Top Banks in the Philippines

Nowadays, the banking sector plays a vital role in the business arena as well as in economic systems. It serves as the backbone of modern businesses. With its great influence within the financial structure and the economy, the development of a country could be partly evaluated on how well its banking system operates.

Merriam-Webster defines bank as “an establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue of money; for the extension of credit; and for facilitating the transmission of funds.” The Philippines has a dynamic and thriving banking system comprising of various types of banks, ranging from large universal banks and commercial banks, to small thrift banks and rural banks. There are also credit unions and non-banks with quasi-banking functions. These are all licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) under Republic Act No. 8791, also known as the General Banking Act of 2000. The following are the top banks in the Philippines for 2012. It includes the overall best commercial banks in terms of assets, deposits, capitals, and loans.

Banco De Oro (BDO)

Following the Banco de Oro-Equitable PCI Bank merger, the bank has since become Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. It belongs to the SM Group of Companies owned by business tycoon Henry Sy. Although it is a part of family conglomerate, the daily operations of BDO are handled by a team of highly competent managers and bank officers. Banco de Oro is undeniably the largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets, loans, and deposits. It is currently the only domestic bank with an asset base of over one trillion, gaining the honor of being the first Philippine bank to achieve this milestone. Every SM mall has a BDO branch, making it one of the first banking companies in the country which operates even during weekends and selected holidays.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank)

Owned by business tycoon George Ty, Metrobank is considered the second largest bank in the Philippines. It delivers diverse financial services, ranging from regular banking to insurance. The Metrobank Group has a combined network of more than 800 local and international branches, remittances offices, and subsidiaries around the world. It has 557 domestic branches and 32 offices in major cities worldwide.

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

The oldest bank in the Philippines which still operates until today, Bank of the Philippine Island is also the oldest bank in Southeast Asia. It has a long and notable history that spans over the century. Founded in 1851, it is considered as an old yet dynamic institution that offer wide array of services to diverse clientele. It is the country’s third largest bank in terms of assets, the country’s largest bank in terms of market capitalization, as well as the country’s most profitable bank. BPI is considered the pioneer of rural banking in Philippines. Today, it maintains an extensive rural branch network, with some branches dating back to Spanish or American colonial period. With its 831 branches all over the country, BPI has the largest banking network in the Philippines. Owned by the largest conglomerate in the Philippines—the Ayala Corporation—BPI’s main headquarters is located in Makati’s Central Business District, on the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. Due to its remarkable operations and exceptional customer service, this award-winning company has been a recipient of numerous accolades throughout the years.

Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK/LBP)

Commonly known as LANDBANK, Land Bank of the Philippines is the fourth largest bank in the country in terms of assets. It is owned by the Philippine government and is the largest government-owned bank. It is also one of the biggest government-owned and/or controlled corporations in the Philippines. LANDBANK possesses a large rural branch network. It provides services to many rural sector clients in areas where banking is either non-existent or limited to rural banks. This government financial institution also has a special focus on serving the needs of farmer and fisherman. It has a total of 324 branches nationwide.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)

Established in 1960 as a development bank, it is now licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as commercial and investment bank. It is the country’s fifth-largest bank in terms of assets. A member of Yuchengco Group of Companies, RCBC forms part of a financial conglomerate with its thriving market competitiveness in insurance and other risk management services.

Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

Owned by the Philippine government, Development Bank of the Philippines has its headquarters in Makati, Philippines. It is the seventh-largest bank in the country in terms of assets. It is also the second-largest government-owned bank, as well as one of the largest government-owned and/or controlled corporations in the Philippines. DBP plays a pivotal role in sustainable national growth and development through financing the businesses and economic sectors that keep the Philippine economy afloat. It also provides services to various sectors in the Philippines society—from farmers and fishermen, to businessmen.

Philippine National Bank (PNB)

One of the largest banks in the Philippines, PNB was acquired by tycoon Lucio Tan after it was privatized by the government. It has a total of 331 branches in the Philippines and 13 branches in the overseas as of the end of 2011. On February 9, 2013, PNB and Lucio Tan’s Allied Bank completed its merger and now adopts the PNB brand, making the merged bank as the fourth-largest private domestic bank.


Other top banks in the Philippines are Chinabank, Unionbank, and Security Bank among others. If you are looking for the best bank for your financial needs, opening a savings account or starting an investment with one of these top banks would be a great idea. If you are still a student, these banks are also recommended for you to work for.

Mark Hugh Neri

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