Updated date:

BDO vs BPI vs Metrobank vs Landbank vs PNB in the Philippines

Author:

Nora Tamba writes for consumers about banking in the Philippines.

BDO, Metrobank, Landbank, BPI and PNB

BDO, Metrobank, Landbank, BPI and PNB are the five biggest banks in the Philippines. They're all trillionaire banks and all are universal banks. Landbank is government-owned while the four others are stock corporations.

BDO has been the fastest-growing bank since BDO was acquired from its original owners by the SM Group, the biggest shopping mall operator in the country.

BDO's owners leveraged their mall assets by putting one or two BDO branches in each of its many malls throughout the country, serving customers up to early evening, all days of the year. They fulfilled the banking needs of mall goers and OFW families who receive their remittances through banks.

Based on total assets as of December 2019, the Top 20 banks in the Philippines are:

  • BDO
  • Metrobank
  • Landbank
  • BPI
  • PNB
  • Chinabank
  • Security Bank
  • RCBC
  • DBP
  • UnionBank
  • EastWest
  • UCPB
  • Citibank
  • AUB
  • HSBC
  • Philtrust
  • BankCom
  • Robinsons Bank
  • Maybank
  • PBCom


bpi-philippines-bdo-philippines-banks

For ordinary people like me, the best banks are the ones that:

  • offer various banking services for free or at low costs
  • offer convenience to customers, such as lots of branches, ATMs and longer banking hours
  • offer safe investment opportunities
  • give back to the community
  • contribute to the stability of the country's banking system

Because not one bank offers all the services that we want, we usually have accounts in more than one bank. These banks offer a lot of services, including Internet banking, investment options and private and corporate banking, but we'll mention only some services that interest us or are unique to one bank.

What We Like About BDO

  • Longer banking hours
  • Open on Saturdays, Sundays and most holidays (for branches located in SM malls). Several branches not inside SM malls are also open on Saturdays.
  • Lots of branches and ATMs -- Has more than 1,300 branches in the Philippines, more than 4,000 ATMs, nearly 400 in-branch Cash Accept machines and 20 remittance and representative offices worldwide as of December 2019.
  • Has 2 full-service branches abroad: Hong Kong and Singapore
  • The first Philippine bank to offer online money transfer from a BDO account for Cash Pickup at popular pawnshops (Cebuana Lhuillier, MLhuillier, Palawan Pawnshop, Villarica Pawnshop and RD Pawnshop), partner rural banks and SM Business Centers.
  • One of the few Philippine banks that partner with global money transfer companies like Xoom and Moneygram and US bank Wells Fargo*. For Xoom transfers, you can get your remittance in US dollars as long as you have a BDO account and your money was sent in US dollars.

*Remittance partners of Xoom: BDO, Metrobank, RCBC, BDO Network Bank, Cebuana Lhuillier, MLhuillier, LBC and SM Business Center or Forex

*Remittance partners of Wells Fargo: BDO, BPI, Cebuana Lhuillier, MLhuillier

The location of BDO branches in SM malls evidently helped speed up BDO's growth. Because a great number of Filipinos go to the mall often, they choose to open BDO accounts so they can bank and shop at the same time under the same roof. It's also very convenient for OFW families receiving remittances from abroad. Certainly, it's safer withdrawing money inside the safety of the mall, including exchanging dollars, pounds or yens.

How BDO Gives Back to the Community

The BDO Foundation runs:

  • a partnership with Gawad Kalinga
  • an SME entrepreneurship program

BDO's majority owner, the SM Group, runs the SM College Scholarship program.

BDO Grace Residences, Taguig City

BDO Grace Residences, Taguig City

What We Like About Metrobank

  • One of only 2 Philippine banks that have a branch in New York City and the US and that have branches in many countries. The other is PNB.
  • Offers a Zero-Fee credit card—Its M Free Mastercard is "Forever Free" of annual fee. This is significant as most credit cards typically charge 1,400 pesos or more for annual membership.
  • Has more than 950 domestic branches, more than 2,300 ATMs, more than 170 Cash-Accept machines and more than 30 foreign branches and offices as of December 2019
  • One of only 3 banks that releases Xoom US-dollar remittances in US dollars to recipients

How Metrobank gives back to the community

Metrobank Foundation runs the following programs:

  • Search for Outstanding Teachers
  • Metrobank Scholarship Program
  • Outstanding Policement in Service
  • Outstanding Philippines Soldiers
Metrobank ATM, Festival Mall, Muntinlupa City

Metrobank ATM, Festival Mall, Muntinlupa City

What We Like About Landbank

It's one of a few banks that still offer an ATM savings account with a maintaining balance requirement of only 500 pesos.

Its mandate is to help farmers and agricultural businesses.

What We Like About BPI

  • More than 800 branches in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Europe, and close to 3,000 ATMs and Cash Deposit machines as of 2017.
  • The first Philippine bank to install Cash Deposit machines where one can deposit peso bills without using an envelope and with the ATM deposit instantly credited. Many of their deposit machines can be accessed any time of the day or night. Now BDO and Metrobank have their own deposit machines, but they're usually installed inside branches and not available after banking hours.
  • Its subsidiary BPI Family Bank offers a low-interest Mastercard BPI Family Credit Card. Monthly finance charge is 2%, computed from posting date. Annual fee is 1,000 pesos, free for the first year.

*Notes: The BPI Classic Card, which offered a lower monthly interest rate and lower-cost installment and loan features, has been discontinued by BPI. BPI offered other types of credit cards to Classic cardholders to which existing BPI transferred Classic payables and retained whatever rates were given during Classic transactions until such transactions were fully paid.

How BPI Gives Back to the Community

It holds the annual Search for 10 Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children, and its BPI Foundation runs:

  • microfinance trainings in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University in major cities
  • Show Me, Teach Me, SME Empowering Entrepreneurs
  • BPI-DOST Science Awards
  • BPI College Scholarship program
  • Climate Change Project
BPI Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City

BPI Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City

What We Like About PNB

  • PNB is one of only 2 banks that have branches in the USA. The other one is Metrobank. PNB is more active as it has many remittance offices around the US and it has a branch in Los Angeles, a branch and a sub-branch in New York City.
  • PNB is also one of only 2 banks that operates in many countries. The other one is Metrobank.

OFW Services

Almost two million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) are currently working worldwide as engineers, nurses, teachers, seamen, doctors, dentists, physical therapists, domestic helpers,welders, electricians, machine operators, etc. Since they remit large amounts of money to their families monthly, banks have crafted special services for them.

Aside from the usual bank to bank transfer or remittance service to bank transfer, these banks also offer accounts designed for OFW clients and their families:

BPI

  • Pamana Savings Account with Free Insurance
  • Pamana Padala Account with Income Continuation Insurance
  • Padala Moneyger

BDO

  • BDO Kabayan Savings Account (Peso)
  • BDO Kabayan Savings Account (US Dollar)
  • Enrollment for Free Life Insurance Coverage
  • BDO Remit Status Inquiry online service

Metrobank

  • OFW Peso Savings Account
  • OFW Dollar Savings Account
  • Metrobank Remittance Inquiry online service

Landbank

  • Bagong Bayani ATM Account (in peso or US dollar)

Facts That May Interest You

In the Philippines, there are 541 banks (branches not counted) as of December 2019:

  • 21 universal banks (6 are branches of foreign banks and 3 are government banks)
  • 25 commercial banks (20 are foreign-owned: 2 subsidiaries and 18 branches)
  • 48 thrift banks (includes private development banks)
  • 422 rural banks (includes cooperative banks)

*The number of thrift and rural banks has decreased over the years due to closures, mergers and acquisitions.

BPI was the first bank in the Philippines and, arguably, in all of Southeast Asia. It began as El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel 2 in 1851 as a Spanish-owned bank. In 1907, the bank became a Philippine institution, and in 1912, it became the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI).

Among the top stockholders of BPI as of December 2009 are the:

  • Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila
  • Metrobank
  • Mercury Group

The Metrobank Foundation owns the:

  • Manila Doctors Hospital along U.N.
  • Manila Doctors College along Macapagal Ave.

Metrobank also owns 30-percent of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation.

Among the top stockholders of Metrobank as of June 2010 are:

  • Federal Homes
  • Home Development Mutual Fund
  • Insular Life Assurance Co.

Among the top stockholders of BDO as of September 2010 are:

  • International Finance Corp. (U.S.)
  • United Overseas Bank (Singaporean)
  • Insular Life Assurance Co.

Curiously, in all three banks' Lists of the Top 100 Stockholders, Non-Filipino Philippine Central Depository Nominee Corp. shareholders account for the biggest number of shares.

  • For BPI, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders ranked No. 1 as of December 2009.
  • For Metrobank, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders account for 28.55 percent of the total, and ranked No. 1 as of June 2010.
  • For BDO, non-Filipino PCDNC shareholders account for 20.47 percent of the total, and third in ranking behind SM Investments and Filipino PCDNC shareholders.

This could mean though that Philippine banks are seen as strong and stable by foreign investors. Besides, PCDNC shareholders don't grant their voting rights to PCDNC.

Of course, many know that:

  • BDO is controlled by Henry Sy Family's SM Group
  • BPI is controlled by the Ayala Group
  • Metrobank is controlled by George Ty Family's group
  • PNB is controlled by Lucio Tan, owner of PAL and Fortune Tobacco.
  • China Bank is controlled by Henry Sy Family's SM Group
  • Security Bank is controlled by Frederick Dy and Japan's The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. SSS also owns 2.65% of the bank.
  • Union Bank is controlled by the Aboitiz Group (Aboitiz Equity Ventures). Insular Life and SSS owns around 16% and around 12% of Union Bank, respectively.
  • Eastwest Bank is controlled by Andrew Gotianun Family's Filinvest Group
  • Bank of Commerce is controlled by San Miguel Corp.

For further statistics on these and other banks in the Philippines, just go to BanksPhilippines.com.

Vote for Your Bank -- Just for Fun

Is Landbank your primary bank?

Top 23 Banks in the Philippines, Based on Assets, as of December 2019

RankBankTotal Assets, as of Sep 2018 in Pesos

 

 

 

1

BDO

3.07 Trillion

2

Metrobank

2.12 Trillion

3

Landbank

2.03 Trillion

4

BPI

1.91 Trillion

5

PNB

1.07 Trillion

6

China Bank

866.90 Billion

7

Security Bank

788.23 Billion

8

RCBC

762.31 Billion

9

DBP

761.50 Billion

10

Union Bank

706.87 Billion

11

East West

382.51 Billion

12

UCPB

335.18 Billion

13

Citibank

327.74 Billion

13

BPI Family

284.21 Billion

14

AUB

260.48 Billion

15

PS Bank

224.11 Billion

16

HSBC

177.21 Billion

17

Philtrust

160.57 Billion

18

BankCom

144.81 Billion

19

Robinsons

128.14 Billion

20

Philippine Business

113.98 Billion

21

Maybank

105.06 Billion

22

PBCom

104.74 Billion

23

China Bank Savings

102.84 Billion

Which bank do these celebrities promote?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Sarah Geronimo
    • Metrobank
    • BDO
    • Security Bank
  2. Pia Wurtzbach
    • BDO
    • Security Bank
    • Bank of Commerce
  3. Megan Young
    • BDO
    • Matrobank
    • Security Bank
  4. Lea Salonga
    • BPI
    • Eastwest Bank
    • Metrobank
  5. Piolo Pascual
    • BDO
    • BPI
    • China Bank
  6. Xian Lim
    • Metrobank
    • BPI
    • BDO
  7. Gerard Salonga
    • BDO
    • Eastwest Bank
    • Landbank
  8. Coco Martin
    • BDO
    • BDO Network Bank
    • BPI Family
  9. Catriona Gray
    • Metrobank
    • BDO
    • PNB
  10. Maine Mendoza
    • Security Bank
    • China Bank
    • BDO

Answer Key

  1. BDO
  2. BDO
  3. Security Bank
  4. Eastwest Bank
  5. BDO
  6. BDO
  7. Eastwest Bank
  8. BDO Network Bank
  9. BDO
  10. BDO

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Comments

Roy Velasco on August 15, 2020:

Hi, Would you know if I can use/add my BPI Family Savings Bank account to the BPI app? Thanks

Nora Tamba (author) on July 21, 2020:

Jennifer, Angelica, Red, Jun, Erwin, Romeo and Standing: Thank you for all your comments about BDO and BPI. Just like you, I also have accounts in both banks, and I also have observed where they are good and not good.

1. About seats inside the branch: Now, BDO has increased the number of chairs or benches, as they now need to enforce social distancing. I'm sure BPI has also adjusted theirs. But it's true that prior to the pandemic, BPI has more seating offered to waiting customers. I heard that BDO wants customers standing so the tellers, seeing so many customers in line, are prodded to complete transactions faster. I heard from one teller that their common ailment is UTI because they often control their urge to go to the restroom so they can serve more customers.

2. About Jun's complaint. That's super bad. The guards at the BDO branch in Molito Mall on Madrigal Ave near Ayala Town Center in Alabang are attentive. They're constantly looking at how customers can be served faster, and they always help seniors, PWDs, pregnant women and moms with babies. If the branch doesn't train its guards or assign a "watcher for the day" for managing client flow, then the manager is missing something. I hope you emailed BDO about it or commented on their FB page.

3. About investments in the banks' stocks: Thak you, Erwin, for your advice. For those who have no time learning about stocks, I think investing in the banks' mutual funds or UITFs is a good option.

4. About BPI's over the counter customer service: Yes, there are branches where transaction processing is slow. The technique is to know where all the BPI branches are in your area. One time we went to BPI at the corner of Acacia and Alabang-Zapote Road and saw the long lines, so I thought maybe there were a lot of people there because it's along two main roads. We drove a few minutes from there (walking distance, actually) to the branch in the middle of buildings, and we were able to transact quickly.

5. Cash accept machines: To my knowledge, it's BPI which introduced cash deposit machines first in the Philippines. It was helpful. I wondered then why BDO and the other banks were not in a hurry to install their own machines. I'm glad now many banks have their cash accept machines.

Nora Tamba (author) on July 21, 2020:

Hi Kris, yes, in cases like that, banks always assume there was no unauthorized withdrawal, that it was authorized, or that your card was stolen and used by another person, so sadly, and it's really frustrating, it's upon the consumer to prove it was unauthorized. Think of something, even a small detail, that can prove to BDO that it was unauthorized.

Kris on July 21, 2020:

Bdo steals money from their customer. There was an unauthorized withdrawal on my account. And bdo doesnt care to investigate.

jennifer on November 19, 2019:

It really depends on the branch but BPI is really slow when handling trabsactions, majority that I had been to. maybe bcause of their old system,

Angelica on September 24, 2019:

BPI poor customer service and besides mabagal at matagal ka mag hihintay para makadeposit and withdrawal pinakamababa na 1hr maghintay ka.

Red on September 02, 2019:

lets do the comparison between BPI and BDO (my own exp) since i have both bank active for my savings and CC

Customer service: score 1(V.Dsat)-10(V.satisfied)

BDO: 6

BPI: 5

emailadress for inquiries/concern(how they response to your concern)

BPI: 0

BDO:8

atms accessability:

BPi: 8

BDO:10

service being offered pag naka pila ka:

BDO: 2(sa marketing lng may upuan) sa mga magbbyad nganga! nakatau lahat nagka varicos ven kapa!

BPI: 9 maliban sa may upuan mbilis sila mag process ng mga transaction.

Banking HOurs:

Bpi: 8

BPi:8

overall kung papapiliin ako BPI padin kasi sa bpi pwede ka magpa assist ng mga bagay bagay na hindi kailngan pmnta sa opening branch mo. unlike BDO,

Jun on July 16, 2019:

I both have BPI and BDO accounts.

I opened three separate accounts in BPI and two in BDO.

BDO's customer service is "pesteng yawa" --for a lack of better term. I am an orthopaedic PWD. Even with me limping and all, they still had me fall in line with the rest --and to add salt to injury, the teller vacated her position when it is about my turn, she went out the bank, without saying anything.

By the way, it is BDO's branch at SM Iloilo.

/erwin on May 03, 2019:

I love these banks as their stock price are cheap, but bpi is a bit slow in their share price appreciation, i earn dividends more than the interest rate banks give in their deposit accounts - i suggest better open a stock trading account and buy shares on these banks.... bpi bdo metrobank they have their own stock trading service (except for landbank - they only have UITF and its not listed in PSE..

Ian on April 15, 2019:

May I ask which bank is best to transfer PayPal balance to? Thanks!

romeo on March 04, 2019:

I always have problem with BDO like loading of prepaid where I did not receive the load but it was already deducted from my account and another problem with withdrawals, where releasing of money have issue. I plan to move to BPI and transfer my money.

STANDING on February 06, 2019:

I dont like BDO,,They only have 4 seats in their banks. They just let their average clients stand in long lines waiting 30 mins to 40mins before access to transaction,knowing they have 2.70 trillions 'of assets...,,how come??? Your motto says "We find ways" then find way to give comfort for those people standing in long lines...

Nora Tamba (author) on January 25, 2019:

Hi Eduardo, it seems the manager has been following you (hehe). Maybe the next time you meet, her demeanor/behavior would be different. Or maybe she has forgotten things.

Or if you can lessen your over-the-counter transactions, and do mostly online, then you'd be able to avoid her, in case she'll be moved to Abreeza.

Thanks for commenting here.

Nora Tamba (author) on January 25, 2019:

Hi Ben, thanks for your comment. But I wish you described your experiences so we or BDO can learn from them.

Nora Tamba (author) on January 25, 2019:

Hi Abel, thanks a lot for your comments and for your advice regarding using GCash. I'm currently using PayMaya, but with your glowing endorsement, I'm thinking of getting GCash too, so I can check and use the best features that each offers.

Eduardo Ibarra on January 24, 2019:

A female manager was very rude towards me at BPI Quirino Branch in Davao so I switched to Gaisano Branch and eventually she showed up there. I changed again to the BPI branch on Claveria. She is there now,. So, now I am at BPI Abreeza. I hope she does not show up there. Other than that, all other employees and managers are courteous. I do not want to close my account there but I will if she shows up at Abreeza Branch.

Ben on January 16, 2019:

BDO has the worst customer service!

Abel on January 06, 2019:

In terms of the number of branches BDO is no. 1 hands down. But for me BPI is the better bank. It has chairs where you can wait for your turn which makes me feel like I'm a client or partner not just some labor force, it has a good online and mobile platform and the mobile app's performance is superb as compared to Metrobank's app and other apps as well. I also like their BPI trade its very simple and yet effective. All you need to worry is the P500 peso maintaining balance of the account.

Their choices of debit cards are good as well. You have the option to choose either Mastercard or EPS. For me I choose EPS for my savings debit as I don't like to transact with my hard earned money with just numbers that are indicated on the card. Currently I use BPI with GCash. BPI is my vault GCash is my biller and with those two I never have to go to a ANY bank (Be it BPI or not) branch as long as deposit(except check), payments and transfers are concerned. I deposit checks to my BPI family account where lines are much shorter then i'll just transfer it to my BPI account.

For those who will argue that some banks have the functionality of GCash and BPI in one app. I don't prefer to have it that way. For me for every convenience that is implemented there is a potential security threat added. I actually got worried when BPI introduced the mastercard debit and mastercard all access but thankfully you i can still choose the eps carrier.

Note: This is a bank topic but you guys might want to check GCash. It currently has a lot of features now including credit, investments and a ton of billers.

Gcash can also pull funds from any Visa or Mastercard debit cards. If in case your payroll doesn't have e-pay which allows you to transfer to any bank at the cost of 10 peso per 50k transfer. You can pull it via gcash then utilize gcash's epay to transfer it to your savings account regardless if it's BPI or not. Gcash epay fee is waived :)

Nora Tamba (author) on December 19, 2018:

Hello Elle and Bitsy Boy, indeed BDO's online banking has more useful features compared to that of BPI, and yes, Elle, BPI's requirement to submit a printed copy of online enrollment at any BPI branch is not convenient. I think BPI was the first bank in the Philippines to offer atm services and cash deposit machines, but it became conservative in offering online services.

I think both BDO and BPI have branches that don't have enough tellers to serve customers quickly. The same with Metrobank and the other banks. All of them are controlling costs. What I do is I go to a different branch near our place each time I need to do something over the counter, so I can see where I can complete my transaction the fastest, and go to a bank on non-peak days and times. The busiest are Mondays, Fridays, 15th and 30th, last business days of the month and last business days before holidays. Busiest times are lunch times, especially in office areas.

Bitsy Boy on December 18, 2018:

Long time BPI account holder here. Never had to go to my branch for online banking. You just need to go the ATM? BDO has more to offer with its online banking but it's not worth it for the terrible customer service.

Elle on December 16, 2018:

BPI is sooo Jurassic. For online banking enrollment, you need to go to the branch to verify it. Stick with BDO even if it's annoying, you can truly experience but at least you can truly experience the essence of online banking.

Nora Tamba (author) on November 09, 2018:

Hi Romnick:

Account opening charge? There's no charge to open a regular savings account. ATM cards are free for regular accounts. ATM cards are only paid if you're opening certain cash cards or no-maintaining-balance acounts like the BPI Kaya account.

Monthly charges? In the Philippines, monthly maintenance fees are not charged; instead, penalties are charged if your account's average daily balance for the month goes below the maintaining balance requirement. Even if they're called and processed differently, maintenance fees and below-maintaining-balance penalties achieve the same purpose, and that is to pay for account maintenance.

Charge for each money withdrawal? Most regular accounts do not charge for atm and over-the-counter withdrawals, but there are some banks that charge interbranch over-the-counter withdrawals. You'll pay fees if you withdraw from the machines of other banks. Some no-maintaining-balance accounts are charged minimal atm withdrawal fees.

Charge for international transfer to your account? It's the remitter/sender that pays for transfer of funds to your account. You might be charged though for about 100 to 200 pesos to pay for inward remittance, depending on the bank's agreement with the remittance company.

Exchange rate? Usually, the exchange rate used by banks is lower than that used by money changers. Try to use remittance companies that guarantee the peso amount you will receive, like Transferwise--

https://transferwise.evyy.net/c/361817/26105/985 (I'll earn something if you use this link, thank you)

Or open a foreign currency account that will receive your inward foreign currency transfers.

Nora Tamba (author) on November 09, 2018:

Hi candyobrix13, it's sad but the interest rate for savings accounts is too small, so your goal will be just to save, and not expect much from interest. Rural banks and cooperatives give better interest rates, but some of these might no last long in business, so I'll recommend bigger savings banks like BPI Family, PSBank Savings, PNB Savings and the bigger rural banks like One Network Bank.

In order that it will be easy for you to make deposits, choose a bank near your home. You can google "top savings banks in the Philippines" and choose from the list.

Remember to maintain your maintaining balance requirement so you won't be penalized.

candyobrix13 on November 09, 2018:

what is best bank here in the philippines for interest-earning deposit. i am a student who wants to open an account in order to save for my college fees..thank you very much

For Mr. Romnick Rocero on November 08, 2018:

I need some detailed information.

Charge to open the account, including ATM card?

Deposit required to keep the account open.

Monthly charges?

Charge for each money withdrawal?

Charge for international transfer to my account, and the exchange rate?

Thanks in advance for your help

Peter

Nora Tamba (author) on July 29, 2018:

Hi jeff A, it's great that you like EastWest Bank. I like it too since it has 2 branches inside Festival Mall, which I frequent, and which is also owned by the EastWest owners. It also has deposit accounts for those that can maintain lower balances.

Lately also, their US dollar-peso exchange rate has been competitive with Czarina. There were also times they have rates higher than those of Czarina.

I noticed that they now have hired the Salonga siblings for their advertising. Must have seen the impact of cheerful celebrities on the growth of banks, just like that of Megan Young on the growth of Security Bank.

jeff A. on July 29, 2018:

I have experienced opening an account with several banks and the best bank for me is East West bank not only in term of service but also for choice of investment and higher interest on time deposit.

Pachomius on June 21, 2018:

Thanks for an informative piece.

Do you know which of the three biggest banks gives its clients the best investment choice, which to my mind is that your investment funds with the bank return you a monthly amount of cash for you to meet your monthly living expenses.

Angela Bellen on April 24, 2018:

BPI literally has the worst customer service. It seemed that 30 mins of waiting for a representative to cater to my call is not enough. Whats more, even people at their branches seem incompetent. I'm losing patience with the bank and I'm switching to another.

Nora Tamba (author) on January 18, 2018:

Hi wen, if you send NT dollars to your peso accounts in BDO or BPI through a remittance company, BDO or BPI will automatically convert your NT dollars into peso before depositing your money into your account because your account is in peso. Yes, your family will be able to withdraw in peso because your account is in peso.

Nora Tamba (author) on January 17, 2018:

Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment. Indeed I missed including some relevant info. The local BPI credit card I mentioned, the burgundy BPI Classic card, was discontinued by BPI. I think it was in 2016. Its finance charge was 2.75%, lower than the usual 3.5%.

BPI's subsidiary BPI Family Bank offers a Mastercard credit card that charges only 2% per month. Annual fee is only 1,000.

Nora Tamba (author) on January 17, 2018:

Hi sarra, thanks for giving me the idea that I should also compare their foreign exchange rates. I missed comparing foreign exchange because I usually use money changers to convert my dollars into pesos. Top changers are Czarina and Sanry's. They have branches in malls where it's safer. It's nice that I live near a mall where there's a Czarina and a BPI cash deposit machine. I exchange my dollars at Czarina then deposit my pesos into the cash machine nearby. Some Czarina clients take advantage of Czarina's deposit-to-account service for bigger amounts.

The rates you mentioned I think are for over-the-counter exchanges. Their exchange rates for deposit-to-account remittances are different, and are even lower. I hope you have your account in euro so you can withdraw and exchange over the counter.

Yes, you're right. That's a big big loss. It's right that you're comparing and finding ways to get the best rate.

By the way, where did you get the 62.15 conversion? The exchange rate at nailasmoneychanger.com (which I usually check before going to Czarina's, as they usually give the same rate, with Czarina's rate just a bit higher sometimes) at this time is 61.70.

The BSP reference rate as of Jan 17 is 61.89.

Jenny Tuzon on December 25, 2017:

Hi there, this page is about comparison of the banks, why don't they show the real fees so people can really compare which one has lower offer for example the fees when account user will receive from bank to bank transfer and vice versa, etc..

It is also written:'offers a local credit card with a lower interest rate and lower-cost installment and loan features..', how can you say that they offer lower if you never precise the rate of the other bank?

Student learning how to make a financial plan on December 02, 2017:

Hi! We have this business idea in school I wanted to know which bank would be great to use loaning money for a clothing business?

Nora Tamba (author) on June 10, 2017:

Hi Danny, banks are not allowed to open an account for a person using an authorized representative. It's only corporations and other juridical entities that are allowed to use their authorized signatories to open accounts for their entities with complete entity documents.

The prospective account owner must appear in person at the branch with valid IDs.

About opening an account online: Security Bank offers a partial online account opening. The process must still be completed at the branch in person with valid IDs.

BPI Direct offered this service before, but stopped offering it. I was able to avail of this one when it was still being offered, but I still had to go to the branch I specified to present my IDs and to get my atm card.

Nora Tamba (author) on June 10, 2017:

Hi Nitin, I got your comment via email. Thanks a lot.

Your message is:

your article really interest me. With the recent BPIsystem failure causing chaos of integrity of accounts..what do you think-system glitch or hack?please share your thoughts

My thoughts?

Sorry I can't determine which of those was the cause of the recent system breakdown because I don't have all the data. What I know is that banks or companies do not necessarily tell the truth to the public in order to protect themselves and to prevent further breakdown.

What's nice about the whole thing was that the public uproar did not cause a bank run. This means that depositors trust BPI even if their accounts were messed up. They believe that BPI will be able to correct everything.

One lesson here is that account owners should always know their current balance. Thanks again for your email.

Billy on May 14, 2017:

Metro bank has worst customer service in the Philippines that i have met. Super slow transactions. Branch head is and tellers are just talking each other instead of entertaining customers.

Shit day

nej on July 15, 2016:

Hi, do you have any idea about where is the best bank to apply for a mutual or equity fund? is it bdo or bpi? thank you.

Bigwas from Philippines on October 24, 2015:

BPI has a savings account product which I like, It is called Easy Saver, Aside from its very low initial deposit of P300 if I am not mistaken, It has no maintaining balance which is great. But if you prefer Metrobank savings account, Here is how to open an account http://www.bigwas.com/2014/12/how-to-open-an-atm-a...

Layag on April 13, 2015:

Even 80% of my alotment goes to BDO USD I ask my wife to transfer it immediately to my BPI peso account. I find myself queuing for one hour imagine it is in BDO iloilo and gen luna.

I applied for a credit card but not approve, they tell me that I dont have land line number (my place was outside the city) now in the middle of the mall and and walk ways I find lots of people offer to open a credit card from BDO.

Applying for loans ca I applied for a credit card but not approve, they tell me that I dont have land line number (my place was outside the city)

applying for car loans and house is not so easy to tese bank, I dont find my way to get an approval, even the person that I talk with, feels not interested, thinking that maybe because im not waring neck tied attire. With car keys on my side. BPI is so pleased to serve you, no hiden charges.

SM manila, if my company doesn't required, I will never open from this bank, arrogant employee. Beside the service is not FINDING THEIR WAYS to improve, contradictory to its slogan we find ways,

I am not hating Bdo, but the serves I do, i have an account in Bpi, rcbc china bank, and PNB

Tera_97 on April 01, 2015:

I love BDO for its convenience, since they have lots of branches, atm machines and open till 6pm which gives us ample time to deposit or make a withdrawal. But in terms of handling customer... rating it from 1 to 10, 10 is the highest.. I will rate it as 5. Its true that their service is slow, sometimes there is only one teller that handles our transaction. But there are times na full-force.. but the service is still slow.. kasi they tend to chit-chat.. check their text... i don't mind kung minsan lang.. pero madalas kasi. And last straw is.. they DO love to argue with customer.. which is so sad. And when that customer decided not to argue back and he/she is out of hearing distance they will chit-chat about that customer, boasting their "victory" against that argument. I have a BDO account but I love BPI more, lalo na ngayon. They are much more advance. they have a waiting area lounge that has seats to make customers comfortable while waiting, their tellers are focused on their work and best of all if the customer has complaints, they do their best to solve the problem.. not argue with them.

wings987 on March 12, 2015:

Your reply is very much appreciated.

Nora Tamba (author) on March 11, 2015:

Correction: Should be "I myself have accounts..."

Nora Tamba (author) on March 10, 2015:

Hi wings987, yes, you can open an account with all the banks that you like. I myself has accounts with 5 banks. As far as I know, there's no law against this. Besides, who is able to know you have many different bank accounts other than you and any other person in your confidence?

It takes a court order for banks to release information about their depositors and it takes frequent suspicious movements of huge amounts of money for banks to report suspicious banking activities to the BSP Anti-Money Laundering Law Council.

Even with the same bank, you can open several accounts (different account types).

Be sure to comply with the maintaining-balance requirements so they're maintained well and that you're not charged with below-maintaining balance penalties.

One good account is the BPI Save-Up, where you can set up an automatic transfer every week or month from another BPI account so you can save.

wings987 on March 10, 2015:

By Phil. law, am I allowed to open a bank account on every bank that I prefer. Like for example, am I allowed to keep an account one with BDO, one with BPI, one with Metrobank and so on, with no problem?

Nora Tamba (author) on December 29, 2014:

Hi Andy V., I hope too that she recognizes her ugly behavior and starts to interact well with people. I wish too that she's not like that everyday, and that maybe that day you were served by her, she's just going through something difficult in her life or career, and unable to handle it well.

But if she's really a lady with bad attitude everyday, then sooner or later, she'll find herself unemployed.

Andy V. on December 29, 2014:

Hi all,

The girl assigned in the new accounts section at BPI Rotonda Pasig was arrogant, entertained my queries with annoyance.

I hope she reform her ways. I have an a check account at that branch since 2011. All staffs except her are courteous and approachable.

Nora Tamba (author) on September 20, 2014:

Yes, BPI's instant credit cash deposit machines are one of their best offers. And even BDO has not decided to offer its own. Maybe BDO wants its clients to make deposits during business hours, meaning go to the mall branches and deposit and shop at the same time.

Nora Tamba (author) on September 20, 2014:

Hi Nick, you're a BPI shareholder, aren't you? Just joking. Or maybe not joking. Yes, BPI was first in nearly everything, if not everything. It was even the first bank be established, right?

Indeed, BPI is constantly innovating, and I'm glad that it introduced the BPI Easy Saver. Based on comments on our blogs, many in the Philippines still struggle in maintaining bank accounts. Our Easy Saver posts are one of our most viewed posts.

Nora Tamba (author) on September 19, 2014:

About TIN No. as account opening requirement:

Yes, as James Brown said, all banks require a TIN No. for account opening. Philippine bank regulations (MORB) specify TIN as one of the 11 pieces of basic information that must be provided by people wanting to open a bank account.

We can understand though the feeling of a self-employed individual who is instructed to pay 500 pesos plus 15-peso stamp tax after registering at bir.gov.ph to get a TIN No.

One remedy is to have your minor child open a bank account -- they are not expected to have a TIN No. -- and then use the account as yours. But paying 515 pesos might be better, for the long term.

Nick on September 19, 2014:

Hi Nera, it has been awhile, reading the latest comments, for BPI, the answer to the long queues should be the Cash Accept Machines (CAM), BPI pioneered that and no bank has yet to offer it, this way you need not go through the lines Kentthegreet experienced, as for the Eliezer Navera's comment, BPI have ottomans/seats to wait for your numbered turn which you encode in BEA Machines, you can even book your turn online. For whosoever matapobreng banko is that, one can open a BPI Easy Saver account with no maintaining balance, they will only need an initial P250 deposit and acceptable IDs of course. As far as conveniences are concerned, BPI are the most technologically advanced bar none (think about their online banking, CAMs, BEAs, android/IOS apps etc) being duplicated by his peers. Just my opinion.

James Brown on August 29, 2014:

"sa tatlong bangko ang metro bank matapobre eh paano pala kmi na self imployed d pwd mag savings sa metro bank na yan kc wala daw aq tin# eh ksalanan ko ba na wala sa minimum sahod ko pero nakakapag ip 4 weeks ago

Metro bank ang matapobreng bangko,"

For whoever post this comment,

As far as I know, ALL BANKS or most of the banks today requires Tax Identification Number of the account holders to secure the account they may have on their respective banks. Im a BPI account holder for years, when I updated my signature card few months ago, CSR asked my TIN. I guess there's no pain in complying those petty issues (on requirements) as long as our banks give the best security on the hard earned money we have in our accounts.

Nora Tamba (author) on July 27, 2014:

I've observed that all the big banks have long lines in their most popular branches (those located in office centers). The trick is to use the atms for cash and check deposits, and if possible, to go to less-patronized branches for other transactions. If you have to go to a certain popular branch, go at opening time. I have gone to many BPI, BDO and Metrobank branches, and all of them have long lines at certain times. But it's true that many Metrobank and BPI branches have seats and numbers for waiting clients and BDO lets their customers wait standing in lines. I get the feeling that BDO does this (making clients wait standing) so that the tellers are pressured to work faster.

sa tatlong bangko ang metro bank matapobre eh paano pala kmi na self imployed d pwd mag savings sa metro bank na yan kc wala daw aq tin# eh ksalanan ko ba na wala sa minimum sahod ko pero nakakapag ip on July 26, 2014:

Metro bank ang matapobreng bangko,

Eliezer Navera on July 12, 2014:

In my previous years of having an small amount deposited in several bank branches I observed that they do not care on the convenience of depositors or clients like me. The bank let the depositors standing on line for a long time almost an hour or even more. There are no seats. However, in Metrobank there are seats and number assigned for you. Metrobank is my bank.

miggs on July 12, 2014:

i would like to ask... sa tatlong banko na naapgusapn.. saan maganda magopen ng savings account (paasbook) ?

gerry on June 20, 2014:

Basta para sa akin chinabank ang d best madaling kausap. Kaya dito na kau mag invest. Chinabank.

Titus on June 15, 2014:

East West Bank offers the shortest USD/PHP spread.

Kentthegreet on May 26, 2014:

Please consider customer service as well.

I'll give two thumbs up for BDO. All their non-teller staffs can be converted into working teller all the time. Big help of servicing the long teller queue. Longest is 5 mins. With BPI, I got horror experience of more than an hour queued in line to at least 2 of their branches in Makati, mall and Ayala. That's miles shy compared to BDO. Metrobank is second to BDO. Maybe they have few clients?

Vanz on May 22, 2014:

Hi Nera,

Thank you so much, I have friend in college who happens to be a BPI fan. She said the bank sent her the credit card after openning a savings account in BPI. I asked her what account it was she said passbook!when I checked Citi' website you should have 250k-350k gross annual income!

Nora Tamba (author) on May 22, 2014:

I think Citi cards are easier to get, as I always see their marketing reps at supermarkets and malls.

BDO cards are more difficult to get.

BPI accepts applications for a secured starter card.

If you like, get a BDO or BPI card, as they have these installment products, where you can convert straight purchases to installment modes with lower interest rates using Credit to Cash (BPI) or Easy Pay (BDO). BDO also has just launched its new Simple Installment program.

BPI and BDO also offer virtual cards to keep your cards secure for online purchases.

The last time I had a Citi card, it's Citi that decides whether the cardholder deserves a conversion or not. But Citi gives higher credit limits more quickly.

RCBC is also offering a secured credit card.

Vanz on May 22, 2014:

Hi Nera,

I want to know which those 3 banks will give you cc or will easily approve your cc application if you already have existing account on them! I heard BPI will automatically send you cc if you have 40k savings account, how true it is?I'm planning to get Citi Cc.

Please advise, thanks

Nora Tamba (author) on April 09, 2014:

Hi MJ75, you know of course that BDO and all other banks publicly promote their efforts to find ways to fill the banking needs of their target customers.

But in reality, they do only those that are profitable to them.

And of course, that's how for-profit business achieve their profit goals.

MJ 75 on April 09, 2014:

BDO: We find ways.....ways? what kind of ways? please clarify your slogan. it has a double meaning. :P

Nora Tamba (author) on March 27, 2014:

Thank you, Arnel Zobel de Ayala, for commenting

Arnel Zobel de Ayala on March 21, 2014:

Yahh great!! thanks for supporting us.

coz you know guys "We take you further." We dont just find ways. We offer 24/7 bankings any time, anywhere.. "Lets make it easy" coz we want "Make the best happen." ;) thanks guys.

JR on January 07, 2014:

For me BPI is the best, second is BDO

Nora Tamba (author) on December 24, 2013:

Thanks, Jim, for sharing your experiences with both Metrobank and BPI. I'm surprised that in this age of technology, Metrobank still does transactions and implement restrictions like what you described. Thanks again and happy banking.

Jim Reeed on December 24, 2013:

Just my 2 cents worth

I was a Metrobank customer until I got fed up and switched to BPI

For the following reasons:

BPI is not one large bank but rather it is a collection of semi-independent local branches. Why is this important to me. You can only conduct transactions at your "Home" branch. So for example if I need to do a withdrawal or deposit while away from home they have to fax the paperwork to my home branch, The wait for this is sometimes horrible.

They refuse to allow you to VIEW dollar accounts online. I don't mean conducting transactions I just mean passive viewing. I argued with a VP of theirs for months. He kept blaming it on AMLA but that's not true.

Neither of these 2 issues are a problem at BPI and I have been very happywith PBI since switching.

Nora Tamba (author) on December 17, 2013:

Thanks for commenting, Eugenie!

Eugenie on December 17, 2013:

BPI fan here!!! XD

Nora Tamba (author) on December 16, 2013:

Hi a.g.c., yes, that's one of their latest innovations. I just hope they use a favorable exchange rate. I bank with both BPI and BDO, but I exchange my dollars at Czarina or Sanry's.

a.g.c. on December 16, 2013:

As an OFW, BPI is the best for me. I can convert my dollars to pesos using bpiexpressonline.

r.a on December 08, 2013:

bdo siguradong walang bankrupt

kateGal on December 08, 2013:

thank you so much for the info it has really helped me narrow down my options.

Nora Tamba (author) on December 04, 2013:

Hi KateGal, I recommend that you open a BPI Easy Saver account. This account charges 5 pesos for every atm withdrawal and for every atm balance inquiry at BPI atm machines, but it does not require you to maintain a balance in your account -- perfect for students who usually need all the money they earn. Paying 5 pesos for every withdrawal is better than paying 300 pesos if the maintaining balance is not maintained for 2 consecutive months.

But if you're sure you're able to maintain some amount in your account, and you don't like paying 5 pesos for every withdrawal and every inquiry, you can get a BPI Family atm account. This requires only 1,000 pesos for maintaining balance and your atm withdrawal and inquiry at a BPI machine are free.

A BDO atm account requires you to maintain 2000 pesos in your account for maintenance. China Bank also offers an atm account with a 1000-peso maintaining balance requirement. You can also find China Bank branches at SM malls. If you can find a China Bank Savings branch near you, then it's better because they offer a 500-peso-maintaining-balance account.

Nora Tamba (author) on December 04, 2013:

Hi derp, thanks a lot for sharing useful info. Xoom also remits directly to BDO accounts. I prefer though getting my Xoom payments in US dollars at BDO counters and then exchanging them with money changers such as Czarina and Sanry's that give more favorable exchange rates.

KateGal on December 04, 2013:

hello i would like to ask which of the three banks is the best to open an ATM account for working students? in which has the lowest membership fee, lowest maintaining balance and where the withdrawal and deposit charge are the lowest.

derp on December 03, 2013:

Found some more info

UaeXchange has branches worldwide and does 'Flashremit' to Metrobank and Asia United Bank. This means immediately funding the bank account in either dollars or pesos. Xoom also does instant Metrobank account loading, and if you're in Canada can pay online to fund accounts too (Metrobank).

Not sure anybody else offers that besides MB and AUB. Foreigners I know all use Unionbank, which I've never heard of.

Nora Tamba (author) on November 24, 2013:

Thanks, Derp, for that helpful info. Far East Bank was as fast with its Philippines-bound remittance service in Saudi before it was acquired by BPI.

Derp on November 24, 2013:

I heard MetroBank doesn't allow overseas bank wires, like you have to go in there in person and do it. MetroBank also offers real-time remmittance, so if you're in Vancouver, Toronto, NYC, and some places in Europe/Asia you can deposit cash and it's funded to that account immediately which is pretty awesome

Nora Tamba (author) on October 18, 2013:

Hi Salidumay, like your name, I'm from Northern Phils. Yes, BPI is indeed an innovator in the banking industry. I'm also glad that BPI Globe Banko reduced their service costs, removing the fees for deposit transactions to own accounts. They also offer free insurance depending on average balance.

Nora Tamba (author) on October 18, 2013:

Hi KimmyDora, I agree with you about the need for BDO to put up real-time-credit cash deposit machines and envelope deposit machines for checks. Yes, BDO has been winning clients with its Saturday, Sunday and holiday service hours at the malls.

Nora Tamba (author) on October 18, 2013:

Hi nick, thanks for checking from time to time. I hope anymores reads your comment so she/he can elaborate. When I read his/her comment, I just assumed quickly that an expectation (usually from a long-time client) was not met. Could be a crossed check with a little defect (no risk at all to the bank) and was not accepted for deposit.

KimmyDora on October 18, 2013:

For me BDO is the best! Kce ito lang ang bangko na open kapag sabado at linggo. Yun nga lang laging sooooooooooooooobraaaang haba ng pila. aabutin ka lang ng 30 minuto o 1 oras kakaantay. Kung saan may SM tyak may BDO at longer banking hours pa. Okay din ang online banking at mobile app nila mas maganda at malinaw inavigate unlike sa iba. Siguro kaya dahil masungit ang mga bank officers nila kce overworked na sila. Panahon na rin sigurong maglagay ng realtime cash/cheque/coin deposit machine ang BDO.. para nde mastress ang mga staff nila.

Salidumay on October 18, 2013:

Yes that's correct BPI has an excellent customer service whether in the branch, phone banking and social media. I recently downloaded BPI bankers app on apple store and was amazed of how dedicated they are with customer service not just that even their twitter account is superb!

A very dynamic bank that caters with different class of society (target market) like BPI (main) , BPI-Family Savings Bank, BPI-Direct Savings Bank, BPInoy, BPI-Globe BanKO, BPI Asset Management and etc., .

BPI exerted much effort through innovation. I like the real time cash deposit machine which you can credit cash even on a weekend. The sad part is that BPI has few full bank operations on a weekend (Shangri-La only). I hope that someday they will operate full banking operations in Ayala Malls during the weekend soon.

It's a conservative bank that evolves with each generation..

Continue innovating BPI.

165 years of banking and counting? I believe BPI can only do that.

Nick on October 18, 2013:

Hi Nera, im curious, it seems it was not clear what does anonymores mean, really, what does he mean with "what happened" to BPI?

Nora Tamba (author) on October 18, 2013:

Hi anymores, thanks for your comment. Yah, sometimes things happen and our banks fail us. And true indeed, Eastwest and Chinabank Savings are growing fast, and they're both powered by malls.

anonymores on October 17, 2013:

Big FAN and have been loyal to BPI for several years but after what happened I decided to switch banks and go back to BDO. Eastwest Bank by Filinvest and Chinabank Savings are promising banks in thePhilippines.

Nora Tamba (author) on October 17, 2013:

Hi Jellee, thanks for taking the time to comment. BDO is the biggest Philippine bank now, so their tellers might have gotten this fact into their head in a bad way, as if saying "we're busy, we're tired, and if you don't like it here, we don't care; you can always move to the other banks, and we won't mind a bit."

Jellee on October 16, 2013:

Hi Nera! this is a great post. anyways, i like BPI and Metrobank, their bank tellers know what CUSTOMER SERVICE mean, they treat customers well and willing to explain and answer any queries you have. unlike BDO tellers they don't even know how to smile, some of them are even rude... for me, the way you treat customers is also a factor.

Nora Tamba (author) on October 14, 2013:

Hi John, savings rates, whether in peso or dollar, have really been falling over the years, so savings accounts now are just to preserve funds (if inflation rate is not considered), or preserve part of the funds (if inflation is considered). But having a dollar account with low interest rate is better than none. Of course, you can always put your money in other investment instruments, like mutual funds, but you need to put some attention into these funds.

For higher time deposit rates, choose savings banks over commercial banks, like BPI Family.

John Cardenas on October 14, 2013:

I would like to find out which local bank has the best interest rate for a dollar account whether it be savings or time deposit. I currently have an ATM dollar savings account, but it doesn't seem to earn as expected. Any advice on this?

Nora Tamba (author) on October 05, 2013:

Hi ryan, that's great! It's always nice to hear of employees liking their employers -- it means these companies are good to their employees.

ryan on October 05, 2013:

Im proud to be a BPI employee....:-)

Nora Tamba (author) on September 21, 2013:

Hi nick, thanks a lot for checking this blogpost from time to time, and then commenting...

nick on September 21, 2013:

hi, jen is right, other banks particularly bdo and china pirate bpi officers rather than train their own guys, they find the training of bpi officership program better than their own, many can attest to that ...

Nora Tamba (author) on September 15, 2013:

Hi Jen, thanks for your comment. Am happy you're also knowledgeable about banks because you know about the need to be prudent and how BPI is being prudent. That's interesting -- about bank employee training and hiring. I guess those 2 former BPIers realized they can move up more quickly if they apply for higher positions at BDO and have better benefits and salaries. Anyway, we can say that these 2 banks offer good employment opportunities. Thanks again for commenting. More blessings for you!

jen on September 14, 2013:

i'd go for bpi too:) can't wait for its branch of the future..very prudent as well..didn't invest in lehman company..doesn't approve credit cards and loans that easy because bpi has a higher criteria than the rest of the local banks..i've heard that the other banks keep on pirating bpi employees because they are better trained..a teller in bpi can become an officer in bdo faster than a long-time bdo employee (well, just proved this when i saw 2 bpiers already working in bdo in our area alone but i could guess bpi's still a better employer) but of course all of the positives and negatives of the 3 main banks are not always the same in every branches..but all in all, id still prefer bpi.

Nora Tamba (author) on September 08, 2013:

Hi JustAThought, thanks for your comments. Agree with you on your points. Yes, Metrobank is stable. Always 2nd or 3rd top bank in assets, capital, deposits over the years

Related Articles