A History of First

Established in 1851, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) was the first bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. BPI's long and proud history boasts many "firsts". BPI issued the first paper money in 1855 and introduced branch banking with the opening of its branch in Iloilo in 1897.

BPI financed the first train service, the first telephone system, the first electric power utility, and the first steamship service in the Philippines.

Through the years, BPI strove to deliver the highest standards of convenience banking through the technology and creative management. As the recognized "most technologically advanced bank", BPI introduced the first successful automated teller machine (ATM) service in the Philippines.

Among BPI's other firsts are: the introduction of the first debit card, and cashless shopping with the Express Teller Card, banking kiosks, the Express Banking Centers, telephone banking with the Express Phone, and the use of Call Centres.

BPI has distinguished itself by catering to the ever-evolving needs and lifestyles of the public. Its internet-based operating platforms prove this point: BPI Express Link, BPI Express Online, BPI Express Bills and BPI Trade.

BPI's latest electronic innovation, the BPI Express Cash Card, allows the cardholder to shop, dine, drink and party in around 20,000 establishments nationwide.

In 2007, BPI was approved by the Financial Services Authority to establish and operate a wholly owned bank subsidiary in the United Kingdom. This is a first step towards improved banking services such as checking and savings accounts, time deposits and credit cards to our countrymen who have decided to work or reside in the U.K. It is also a first step for BPI to expand within the European Union.