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Making success happen

Stable, secure, strong, successful are the qualities that define a vibrant enterprise

What are the qualities that people look for in a bank? There are several, but most want a bank that can take good care of their hard-earned money and make them grow. For over 167 years, this is what the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) has done for its clients. BPI has carefully nurtured qualities that clients want in someone who will look after their financial needs, someone they can trust to make things happen despite economic or financial challenges.

Nurturing these qualities is part of a continuing journey that BPI, amidst new challenges in the banking and finance industry, hopes will help the institution in the next decades and perhaps even centuries.

Stable

Stability is the top quality customers look for in a bank they can trust. And what best defines stability for BPI is over a century and a half of existence as a financial institution. As the first bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, BPI has, over the years, contributed much to nation-building through financing of various infrastructure projects as well as its products and services for clients.

When BPI was established on Aug. 1, 1851, the Philippines was still a Spanish colony. Thus, the bank was, at that time, called El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel II, after Queen Isabel II of Spain, the daughter of King Ferdinand VII. Its dominant shareholder since 1851 has been Ayala Corp., which made BPI its flagship financial company on Dec. 31, 1969. Various mergers and acquisitions followed in the 1970s leading to the establishment of BPI as a universal bank in 1982.

Secure

Having established itself as a stable and secure bank, BPI has been known as a leader in the country’s financial industry. Toward this end, BPI has manifested its leadership competence through various innovations in the banking sector.

In 1986, BPI was already paving the way towards electronic banking by establishing Expressnet, its own interbank network. With the motto “The Powerful Connection,” Expressnet connected Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) of seven major banks in the Philippines, serving close to 4 million customers 24 hours a day.

When the 21st century rolled in, BPI established its online facility and mobile app, further enhancing customer experience with the unmatched convenience and security provided for by the latest technologies.

BPI also acquired Ayala ’s insurance companies, thus becoming the first Philippine bank to offer insurance services. Aside from pioneering services, BPI is among the best when it comes to managing various risks that banks have to manage such as credit risk, market risk, operational risk, reputational risk, etc.

Strong

Everybody wants a clear vision of the future, and so BPI, being stable and secure, also presents strategies that ensure a strong bank for its customers for a brighter tomorrow.

BPI sees rapid economic growth in the country and outlines how it is making the most of emerging opportunities. Early this year, it outlined four strategic priorities that will set the tone for its growth in the next few years:

1. Digitalization

BPI is building strong capabilities by rapidly increasing client access points in both digital distribution platforms, as well as improving productivity, automation, and cost-efficiency in its back office.

2. Enhancement of deposit franchise, delivery infrastructure

An extensive branch network is a key driver of new account openings and cross-selling efforts of the bank. As such, BPI continues to expand its branch network, not only in Metro Manila but also to key provincial cities that show potential for consumer spending and infrastructure investments.

3. Acceleration of the growth of the SME and retail loans business

Recognizing the importance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as the country’s growth engines, BPI has laid down the building blocks for its business banking group, which will sharpen its focus on the unique financial needs of SME clients. The bank also hopes to uncover more of the potential of the retail loans business through improved turnaround times for auto and housing loans and other initiatives to enhance origination, credit scoring, and fraud detection.

4. Financial inclusion

BPI also aims to make financial services more accessible to more Filipinos. It has therefore repositioned its microfinancing business through BPI Direct BanKo, from a mobile-based business model to a more traditional in-person business approach that focuses on the self-employed microentrepreneurs (SEMEs).

Successful

Aside from the stability, security, and strength of BPI, the bank has demonstrated success, being one of the biggest banks in the country in terms of assets, and the most profitable in terms of profitability ratios.

Here are some of BPI’s most recent awards:

Institutional:

• Best Bank in the Philippines 2016, Corporate Treasurer (CT)

• 17th place, 100 Most Recognizable Brand Survey of Campaign Asia (highest ranking financial services company)

Private Banking:

Best Private Bank with Commercial Banking Capabilities, Euromoney

BanKo:

• Microfinance Initiative of the Year, The Asian Banker Country Awards 2017

Trade and Finance:

• Best Service Provider for Trade Finance, The Asset

• Best Service Provider for Supply Chain Solutions, The Asset

Global Markets Group:

• Best FX Bank in the Philippines, The Asian Banker

• Best Domestic Provider for Foreign Exchange (FX) Products and Services, Asiamoney FX Poll

BPI Capital:

• Best Debt Capital Markets House in the Philippines, Finance Asia Country Awards 2017

• Renewable Energy Deal of the Year (Asia), Asset Triple A 2017 Asia Infrastructure Awards

• Most Innovative Deal (Asia), Asset Triple A 2017

• 2017 Asia Infrastructure Awards

• Best Corporate Bond, Philippines, The Asset

• Best M&A/Best Acquisition Financing, Indonesia, The Asset

• Best LCY Microfinance Bond, Philippines, The Asset

• Best Deal in Southeast Asia 2017, Alpha Southeast Asia

• Best Leveraged Finance Backed M&A Deal in Southeast Asia 2017, Alpha Southeast Asia

• Best Bond Deal for Retail Investors in Southeast Asia 2017, Alpha Southeast Asia

• Philippines Capital Markets Deal, IFR Asia Awards

• Indonesia Capital Markets Deal, IFR Asia Awards

BPI Investment Management, Inc.:

• Top three performers in the Money Market, Peso and Foreign-currency Bond, Peso, Balanced and Peso Equity Fund categories, 11th PIFA Annual Awards Night

BPI Asset Management and Trust Corporation:

• Asset Management Company of the Year, The Asset Triple A Asset Servicing, Fund Management, and Investor Awards

• Best Financial Inclusion Program Award (Investment Roadmap and ROI: Race on Investments), 2nd Bank Marketing Awards

• Best Managed Fund for the Dollar Equity Fund category, CFA Society Philippines’ 2017 (BPI Global Equity Fund-of- Funds)

• Best Asset Manager in the Philippines, International Finance Magazine Awards

• Best Asset and Fund Manager in the Philippines, Alpha Southeast Asia

Celebration

As BPI celebrates its 167th anniversary this year, it has not forgotten to give back to the society that it serves. Recently, it held a Nationwide Volunteer Day in Gawad Kalinga Villages in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, where more than 1,000 employees helped to build and paint houses for the poor.

“This is our way of galvanizing the institution. We want to pick one day of the year when we could get everybody and say, ‘Look, let’s do this, all of us, together.’ I think it’s very energizing,” said BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing.

“BPI is striving to be one of the most inclusive banks in the country, if not the most inclusive. We have BanKo which focuses on providing microfinance. We’re building a Business Bank which will provide financing to SMEs. We have BPI Foundation, which is probably one of the most active foundations in the country today. Hopefully, between our business and activities like this, we will gradually become more and more inclusive,” he said.

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