BBVA Compass in Birmingham, Ala., has taken the first step to becoming a registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BBVA Compass, a unit of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), said Friday that it had filed a registration statement on Form 10 with the SEC.

"Undergoing this process provides us with the potential for increased financial flexibility," BBVA Compass Chairman and Chief Executive Manolo Sanchez said in a press release.

"By gaining access to the capital markets, we augment the opportunities available to us to supplement our liquidity position and further enhance our ability to execute future strategies designed to expand our capabilities and serve our growing customer base," Sanchez said.

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