BBVA Acquires Simple

  • JJ Hornblass
  • February 20, 2014
  • 2

simple_logoSimple, the alternative banking company, has been acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA.)

Online reports put the price at $117 million in cash. Investors put $18.1 million into Simple, officially the Simple Finance Technology Corp., based in Portland, Ore.

Simple had reportedly been on the block for some time.

Simple says it will remain an independent brand within and “operate in parallel” to BBVA Compass Bancshares Inc., the US unit of BBVA, which is based in Spain. Josh Reich, Simple’s CEO, will retain his position. “As part of today’s news, customers’ Simple account information, banking services, and credentials – everything – will remain the same,” according to the company.

Simple claims it has more than 100,000 customers, a 330% year-over-year growth rate, and processed $1.7 billion in transactions last year. Just last week, Simple hinted that it might introduce new lending products.

Founded in 2009 by Josh Reich and CFO Shamir Karkal, Simple has long carried the banner for innovative, low-fee banking services. Here’s the email that got the company started in 2009. (PDF)

BBVA has $820 billion of assets.

Learn more about what’s next in banking at Bank Innovation 2014 on March 3-4 in Seattle. Request an invitation here.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at or 212-564-8972.

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2 thoughts on “BBVA Acquires Simple

  1. So… will the name be changed back to “Bank Simple” again? 🙂

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