Bank of the Philippine Islands

Bank of the Philippine Islands (Filipino: Bangko ng Kapuluang Pilipinas, Spanish: Banco de las Islas Filipinas, commonly known as BPI; PSEBPI) is a universal bank in the Philippines. It is the first bank in both the Philippines and Southeast Asia.[2][3][4][5] It is the fourth largest bank in terms of assets, the second largest bank in terms of market capitalization,[6][7][8][9] and one of the most profitable banks in the Philippines.[10][11][12]

Bank of the Philippine Islands
Traded asPSEBPI
ISINUS0644281059 Edit this on Wikidata
FoundedManila, Captaincy General of the Philippines
(August 1, 1851; 168 years ago (1851-08-01))
Key people
Jaime Augusto Zóbel de Ayala (Chairman)
Cezar P. Consing (President & CEO)
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
12,355 Edit this at Wikidata
BPI branch at Plaza Sta. Cruz, Carriedo, Manila which occupies the Don Roman Santos Building, former head office of Prudential Bank

The bank has a network of over 900 branches in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Europe, and more than 3,000 ATMs and CDMs (cash deposit machines).

BPI was founded during the Spanish colonial era of the Philippines as the El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II. It provided credit to the National Treasury and printed and issued the Philippine peso fuerte, a precursor to today's Philippine peso.[13][14]


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

Colonial periodEdit

BPI was established on August 1, 1851 as the "El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II" (lit. The Spanish-Filipino Bank of Isabel II), named after the queen of Spain, Isabella II, the daughter of King Ferdinand VII. It was the first government bank in the Philippines and the third Philippine bank during the Spanish era.

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 redeemable 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 corner Juan Luna Street 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 with 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.

Contemporary historyEdit

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.[15]

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.

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

In October 2015, BPI launched their "Make the Best Things Happen" campaign.[16]

In the second quarter of 2019, BPI will start constructing its new headquarters in Makati.[17][18] BPI has tapped Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for its design.[19] The old building will be demolished to make space for the new building.[20]

2017 system glitchEdit

On the morning of June 7, 2017, a data processing glitch affected BPI clients making their account balances incorrect.[21] Some clients had either a negative balance[22] or an increased amount of money in their account.[23] The error was fixed in the evening,[24] but the next day, June 8, BPI suspended electronic services because incorrect balances occurred again.[25] The services were restored once more on the evening of the same day upon fixing the defect.[26]

BPI Direct Savings BankEdit

BPI Direct Savings Bank
Subsidiary of Bank of the Philippine Islands
IndustryFinance and insurance
PredecessorBPI Direct
SuccessorBPI BanKo
FoundedManila, Philippines (1986)
HeadquartersMakati City, Philippines
Key people
Cezar P. Consing, Chairman
ProductsFinancial services, savings, checking, time deposits, auto loans, housing loans
P40.9 million PHP ( 19%) (2009) [27]  

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).

Subsidiaries and partnersEdit

BPI is divided into the following subsidiaries and affiliates:


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.


Over the years, BPI and its subsidiaries have received the following awards from financial magazines and award-giving bodies:

  • Best Bank in the Philippines by Corporate Treasurer (CT), four times
  • Best Investment Bank in the Philippines, FinanceAsia Country Awards 2018
  • Best ECM House in the Philippines, FinanceAsia Country Awards 2018
  • Asia Risk Awards - House of the Year (Philippines)
  • Best Corporate and Investment Bank of the Philippines, AsiaMoney
  • Best Bank for CSR, AsiaMoney
  • Best Service Provider for Trade Finance by Triple A Treasury, Trade, Supply Chain and Risk Management Awards, five years
  • Best Service Provider for Supply Chain Solutions, first bank in the Philippines to get such recognition
  • Rank #1 among Philippine brands in Campaign Asia’s ( list of 100 most recognizable brands in the Philippines with 1,000 most recognizable brands in Asia; Rank #17 in the Philippines, behind 16 foreign brands; Rank #1 in the Philippines among all financial services brands

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Financial Reports".
  2. ^ Colayco, Maria Teresa (August 31, 2011). Enlightened Stewardship. Bank of the Philippine Islands, Manila. ISBN 9789710579112. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Colayco, Maria Teresa (1984). A Tradition of Leadership: Bank of the Philippine Islands. Bank of the Philippine Islands, Manila. pp. 23, 184. ASIN B0006EJSEY. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  4. ^ Bank of the Philippine Islands (2011). "Special Feature: BPI 160 years and Beyond (2011 Annual Report)" (PDF). Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  5. ^ "About BPI". Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  6. ^ List of largest banks in Southeast Asia
  7. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (January 2, 2018). "BDO, Metrobank, BPI remain on top in 2017". The Philippine Star. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  8. ^ Robles, Elshamae (July 30, 2018). "Top banks in the Philippines". The Manila Times. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "BPI on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes Global 2000. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "Integrated Annual and Sustainability Report, AY 2016" (PDF). Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Torres, Ted P. (July 9, 2010). "BPI Family Bank upbeat on 2010 performance". The Philippine Star. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  12. ^ "BPI posts 14% increase in Q3 net income". November 8, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  13. ^ "Money Museum - Spanish Era (1521 -1897)". Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Esteria, Primo (November 11, 2011). "Philippine Banknotes - paper money, then and now". The Kamihyang Project. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  15. ^ "Ayala".
  16. ^ "Make the Best Happen with BPI".
  17. ^ "BPI starts construction of new HQ building". Manila Standard. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  18. ^ Paz, Chrisee Dela. "BPI to rebuild its headquarters in Makati". Rappler. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  19. ^ "BPI taps Illinois-based firm for new headquarters". Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  20. ^ "BPI bids adieu to Ayala Ave HQ". Bilyonaryo. 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  21. ^ Agcaoili, Lawrence (June 8, 2017). "Bank glitch causes chaos". The Philippine Star. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "Philippines bank BPI hit by glitch which debited accounts". BBC News. June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  23. ^ Dumlao-Abadilla, Doris (June 8, 2017). "Woman finds P12.4B in BPI check account". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "BPI says glitch fixed, access to ATMs restored". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  25. ^ Cabuenas, Jon Viktor (June 8, 2017). "BPI deactivates electronic services anew as accounts still reflect incorrect balances". GMA News Online. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  26. ^ Morales, Yvette (June 9, 2017). "BPI issues second advisory on error being fixed". CNN Philippines. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  27. ^ "BPI Direct Savings Bank - BPI".
  28. ^ "100 Top Stockholders as of September 30, 2013". PSE. Retrieved 2013-10-18.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bank of the Philippine Islands at Wikimedia Commons