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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bank of the Philippine Islands

The Bank of the Philippine Islands or BPI (PSE: BPI) is the oldest bank in the Philippines still in operation and is the third largest bank in the country in terms of assets. BPI still holds the record as the largest bank in terms of market capitalization in the Philippines (P136 billion = US$3.24 billion as of March 2008), and has consistently been the most profitable bank in the Philippines. It is owned by the Ayala Corporation - the largest conglomerate in the Philippines, and is based in Makati City's Central Business District, on the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, across from the Philippine headquarters of HSBC.

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, with moderate success, 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 bank to the Spanish or American colonial periods. Its branch network of 830 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 and the Far Eastern Economic Review. Its most recent award was for the best retail bank in the Philippines in 2005.


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