoice when foreign money rolls into town.