What it does: A variety of financial services including electronic banking, asset management, trust services, mutual funds, investment banking, and brokerage services.
Best known for: BPI was the first bank established in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. In the country, it ranks second in market capitalization, fourth in terms of assets, and is also one of the most profitable.
Staff stats: 12,355 employees in over 900 branches in the Philippines, Europe, and Hong Kong
The good bits: BPI offers several benefits on top of its basic salary, including quarterly and Christmas bonuses, medical, dental, and clothing allowance, and insurance discounts. The bank offers comprehensive training for new employees via workshops, mentoring and courses.
The not-so-good bits: Below-average pay coupled with a heavy workload is a recurring issue among former employees. Graduates also remarked that promotion may be a slow process.
Hiring grads with top marks in: Any business-related course including but not limited to accounting, business management, economics, finance, and business administration. Several entry-level jobs also take in graduates from IT-related courses.
The Bank of the Philippine Islands was established under Spanish colonial rule on the 1st of August 1851, when it was known originally as El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel II – an homage to the Queen of Spain, Isabel II.
BPI prides itself on launching the country’s finance and banking industry. As a banking pioneer, BPI played a unique role in the country’s economic history as it offered credit to the National Treasury, as well as printing and issuing its own currency under its name.
While hot on the heels of the Spanish-American War in 1989, BPI was privatised under the U.S. federal government’s National Bank Acts of 1863 and 1864. The bank finally adopted its modern name on 1 January 1912.
In the 1980s, BPI evolved into a fully diversified universal bank with the help of the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) when it began to offer consumer and investment banking services on top of its traditional commercial banking activities.
Today, the bank is considered as one of the leading providers of financial services in the country with multiple awards that have further solidified its ranking. In 2018, Alpha Southeast Asia, an esteemed institutional investment magazine in Southeast Asia, recognised BPI as the Best Trade Finance Bank in the Philippines and the Best FX Bank for Corporates and FIs in the Philippines, among other awards. The following year, US-based Global Finance Magazine acknowledged BPI as the Best Cash Management Bank and the Best Trade Finance Bank in the country.
The bank now has over 800 branches in the Philippines, Europe, and Hong Kong with over 3,000 ATMs and cash deposit machines. Whether you chalk it up to its age or its well-awarded track-record, BPI is one of the country’s most popular banks – in 2017, it ranked 17th in Campaign Asia’s Survey of 100 Most Recognizable Brands.
BPI prefers graduates with good academic records and is partial to those with no failing marks.
BPI’s recruitment process varies from case to case, but the standard hiring procedure begins with an online submission of resumes, followed by an invitation for an initial interview, a series of written tests in math, logic, and English, and a final interview. Written tests are employed in elimination format – you must pass the first test before proceeding to the next one.
The two interviews vary in format, with previous employees citing a group interview format and others reporting a 1-on-1. The entire process may take 2-3 weeks.
Below-average pay that is incommensurate to workload is a common sentiment shared by previous employees, especially for entry-level roles, but the bank offers attractive benefits that may help sway your mind in signing a contract. These benefits include quarterly and Christmas bonuses, medical, dental, clothing allowance, and insurance discounts.
The words ‘friendly’ and ‘supportive’ are often used by former employees to describe the BPI work environment. Employees on major job sites praise the company’s supportive management.
BPI aims to improve the economic and social well-being of Filipinos through its BPI Foundation, Inc (BPIF). Established in 1978 as the bank’s social development arm, the foundation creates public-private partnerships by implementing programs through entrepreneurship, education, and environmental sustainability. BPIF has racked up over 54,000 volunteer hours since 2016.
The foundation has initiated several efforts since its establishment including scholarship programs for the youth, easy access to loans, grants, volunteerism, disaster response, and other projects that aim to build a socially responsible community.
BPI may not be the highest paying among all the banks in the Philippines, but with its strong employee training and development initiatives, workers often leave with valuable skills and honed leadership capabilities. The bank requires all its employees to take a minimum of five training days annually to ensure continuous professional growth and adaptation to new industry practices. Former employees have often noted that BPI is a ‘great stepping stone for graduates’.