Bank of the Philippine Islands

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Bank of the Philippine Islands
Traded as PSEBPI
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded Manila, Philippines (1851)
Headquarters Makati, Philippines
Key people
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II (Chairman)
Cezar P. Consing (President)
Products Financial Services
Revenue PHP 52,498 million (Increase10.8%) (2013) [1]
PHP 18,994 million (Increase15.1%) (2013) [2]
Total assets PHP 1,195,364 million (Increase21.3%) (2013) [3]
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 and is the country's second largest bank in terms of assets, the country's largest bank in terms of market capitalization, 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 is currently listed in Forbes as the Philippines' largest bank in terms of market value and overall ranking.[1]

BPI is also the oldest bank in Southeast Asia and has a long and distinguished history that spans over a century. It has either influenced or has been influenced by many nations, including parts of the former Spanish Empire, especially Mexico, and the United States. While it is considered by many as an old institution, BPI is trying to promote itself as a dynamic institution that caters to its various clients, which hail from various sectors of Philippine society.

BPI also 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 branch 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, Euromoney, Finance Asia, and Global Finance . Its most recent award was from Asiamoney. In April 2010, which the bank was awarded as the Philippines' Strongest Bank. In 2009, the bank bags 10 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; Best Domestic FX Provider of Single-Bank Electronic Trading Platform.


El Banco Español-Filipino, 10 pesos (1896)

BPI was established on August 1, 1851 as the El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II (Spanish-Filipino Bank of Isabel II), named after the queen of Spain, Isabella II, the daughter of King Ferdinand VII. The bank 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. But by then, Iloilo and other provinces in Panay became more productive than Pampanga in the sugar industry, hence the move to open the first branch in Iloilo, which was then the Queen City of the South.

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 1969, 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.[clarification needed]

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 CityTrust Banking Corp in 1996 and Far East Bank and Trust Company on April 7, 2000. The merger with Far East Bank is arguably one of the largest in the Philippine banking history.

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 is the first Expressnet member, an interbank network, but currently a member of BancNet.

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. [2]

Subsidiaries and Partners[edit]

BPI branch at Escolta, Manila. Originally known as Roman Santos Building, former head office of Prudential Bank.
BPI Family Savings Bank branch at 31st Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

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)


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. However, other competitors include Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, RCBC, DBP, 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 the potential BPI client(s).


BPI is highly regarded as one of the best Philippine banks. It has received a multitude of awards which are listed below:

  • The Banker: The Best Bank in the Philippines, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009
  • Asiamoney: Best Domestic Commercial Bank, 2004, 2005, 2006 Best Cash Management Bank in the Philippines
  • Asiamoney: The Country's Strongest Bank 2010
  • Asiamoney: The Best Domestic Bank for 2009; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Small-Sized Corporations 2009; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Medium-Sized Corporations 2009; Best Local Cash Management Bank in the Philippines as voted by Large-Sized Corporations 2009; Best Domestic Provider of FX Services in the Philippines as voted by Corporates 2009; Best Domestic FX Provider of FX Prime Broking Services in the Philippines as voted by Corporates 2009; Best Domestic FX Provider of Single-Bank Electronic Trading Platform 2009.
  • Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP): Most Outstanding Participating Financial Institution
  • Euromoney: Best Bank in the Philippines for the 7th year
  • Far Eastern Economic Review: Most Admired Company in Asia
  • FinanceAsia: Best Local Bank (2003), Best-Managed Company (2003), Best in Investor Relations (2003), Best in Financial Management (2003), Company Most Committed to Corporate Governance (2003), Strongest Commitment to Enhancing Shareholder Value (2003),
  • Global Finance: Best Internet Bank (2003, 2006), Best Emerging Markets Bank in the Philippines (2003)
  • Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank): Most Outstanding Countryside Partner
  • Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA): Gold Award for credit card madness campaign
  • The Asset: Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines 2005, 2006 Best Cash Management Bank in the Philippines
  • Philippine Marketing Excellence Awards: Most Outstanding Bank (National Awards)
  • Wall Street Journal Asia: Ranked 6th as most admired company in the Philippines 2006, 2007, 2008 (Highest rank in terms of banking industry in the country)
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP): Top Commercial Bank on OFW Remittances for three consecutive years by BSP Stakeholder's awards, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Global Finance: Country Winner for 2007 World's Best Consumer Internet Bank in Asia
  • Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD): The only bank included in the top 20 listed companies with best governance practices in the country, 2007
  • New Economy Sustainability Banking Awards: Most Sustainable Bank in The Philippines, 2009.


BPI is also known for its firsts which are listed below:

  • BPI is the first bank in the Philippines, and in Southeast Asia.
  • BPI is the first bank to issue the Philippine peso
  • Introduced branch banking by opening its first branch outside Manila in Iloilo on March 15, 1897.
  • BPI financed the first rail system, telephone system, electric power utility, and steamship service in the Philippines
  • BPI established the Philippines' first ATM system, with its ATMs being called Express Tellers. The system eventually evolved into the Expressnet ATM consortium, which has seven members
  • Expressnet is also known for its Express Payment System (EPS), which was at first the debit card system of the BPI Express Teller ATM card.
  • BPI pioneered the concept of the banking kiosk in the Philippines, with its kiosks being called Express Banking Centers or EBCs or by its older name, the Convenience Banking Center. EBCs can be found in malls, supermarkets, plazas and other locations and operate beyond normal Philippine banking hours, which are from 9.00 to 15.00 on weekdays.
  • The first local bank in the Philippines to introduce 24 hour branch banking called BPI Express.
  • BPI is the first bank in the Philippines to make use of a call center and telephone banking, known as BPI Express Phone
  • Launched BPI Express Mobile - Mobile Banking facility which enables accountholders to inquire about their deposit, credit card, auto and housing loan and BPI Prepaid Card balances, transfer funds between enrolled deposit accounts, pay bills to over 200 merchants, reload Globe Telecom and Touch Mobile prepaid mobile phones and BPI Express Cash MasterCard Electronic, and transfer money to and from Globe GCash wallet.
  • Launched BPI Express Credit Gold MasterCard with Paysafe System, the country's first EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) compliant chip card.
  • The first airline co-brand chip credit card issued in the Philippines - BPI SkyMiles MasterCard and BPI SkyMiles Platinum MasterCard with its partner Delta Air Lines.
  • The first local bank in the country to offer most number of third currencies in its products and services - Savings Accounts and Time Deposit Accounts (As of January 2010) (Australian Dollars, Canadian dollars, Swiss Francs, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan).
  • BPI issued its first Sustainability Report for 2008 along the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the first in the banking industry.
  • The first bank to introduced "Bank Anywhere" capability by allowing clients of the bank to transact at any of its more than 800 BPI branches 'free of charge'
  • Introduced the country's first branchless bank - BPI Globe Savings Bank (BanKo) using Mobile Money Technology (MMT) (December 2009).
  • Introduced the country's first Mobile Mall - BPI Express Mobile - Mobile Mall (2009).
  • Introduced the country's first envelope-less deposit machine - Express Deposit (2012).
  • Transfer to Anyone feature using BPI Mobile App for iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile phone users.
  • Launched their first commercial on Philippine Television - 2014

See also[edit]


External links[edit]