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BBVA-backed U.S. digital banking startup Azlo readies for launch

From Reuters - February 15, 2018

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Azlo, a U.S. digital banking startup that is majority-owned by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., will open for business this week, marking the latest effort by the Spanish lender to attract a new generation of digital-savvy customers.

The startup, which will offer online banking services to small businesses and freelancers, was built within a BBVA division that funds stand-alone fintech startups, the companies said on Tuesday.

Azlo will rely on BBVAs banking license and payment infrastructure to operate across the United States, but will be run as an independent company, its founder and CEO Brian Hamilton said in an interview.

Founded in early 2017, Azlo has been in testing mode with a small group of clients over the past few months, Hamilton said.

Big banks across the world are seeking to court millennials as their next generation of customers, with products such as app-based accounts.

BBVA has already acquired or invested in several young online-only banks.

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