Sergio Fidalgo, chief information officer of BBVA Compass, is deploying a new core, real-time transactions across all channels and a new CRM system to support long-term customer relationships, instead of one-off product sales at the bank.

Although he's too polite to come out and say it directly, a theme that emerges when Fidalgo talks about the core banking overhaul he is overseeing is that European banks tend to take a more careful and customer-conscious approach to technology than those in the U.S. The point of this huge project, an upgrade of all foundational technology at the $62.7 billion-asset BBVA Compass, is to build long-standing customer relationships — the refined European way — rather than to innovate on and sell individual products, the American way.

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