Customers of online banks Azlo and Simple received notices today that parent company BBVA USA has decided to shut down the two banks, providing few details.
The two online banks served different target groups, with Azlo offering free business checking and banking service and Simple offering free checking and other banking services to consumers.
“It is with regret that I share this news today: Our parent bank, BBVA USA, has made the strategic decision to close Azlo. Transparency is incredibly important to me and the Azlo team, which is why we are sharing the news early. There will be no immediate changes to your account or to your service.
As founders and entrepreneurs ourselves, we know that there can be unexpected bumps on the entrepreneurial journey. We’re sorry that we won’t be alongside you—our inspiring community of entrepreneurs—as you grow and flourish.
We want to reiterate that Azlo’s service, and your account, is not going away today, and we will continue to support you during this period of transition. We understand that you will have questions for us. Please stay tuned for updates and news.”Email to customers by Cameron Peake, Founder and CEO of Azlo
Banking customers of Simple received a similar email, signed by “The Team at Simple”:
“We have an update for you about your banking relationship with Simple, a subsidiary of BBVA USA. BBVA USA has made the strategic decision to close Simple. There is no immediate impact to your accounts at Simple and nothing you need to do at this time.
Since your deposits are already housed at BBVA USA, they will remain in FDIC insured accounts there, up to the applicable limits. In the future, your Simple account will become exclusively serviced by BBVA USA, but until then you can continue to access your account and your money through the Simple app or online at simple.com. You will receive additional information in the near future about the transition of your account servicing to BBVA USA.
We want to assure you that we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for you, and that we will provide ongoing transparent and open communication, so you know what to expect each step of the way.
Our customer services agents will not be able to address questions about this announcement at this time. We will contact you proactively as we have more details. Please only contact customer support for your regular banking needs.”
No Reason Given
Neither email to customers provided any details on why BBVA USA was shutting down the two banks. Josh Reich, who co-founded Simple but stepped down as its CEO in 2018, speculated on Twitter that BBVA USA’s soon to be new owner PNC may be prioritizing their existing online banking tech.
Last year, Pennsylvania-based PNC announced it was acquiring BBVA USA from Spanish financial group, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), S.A. for $11.6 billion.
While both emails indicate there will be little changes in the short term, there are vague about how the future will look like for customers of each online bank. Simple users appear to be transitioning to BBVA USA, but it unclear what that means in terms of services and costs.
Azlo’s email also indicated business customers would be serviced by BBVA USA and the bank offers free banking services for businesses, but there are differences between its offering to Azlo’s.
BBVA USA is a typical branch-based bank, which operates 649 branches in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico.