Philippine banking has a long and colorful history. It began in 1828 when, as the Philippines reaped the benefits of increased trade, King Ferdinand VII of Spain issued a decree mandating the establishment of a public bank in the Philippines.

However, it took 23 years before that bank could become a reality. The man behind the actual organization of the bank was no less than the governor-general of the Philippines at that time, His Excellency Antonio de Urbiztondo y Eguia.

Gov. de Urbiztondo was a marquis of Solana in Spain who was named governor-general of the Philippines in 1850. His term of office was characterized by many administrative innovations, so it was not surprising that six years later, he would be called back to Madrid to take on a bigger role as Spain’s new minister of war.

As the highest-ranking government official in the Philippines, Gov. de Urbiztondo called for the support of the Junta de Autoridades (a committee comprising of civil and ecclesiastical officials) in approving the bank’s statutes and by-laws. The junta approved these statutes and by-laws on August 1, 1851, but it was understood that such approval had to be confirmed by the Spanish Crown.

The bank was called El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2, in honor of the reigning queen of Spain – Isabella II, daughter of King Ferdinand VII, who passed away in 1830. The bank’s office was located at the Royal Custom house (Aduana) in Intramuros. (Intramuros was the original Manila, a European-style city enclosed by formidable stone walls.)

Today, BPI has maintained a leadership position in consumer banking, trust banking and asset management, corporate banking/corporate finance and bancassurance. With over 700 branches and around 1,100 automated teller machines, BPI boasts of having the largest combined network of branches/kiosk units and ATMs, servicing some 3 million depositors.

For years, international publications and rating agencies have given annual awards to BPI as one of the best banks in the region. Among these are the Far Eastern Economic Review, The Banker, Euromoney, Asiamoney, BusinessWeek, The Asset, Global Finance, Finance Asia, and The Asian Banker.

BPI has been consistently cited for its above-average profitability, sufficient capital/assets, low-cost funding base and manageable non-performing loan levels. Fitch Ratings noted that BPI has a comprehensive risk management which is superior to that of its peer banks, and this serves as an important element in keeping BPI better positioned in Philippine banking in the years ahead.

Contact

5th floor BPI Bldg.
6768 Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas,
Makati City
Web: http://www.bpi.com.ph

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