Bank of the Philippine Islands

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Bank of the Philippine Islands
Traded as PSEBPI
Industry Finance
Founded Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines
(August 1, 1851; 166 years ago (1851-08-01))
Headquarters Makati, Philippines
Key people
Services Banking
Revenue ₱52,498 million[1] (Increase10.8%) (2013)
₱18,017 million[1] (Increase25.5%) (2014)
Total assets ₱1,450,197 million[1] (Increase21.3%) (2014)
Number of employees

Bank of the Philippine Islands (Filipino: Bangko ng Kapuluang Pilipinas, Spanish: Banco de las Islas Filipinas, commonly known as BPI; PSEBPI) is the oldest bank in the Philippines still in operation. It is the country's third largest bank in terms of assets, the country's second largest bank in terms of market capitalization,[2][better source needed][3] and the country's most profitable bank. It is owned by the Ayala Corporation, the largest conglomerate in the Philippines, and is based in Makati's Central Business District, on the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. As of 2014, it was listed by Forbes as the Philippines' largest bank in terms of market value and overall ranking.[4]

BPI pioneered rural banking in the Philippines, as its countryside banking operations preceded that of many other banks' rural banking operations by many years. Today, it maintains a large rural branch network, with some branches dating back to the Spanish or American colonial periods. Its network of 831 branches is by far the largest branch network of any bank in the Philippines.

The bank has received several awards from various financial magazines, such as Euromoney, the Far Eastern Economic Review, The Banker, Finance Asia, and Global Finance. Its most recent award was from Asiamoney. In April 2010, it was named the Philippines' Strongest Bank. In 2009, the bank won ten awards as the Best Domestic Bank; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Small-Sized Corporations; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Medium-Sized Corporations; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Large-Sized Corporations; Best Domestic Provider of FX Services in the Philippines as voted by Corporates; Best Domestic FX Provider of FX Prime Broking Services in the Philippines as voted by Corporates; and Best Domestic FX Provider of Single-Bank Electronic Trading Platform.


El Banco Español-Filipino, 10 pesos bank note (1896)

BPI was established on August 1, 1851 as the "El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II" (lit. Spanish-Filipino Bank of Isabel II), named after the queen of Spain, Isabella II, the daughter of King Ferdinand VII. It was the second Philippine bank during the Spanish era after a bank was founded by Francisco Rodriguez, a Filipino Quaker based in London, in 1830.

The royal decree establishing the Banco Español-Filipino also gave it the power to print Philippine currency, the first time the Philippine peso was printed in the country; before 1851, a multitude of currencies were used, most notably the Mexican peso. They were originally called Philippine peso fuerte (PF), or "strong pesos". First printed on May 1, 1852, they were reedemable at face value for gold or silver Mexican coins. The first deposit with the bank was also done on that day by a man named Fulgencio Barrera. Three days later, a Chinese man named Tadian became the first borrowing client of the bank after the bank discounted to him a promissory note amounting to ten thousand pesos fuertes.

On September 3, 1869, following a revolution which overthrew Isabella II, the name was changed to Banco Español-Filipino. In January 1892, the bank moved from the Royal Custom House in Intramuros to the new business district of Binondo after it found out that Intramuros was becoming "economically inactive". It moved to 4 Plaza Cervantes, which was at that time a prime property owned by the Dominican friars.

The first branch of Banco Español-Filipino outside Manila was opened in Iloilo City on March 15, 1897. However, the idea to set up branches outside Manila was formulated as far back as the 1850s, with the first branch planned to be opened in Bacolor, the capital of Pampanga at the time. However, by then, Iloilo and other provinces in Panay had become more productive than Pampanga in the sugar industry, hence the move to open the first branch in Iloilo.

Following the cession of the Philippines to the United States following the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the bank changed from a Spanish institution to a Philippine one. On January 1, 1912, a decision by the shareholders of Banco Español-Filipino changed the name to the present Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) or Banco de las Islas Filipinas in Spanish. The basis for the name change was Republic Act No. 1790, passed on October 12, 1907, which permitted the bank to change its name. The bank was also privatized during the American colonial period.

Following World War II, BPI was actively involved in the post-war reconstruction of the Philippines. In 1949, with the establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines (now the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), BPI lost the right to issue Philippine pesos, a right it had since the Spanish colonial era and during the American colonial period.

In December 31, 1969, Ayala Corporation, which had been affiliated with BPI since its establishment in 1851, became the dominant shareholder of BPI, and eventually made BPI into the flagship of Ayala's financial entities.[5]

Starting in the 1970s, BPI has been involved with many mergers and acquisitions. The first merger occurred in 1974 with BPI's acquisition of the People's Bank and Trust Company. Major notable acquisitions include Commercial Bank and Trust Company in 1981, CityTrust Banking Corporation in 1996 and Far East Bank and Trust Company in 2000.

In 1982, BPI became a universal bank, and in 2000, became the Philippines' first bank assurance firm, being the first Philippine bank to offer insurance services after acquiring the insurance companies of the Ayala Corporation, the parent company of the Ayala Corporation. Within that year, BPI also founded the BPI Direct Savings Bank, an Internet bank, which launched BPI into 21st century banking.

On February 14, 1986, BPI established its own interbank network, Expressnet.

In October 2015, BPI launched the "Make the Best Things Happen" campaign, which empowers Filipinos to make the best of their life happen by providing innovative and accessible financial solutions.[6]

On the morning of June 7, 2017, a data processing glitch affected BPI clients making their account balances incorrect.[7] Some clients had either a negative balance[8] or an increased amount of money in their account.[9] The error was fixed in the evening,[10] but the next day, June 8, BPI suspended electronic services because incorrect balances occurred again.[11] The services were restored once more on the evening of the same day upon fixing the defect.[12]

Subsidiaries and partners[edit]

BPI branch at Escolta, Manila which occupies the Don Roman Santos Building, former head office of Prudential Bank

BPI is divided into the following subsidiaries and affiliates:

  • BPI Capital Corp.
  • BPI Computer Systems Corp.
  • BPI Family Savings Bank
  • BPI Direct Savings Bank
  • BPI Globe BanKO Savings Bank
  • BPI Forex Corp.
  • BPI Foundation, Inc.
  • BPI International Finance Ltd.
  • BPI Investment Management. Inc.
  • BPI Leasing Corp.
  • BPI Operations Mgt. Corp.
  • BPI Rental Corp.
  • BPI Securities Corp.
  • BPI/MS Insurance Corp.
  • CityTrust Realty Corp. (inactive)
  • CityTrust Securities Corp.(inactive)
  • FEB SPEED Remittance (inactive)
  • FEB Insurance Brokers, Inc. (inactive)
  • FEB Management, Inc. (inactive)
  • FEB Stock Brokers Inc. (inactive)

BPI Direct Savings Bank[edit]

BPI Direct Savings Bank
Subsidiary of Bank of the Philippine Islands
Industry Finance and insurance
Predecessor BPI Direct
Successor BPI BanKo
Founded Manila, Philippines (1986)
Headquarters Makati City, Philippines
Key people
Cezar P. Consing, Chairman
Products Financial services, savings, checking, time deposits, auto loans, housing loans
P40.9 million PHP (Increase19%) (2009) [13]
Number of employees

BPI Direct Savings Bank was a wholly owned subsidiary of BPI and was the first internet-based bank in the country, allowing expatriate Filipinos and overseas workers in countries like Bahrain or Hong Kong to access and manage their bank accounts at any time.

BPI Direct Savings Bank was incorporated and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 26, 1986, primarily as a subsidiary meant to engage in the general business of savings and mortgage banking.

In 2000, BPI Direct underwent a major image change as it became the first Philippine bank designed around the telephone and online banking channels. It wanted to provide its clients with a way to have access to their accounts 24/7, as well as to provide the convenience of traditional banking services, such as opening a savings account. Two years later, BPI Direct realigned its business strategy towards the Overseas Filipino community, but without alienating its existing clientele.

BPI Direct merged with BPI Globe BanKo, another thrift bank unit of BPI on December 2016 to form BPI Direct BanKO Inc. with a mission to promote financial inclusion by providing access to easy, convenient and affordable loan products to fund the operations or grow the businesses of self-employed microentrepreneurs (SEMEs).


While Philippine Central Depository is listed a major shareholder, it is more of a trustee-nominee for all shares lodged in the PCD system rather than a single owner/shareholder.

¹ Includes DBS Bank
² Voting powers are under the authority of the Archbishop of Manila.


BPI's main competitors are BDO and Metrobank. Other competitors include Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, RCBC, DBP, East West Unibank, and Citibank Philippines.

BPI does not compete with its two banking partners: BPI Family Savings Bank and BPI Direct Savings Bank. Instead, they offer different levels of services based on the needs of potential BPI clients.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Financial Reports". 
  2. ^ List of largest banks in Southeast Asia
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The World's Biggest Public Companies". 
  5. ^ "Ayala". 
  6. ^ "Make the Best Happen with BPI". 
  7. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (June 8, 2017). "Bank glitch causes chaos". The Philippine Star. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Philippines bank BPI hit by glitch which debited accounts". BBC News. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  9. ^ Dumlao-Abadilla, Doris (June 8, 2017). "Woman finds P12.4B in BPI check account". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  10. ^ "BPI says glitch fixed, access to ATMs restored". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  11. ^ Cabuenas, Jon Viktor (June 8, 2017). "BPI deactivates electronic services anew as accounts still reflect incorrect balances". GMA News Online. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ Morales, Yvette (June 9, 2017). "BPI issues second advisory on error being fixed". CNN Philippines. Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "100 Top Stockholders as of September 30, 2013". PSE. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 

External links[edit]