BBVA Compass, which has branches in Decatur and Athens, will become part of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. when a sale announced Monday is completed next year.

PNC, which also has branches in Limestone and Morgan counties, is buying the U.S. subsidiary of Spain's BBVA bank for $11.6 billion in cash. BBVA Compass is part of the U.S. subsidiary, BBVA USA.

A statement from PNC says that upon closing, it intends to merge BBVA USA into PNC Bank and convert BBVA USA customers to the PNC platform with BBVA USA branches assuming the PNC Bank name. 

BBVA Compass has two branches in Athens and two in Decatur. PNC has two branches in Decatur, a branch in Hartselle and a branch in Athens.

Marcey Zwiebel, a spokeswoman for PNC, said it was "just too early for us to be able to comment on" plans for the local branches.

"We are still in the evaluation phase, and we will be making decisions based on those assessments," Zwiebel said in an email.

The deal was approved by both sides and will close by the middle of next year.

BBVA's U.S. operations, which are based in Houston, Texas, have $104 billion in assets and operate 637 branches in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Colorado and New Mexico. When the sale is completed, PNC will have a coast-to-coast franchise with a presence in 29 of the 30 largest markets in the U.S.

"Our acquisition of BBVA USA will accelerate our growth trajectory and drive long-term shareholder value," said William Demchak, PNC's president, chairman and CEO.

PNC, based in Pittsburgh, is largely a regional bank, and the deal would give it a presence across the U.S. Mergers and acquisitions of big banks have declined greatly since the financial crisis in 2008. Regional banks face stiffer competition now from big national banks and have been hurt more than larger banks by low interest rates.

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