Bank of Commerce

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For a public sector bank in India, see Oriental Bank of Commerce.
Bank of Commerce
Industry Banking
Financial Services
Founded Makati, Philippines (1991)
Headquarters Mandaluyong, Philippines
Key people
Jose T. Pardo

Roberto C. Benares
(President & CEO)
IncreasePHP1.77 billion (2009)[1]
Total assets IncreasePHP104.7 billion (2009)[2]

Bank of Commerce, also known as BankCom, Bancommerce and BoC, is a commercial bank and the 15th largest lender by asset in the Philippines. Its headquarters is at the San Miguel Properties Center, No. 7 Saint Francis Avenue, Mandaluyong. It is affiliated with the San Miguel Corporation group.


Early Years[edit]

Historically, the bank traces its origins to the Overseas Bank of Manila, which was incorporated in December 1963.[1]

Evolving from history of mergers and acquisitions in 1981, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) acquired the Commercial Bank of Manila from the Herdis group and used "ComBank" as the bank's acronym. In 1987, the First National Bank of Boston (one of the oldest and leading banks in the United States[2]) joined a group of Filipino entrepreneurs to acquire ComBank in response to the privatization thrust of the Philippine government and renamed the bank as the Boston Bank of the Philippines.[3][4]

A group of Filipino investors – leaders in fields of communications, stock market and brokerage, pre-need services and banking and finance–reinforced the ownership base of the Bank, which led to the establishment of the modern-day Bank of Commerce on November 28, 1991.[5] Initially the bank focused on trade finance transactions and strengthening other fee based income capabilities such as trust operations. In 1993, the buyout of the majority interest of the First National Bank of Boston was completed, placing BoC fully in Filipino hands.

By year 2000, as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas encouraged fewer but bigger players in the banking industry, the bank initiated its first step towards a three-way merger. By September, the bank acquired Pan Asia Bank.[6] A year after, Bank of Commerce purchased selected assets and liabilities of Trader's Royal Bank paving the way for the takeover of all the branches thereby expanding the branch network to 112. The Monetary Board also approved in principle the bank's acquisition of Urban Bank,[7] although Urban Bank would later be acquired by Export and Industry Bank.

In 2005, the bank embarked in Tier 2 capital raising efforts and asset quality enhancements.[8] The same year the bank formed ties with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, providing the technical support needed in organizing the country's first National Bank.[9]

Lehman Brothers' exposure[edit]

On September 17, 2008, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced that 7 Philippine banks have $386M in exposure to Lehman Brothers. Bank of Commerce was one of those affected having $15 million in exposure to the bankrupt US investment banking giant but the bank’s exposure was fully provided for as with the other affected banks.[10]

San Miguel Corporation funding[edit]

On October 2007, San Miguel Corporation, through San Miguel Properties, Inc. and the San Miguel Corporation Retirement Fund, signed a 34.3% subscription agreement with Bank of Commerce which was approved by the Monetary Board in May 2008.[11][12][13] On April 2008, San Miguel Corporation via its property arm San Miguel Properties Inc., and San Miguel Retirement fund signed another subscription agreement with Bank of Commerce giving the combined stake in the bank to 51.1% and was secured last May 2009.[14]

Around April 2010, San Miguel Corporation planned on divesting its San Miguel Properties Inc's 31% stake in the bank and was eventually sold to the San Miguel Corporation Retirement Fund, making the latter the controlling shareholder with 51.1% stake on the bank. The proposal was done to counter the regulatory limits imposed on shareholders of the bank[15] .[16]

During the early part of 2011, San Miguel Properties, Inc. (the real estate arm of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation) acquired 7.16% interest in the bank thereby increasing the San Miguel Group's stake to 58.2%.[17]

Strategic Priorities[edit]

To reflect new commercial strategy, the bank has set up three strategic priorities:[18]

  • align operations in the servicing of San Miguel Corporation clients and business partners;
  • grow current base of customers, and
  • strengthen capital position.


External links[edit]