February 02, 2020

Finding the Right Bank For You: A Guide to Banks in the Philippines

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  • Finding the Right Bank For You: A Guide to Banks in the Philippines

    The Philippine banking system, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), is composed of universal and commercial banks, thrift banks, rural and cooperative banks. With these categories alone, one might find it hard to choose a bank that they can trust. 

    The banks that you will find in this article fall under the universal and commercial banks. Universal and commercial banks are the largest group of financial institutions in the country. They offer the widest variety of banking services compared to other types of banks. 

    Universal banks combine the services of a commercial bank and an investment bank within one entity. These services include deposit accounts, investment services, and insurance services. They are also authorized to engage in merchant banking, mutual funds, factoring, and all typical functions in the banking industry. 

    Commercial banks, on the other hand, are privately-owned financial institutions that accept deposits and loans. They offer basic financial products like deposit and savings accounts to small businesses. Compared to a universal bank, the functions and services of a commercial bank are limited to deposits, loans, savings, and checking accounts.

    Universal and commercial banks are the most common type of banks that are used by working professionals and businessmen.

    In this article, we give you a quick rundown of the best established banks in the Philippines as well as some important tips to consider before signing with your chosen bank.

    Featured banks with international desks

    BDO Unibank, Inc.

    BDO is a full-service bank that provides a complete array of products and services that include lending, deposit-taking, foreign exchange, brokering, trust and investments, and credit cards among others. The bank has the largest distribution network with over 1,300 branches and more than 4,000 ATMs across the Philippines. 

    BDO is also a member of one of the country’s largest and most successful conglomerates – the SM Group. 

    Head office: BDO Corporate Center, 7899 Makati Ave., Makati City
    Contact: 02-8631-8000
    E-mail: callcenter@bdo.com.ph
    Facebook: facebook.com/BDOUnibank
    Website: bdo.com.ph

    International Desks

    Japan Desk
    Website: www.bdo.com.ph/jp/home
    Hotline: 02-8663-4001
    Email: help-Japanese@bdo.com.ph

    Korea Desk
    Website: www.bdo.com.ph/kr/home
    Hotline: 02-8663-4000
    Email: koreadeskhelpdesk@bdo.com.ph

    China Desk
    Website: www.bdo.com.ph/cn/home
    Hotline: 02-8631-8000
    Email: chinadesk@bdo.com.ph

    Other international desks: ASEAN Desk, Europe Desk, Multi-Lateral/ECAS Desk, North America/Australia Desk, Taiwan Desk


    Recognized as the Best Managed Bank in the Philippines, Metrobank is a premier universal bank with expertise in investment, commercial, and retail banking. With almost six decades of banking excellence, Metrobank is committed to delivering meaningful banking to Filipinos everywhere through the Bank’s extensive domestic branch network and overseas coverage. The Metrobank Group is one of the biggest and most profitable conglomerates in the country today. You are always in Good Hands with Metrobank.

    Head office: Metrobank Plaza Sen. Gil J. Puyat Ave., Makati City
    Contact: 02-88700-700
    E-mail: customercare@metrobank.com.ph
    Facebook: facebook.com/metrobank
    Website: metrobank.com.ph

    Corporate Customer Care
    Contact: 02-8898-8000
    E-mail: ibs.customercare@metrobank.com.ph


    RCBC is the financial flagship company of the Yuchengco Group of Companies, one of the oldest and largest business conglomerates in the Philippines. With 60 years in service, the bank is among the top largest private universal banks in the country. RCBC is engaged in all aspects of traditional banking, investment banking, microfinance, retail financing (auto, mortgage, and housing loans, and credit cards), remittance, leasing, foreign exchange, and stock brokering. With over 150 awards from various award-giving bodies, RCBC continues to grow, innovate, improve, and reach out beyond their customers

    Head office: Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Ave., Makati City
    Contact: 02-8877-7222
    E-mail: customercare@rcbc.com
    Facebook: facebook.com/RCBCGroup
    Website: rcbc.com

    International Desks

    Korea Desk
    Website: www.rcbc.com/Corporate/KoreaDesk
    Hotline: 02-8894-9837
    Email: jhoh@rcbc.com

    Japan Desk
    Website: www.rcbc.com/Corporate/JapanDesk
    Hotline: 02-8894-9986
    Email: asegawa@rcbc.com

    List of Major Banks in the Philippines and Key Figures

    Bank & Contact Details Origin No. of Branches Min. Deposit (New Account) Private Bank Personal Savings Deposit (Interest)
    Asia United Bank Corporation
    ☎ 02-8-631-3333 / 02-8-638-6888
    Philippines 228 Not required None 0.125%
    Bank of Commerce
    ☎ 02-8-982-6000/ 02-7-214-8800
    Philippines 139 Php 5,000 None 0.13%
    Bank of Makati
    ☎ 02-8-889-0000
    Philippines 62 Php 500 None 0.75%
    Bank of the Philippine Islands
    ☎ 02-8-818 5541 to 48
    Philippines 800 Php 3,000 Yes 0.25%
    BDO Unibank, Inc.
    ☎ 02-8-631-8000
    Philippines 1,168 Php 5,000 Yes 0.25%
    China Banking Corporation
    ☎ 02-885-5888
    Philippines 620 Php 2,000 Yes 0.125%
    Citibank Philippines
    ☎ 02-8-995-9999
    America 3 Php 50,000 Yes 0.1%
    Development Bank of the Philippines
    ☎ 02-8-818-9511
    Philippines 127 Php 500 None 0.1%
    EastWest Banking Corporation
    ☎ 02-8-888-1700 / 02- 8-575-3888
    Philippines 447 Php 2,000 None 0.125%
    Land Bank of the Philippines
    ☎ 02-8-522-0000/ 02-8-551-2200/ 02-3-450-7001
    Philippines 365 Php 500 None 0.10%
    Maybank Philippines, Inc.
    ☎ 02-8-588-3888
    Malaysia 74 Php 10,000 None 0.25%
    ☎ 02-8-8700-700
    Philippines 950 Php 10, 000 Yes 0.250%
    Philippine National Bank
    ☎ 02-8-573-8888
    Philippines 712 Php 3,000 None 0.10%
    ☎ 02-8-877-7222
    Philippines 332 Php 3,000 Yes 0.15%
    Robinsons Bank Corporation
    ☎ 02-8-637-2273
    Philippines 146 Php 100 None 0.1%
    Security Bank Corporation
    ☎ 02-8-867-6788 / 02-8-887-9188
    Philippines 305 Php 5,000 Yes 0.1%
    Union Bank of the Philippines
    ☎ 02-7-906 3817
    Philippines 111 Php 500 Yes 0.1%
    United Coconut Planters Bank
    ☎ 02-8-811-9000
    Philippines 188 Php 2,000 None 0.25%
    The banks listed above deal with both corporations and individuals. Information on the listed banks were disclosed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. In addition, the total assets found in the table were calculated from the balance sheet issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in June 2019, while other gures were either calculated from the websites of each bank or retrieved through a survey via phone call (as of November 12, 2019).


    A Private bank offers financial services for wealthy individuals such as asset owners and corporate owners; a bank with a dedicated staff who comprehensively manages assets according to customer asset conditions and life plans.

    The Capital Ratio is where the capital (total assets) held by a bank that can be broadly divided into two categories: “equity” and “money borrowed from others.” 

    Equity capital means the money (capital) that a bank has issued and has raised its own shares.

    Accumulated profits, also called retained earnings, refers to the percentage of net profits that are accumulated and used for reinvestment purposes. These can also be used to pay down debts rather than being paid out in dividends. The accumulated profit is often used by corporations to invest in areas that will create growth opportunities. 

    Equity ratio refers to the ratio of equity to total assets. It is said that the higher the value is, the healthier the management is, and it is used as one of the indicators of a management’s status.


    1. Partner with a bank that meets your needs. If you are a busy bee, it’s best to choose a bank that gives you easy access to ATM around you- whether in malls, near your house or office. 
    2. Put safety and privacy first. Choose a bank that immediately notifies via e-mail or text should there be any suspicious activity on your account and gives speedy action towards it.
    3. According to Moneymax, make sure that your chosen bank is a member of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) to ensure a maximum of P500,000 deposit insurance coverage.
    4. Do not be afraid to consult a bank representative should you have any questions or clarifications before you sign anything with your chosen bank. 
    5. When making online bank transactions, secure your phones and/or computer by making sure to have an updated anti-virus software. Also, keep your firewall up to keep your data private.

    In all, it’s important to choose a bank that will meet your needs and fit your lifestyle. While there are many things to consider, your security and privacy are the most important. Talk to your chosen bank/s and choose the one that can best meet your needs.

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