PNC-BBVA Bank Merger: What You Need to Know | Banking Advice

PNC Bank, a Pittsburgh-based bank, expanded its footprint when it said it would acquire BBVA, the Houston-based U.S. subsidiary of the Spanish bank. The $11.6 billion all-cash deal, announced in November, would move PNC up the ranks to become the fifth-largest bank in the U.S. based on assets.


BBVA is mostly located in Texas, Alabama and Arizona and has 637 branches. PNC has more than 2,000 branches across 19 states in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. PNC’s acquisition of BBVA increases its reach across the South and Southwest, and Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S.

The deal is expected to close during the summer of 2021, pending regulatory approvals, says Christina Anderson, senior vice president and director of external communication for BBVA.

PNC will have offices and branches in 29 of the 30 largest U.S. markets after the deal closes.

The deal is “very much in line” with PNC’s strategy to expand its footprint since the bank’s presence is predominantly in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, says Bain K. Rumohr, senior director at Fitch Ratings, a New York-based ratings and analytical company.

What Does the PNC-BBVA Deal Mean for Customers?

While customers should expect some fees, interest rates and other benefits to change after federal regulators approve the acquisition and the deal closes, the banks will operate independently for an extended period. Customers can continue to use their debit cards for purchases, and automatic withdrawals for paying bills, online banking and paper checks can also still be used. Current account numbers are expected to remain the same.

PNC and BBVA will operate independently until the acquisition closes, says Marcey Zwiebel, senior vice president and director of corporate public relations for PNC Bank.

BBVA’s U.S. customers will not experience any changes during this time, and “no action is required from them,” Anderson says. After the deal closes, BBVA accounts and branches will become PNC ones.

“After the close of the acquisition, the two banks will continue to operate independently for some period of time,” she says. “Customers should expect to receive additional communication on what to anticipate as the two banks integrate as PNC.”

How Do PNC and BBVA Accounts Differ?

PNC Bank and BBVA offer different fees and benefits to their customers. Here is a look at how they are different.

BBVA offers the following features and fees:

  • Depending on the checking account, wide access to fee-free ATMs via the Allpoint network with no-fee transactions for $5 per month.
  • Highly rated mobile app.
  • Low minimums to open checking and savings accounts.

BBVA’s overdraft fee of $38 is higher than many other banks’ and can be charged up to six times per day.

PNC Bank provides these options and fees:

  • Competitive interest rates on savings in some areas.
  • Variety of CD types.

But PNC only offers low interest rates on savings accounts, unless you live in areas eligible for high-yield savings, and its overdraft fee is $36, charged up to four times per day.

Is This the Time to Consider Changing Banks?

The number of brick-and-mortar branches will expand for customers of PNC and BBVA, giving them more access to ATMs and in-person banking for loans and other products. While it is unknown what will happen to fees for checking accounts and the interest rates offered for savings accounts, high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit, consumers who do not care about having access to a physical branch could consider opening an account at an online-only bank.

Online banks charge lower fees since their overhead is substantially lower, and they typically provide higher interest rates.

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