Overview of Banks in the Philippines
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas acts as the central monetary authority of the Philippines. The country’s central bank was created in July 1993 in accordance with the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the New Central Bank Act of 1993. It supervises the operations of banks in the Philippines and provides policy directions in banking, credit, and money matters.
The Philippine banking system consists of different types of banks in the Philippines:
- Universal and commercial banks – Provide the widest range of banking services
- Thrift banks – Accumulate savings from depositors and invests them
- Rural and cooperative banks – Banks in communities that are engaged in promoting and developing the rural economy
- Non-banks with quasi-banking functions – Financial institutions that do not own a full banking license but provide bank-related financial services
As of October 2017, the country’s central bank oversees 36 universal and commercial banks in the Philippines, 57 thrift banks, 492 rural banks, 40 credit unions as well as over 6,000 non-banks with quasi-banking functions.
Moody’s Investor Services gives the Philippine banking system a stable outlook, citing the good asset performance of banks in the Philippines, adequate liquidity capacity and strong buffers against losses, amid the continued strength in the local economy.
For anyone considering a banking career in the Philippines, this list of top banks in the Philippines is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see all our lists of financial institutions.
The top 10 banks in the Philippines are:
BDO Unibank Inc. is the largest of the banks in the Philippines in terms of assets. The full-service universal bank also takes the lead in consolidated resources, deposits, customer loans, and branch and ATM network all over the country.
BDO offers a wide range of products and services, such as deposits, lending, foreign exchange, trusts and investments, brokering, credit cards, remittances, and corporate cash management. Founded in 1968 as a thrift bank called Acme Savings Bank, it was renamed Banco de Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank when it was acquired by the Sy Group in 1976.
As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$48.98 billion and net profit was US$94.67 million.
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company
Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, or Metrobank, is one of the premier financial institutions in the country. It currently offers a wide range of banking products and services all over the world, with its network of more than 2,300 ATMs, 950 local branches, 32 foreign branches, and representative offices.
Metrobank was founded in 1962 and opened its first branch a year later. In 1970, it opened its first international branch in Taipei. Three years later, it established a representative office in Hong Kong. Metrobank was also the first of the private banks in the Philippines to open in the US with its office in Guam in 1975.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$102.56 billion and net profit reached US$1.02 billion.
Bank of the Philippine Islands
Originally known as El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II, the Bank of the Philippine Islands was founded in 1851, making it the oldest of the banks in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. It marked the start of the banking and finance industry in the Philippines.
With its network of more than 800 branches (local and in Hong Kong and Europe) and 3,000 ATMs and cash deposit machines, BPI offers a comprehensive range of banking products and services such as consumer banking and lending, insurance, foreign exchange, leasing, and corporate and investment banking.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$32.91 billion and a net profit of US$425.23 million.
Land Bank of the Philippines
The government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines is considered the largest formal credit institution in the rural areas. It is also one of the top commercial banks in the Philippines in terms of assets, loans, and deposits.
Landbank was established in 1963 to help farmers and fishermen through revenues from its commercial banking operations. It enables the universal bank to strike a balance between maintaining a financially viable institution and supporting rural development initiatives. The universal bank manages a strong rural branch network consisting of 365 branches and more than 1,600 ATMs.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets were US$30.83 billion.
Philippine National Bank
During the American Occupation in 1916, the Philippine government established the Philippine National Bank (PNB), which was 100% privatized in 2007. The bank is considered one of the largest private universal banks in the country. It offers a full range of banking and financial products, and works with the Philippine government, agencies, local government units, and government-owned and controlled corporations.
As of 2016, the bank’s assets totaled US$14.37 billion and net profit amounted to US$137.16 million.
Security Bank Corporation
Founded in 1951, Security Bank was the first private and Filipino-controlled bank during the post-World War II era. It offers a full range of products and solutions to major businesses such as retail, commercial, and financial sectors. In 1995, it listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE: SECB) and remains as one of the most stable banks in the Philippines today.
As of 2016, the bank posted total assets of US$2.68 billion and a net profit of US$163.30 million.
China Banking Corporation
Established in 1920, China Bank was the first privately-owned local commercial bank in the country. Its clientele was initially composed of Chinese-Filipino businessmen. The bank now offers products and services such as deposits, investments, trusts, remittances, and cash management. It also oversees subsidiaries and affiliates that provide insurance brokerage and bancassurance solutions.
In 2012, China Bank was recognized at the Bell Awards of the Philippine Stock Exchange as one of the best-governed companies in the Philippines. It was also the only bank among the top five awardees under the category of publicly listed companies.
As of 2016, total assets of the bank were US$10.04 billion and net profit was US$107.02 million.
Development Bank of the Philippines
The Development Bank of the Philippines is the second largest state-owned bank and one of the country’s largest government-owned and controlled corporations. The bank offers financing services in four major areas: infrastructure and logistics, small and medium enterprises, social services, and the environment. While it is considered a development bank that is engaged with providing banking solutions to agricultural and industrial enterprises, it also serves as a thrift bank.
As of 2016, the bank’s total assets amounted to US$10.27 billion and net profit reached US$81.06 million.
Union Bank of the Philippines
Union Bank started the online banking trend in the Philippines. Aside from creating the first bank website in the Philippines, it launched the EON Cyber Account, the first electronic savings account in the country, which also marked the beginning of electronic checking.
The bank’s online facility enables transaction and information access through multiple channels, including its branch network nationwide, on-site and off-site ATMs, internet banking, and a call center. It also offers corporate cash management and business-to-business banking services to local and multinational companies in the country.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
Founded in 1960 as a development bank, RCBC is licensed by the Central Bank of the Philippines for commercial and investment banking. It provides a wide range of services to more than 6.5 million customers through its 448 branches and more than 1,100 ATMs nationwide. It also manages remittance offices and tie-ups in 24 countries.
From 2010 to 2014, RCBC received more than 70 awards, including the Best Domestic Private Bank in the Philippines for three consecutive years, from the financial publication, Asiamoney.
In 2016, the bank reported total assets of US$9.95 billion and a net profit of US$73.84 million.
Careers in investment banking
To break into investment banking, there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map…. For banking careers, you will have a significant edge over the competition with CFI’s financial modeling courses.
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in the Philippines. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: