Posts Tagged ‘Oldest bank in the Philippines’

I suddenly miss Bank of PI. It’s where I used to work for almost twenty-two years.

This morning, Nissa and I met up in front of the building then we went to Ayala Triangle to have lunch at Banapple. 

A few days ago, Nissa posted a solo photo of hers with Bank of PI as the background. Their office has now transferred to another BPI Bldg. in Buendia Avenue. The facade has been there for almost forty years. We transferred to that site back in the early eighties. Pretty soon, it would be demolished to give way to a new and better  Bank  of  the  Philippine  Islands. She told me to pose with BPI in the background 🙂

Suddenly I am reminded of those days when I used to walk the  streets of Ayala Avenue.  BPI  lies at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas so it was always the venue for rallies back when we were trying to oust Marcos from the presidency.  That monument  at the corner across the street is of my hero Ninoy Aquino and soldiers who accompanied him when he was assassinated at the tarmac of NAIA.

Ayala Avenue has changed a lot, more high-rise buildings, more restaurants and eateries. Back in my time,  Ayala Triangle was a vacant lot intersecting Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. Now it is an oasis for tired eyes. I love the garden.

Looking at the denizens of Ayala Avenue each with  lanyards on their necks and cellphones in their hands, I suddenly miss the corporate world.  It’s now a far cry from those days. I don’t miss the traffic though. It has become a gridlock even at noon. It’s a good thing it was easier to take a UV Express going back home.


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Happy 163rd Anniversary BPI

photo courtesy of kmcmaggroup.com

photo courtesy of kmcmaggroup.com

I miss this place, it has been my home for  almost  twenty-one years.  Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is the oldest bank in the Philippines and the oldest bank in Southeast Asia. It was founded on August 01, 1851.  It is located at the heart of Makati Central Business District along Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas.


The bank was  previously named El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2 (The Spanish Filipino Bank of Isabel II), in honor of Isabella II, the reigning queen of Spain. Isabella II was the daughter of King Ferdinand VII, who passed away in 1833. I remember the time when all employees of the bank were given a copy of the book Legacy where it detailed the history of the Bank, the awards it garnered through the years. BPI is also known for its firsts as 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 introduce “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).

Bank with Bank of the Philippine Islands, “Make The Best Happen”.

(credits go  to BPI Mag and Wikipedia for these  wonderful write-ups).

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