“An Inclusive Innovator“
The Philippines’ BDO Unibank, Inc. makes a transformational impact on communities while demonstrating operational excellence.
Incorporated in the Philippines in 1967 under an another moniker, BDO Unibank, Inc. is a full-service universal banking and financial services company providing a complete array of industry-leading products and services to the retail and corporate markets, including loans, deposits, foreign exchange, brokering, trust and investments, credit cards, retail cash cards, corporate cash management, and remittances as well as digital banking solutions. Through its subsidiaries, the bank offers leasing and financing, investment banking, private banking, rural banking, life insurance, insurance brokerage, and stock brokerage services.
Having sustained market leadership across all its business lines over the last 13 years through a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) complemented by organic growth, BDO is, today, the leading brand name and banking franchise of the country, and retains a truly sustainable business with the largest market share, the most extensive reach, and the broadest range of product offerings.
Exemplified by its “We Find Ways” philosophy, BDO has instilled a customer-centric service culture to meet their needs, with superior levels of customer satisfaction. What makes BDO stand out amongst its competitors are also its continuous investment in its market reach and client coverage, which serves the underserved and unbanked markets, banking innovation of extended banking hours and weekend banking that is still unmatched in the industry, and its multi-channel platform that seamlessly integrates the traditional branch network with alternative access points, thus offering customers the option to do their banking transactions anytime, anywhere, and even on the go.
As the leading brand name and banking franchise in the Philippines, BDO is backed by a solid and scalable IT infrastructure platform that enables it to accommodate growing business volumes and be in pace with changing customer demands. This is also one crucial factor that has led to the bank’s consistent performance, having generated solid financial results from its business franchise as it continues to develop businesses that will create sustainable and diversified earning streams.
With a corporate mission to be the preferred bank in every market it serves, BDO’s customers span a wide swath of the Philippine market and encompasses the country’s largest corporate and financial institutions, 5,000 largest middle-market companies in terms of revenue, SMEs, the unbanked and underserved segments in provincial areas, and individuals (retail).
BDO’s successes over the years have been nothing short of remarkable. Aside from rising from 20th in 1997 to number 1 in 2008 in ranks of the most profitable banks, BDO has skillfully executed M&A activities that strengthened its franchise and accelerated its growth. Its superior deposit franchise has also generated the highest Current Account/Savings Account (CASA) ratio as well as the lowest cost of deposits among peer banks. Furthermore, BDO has established leadership in developing sustainable finance in the Philippines through successful and pioneering bond issuances.
Competition aside, BDO has had to endure various changes over the years that has ultimately led to its resilience. Despite having merged with Equitable PCI (EPCI) Bank months before the global financial crisis (GFC) broke out in late 2007, BDO successfully integrated with EPCI operationally in less than a year, thus catapulting it to a leadership position by end 2008.
Another evident challenge was COVID-19, which had led the bank to make quick decisive action to address the unprecedented changes of the pandemic by instituting a secure environment for both customers and employees and activating its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to ensure its customers’ uninterrupted access to BDO’s products and services. As a result, the bank not only returned to normal operations by June 2020, but also had several of its businesses surpassing pre-COVID levels by year-end 2020, hence illustrating solid recovery.
Rising above these changes and challenges, BDO’s best practices in corporate governance and sustainability as well as all-around operational excellence have been acknowledged and cited by institutions and award giving bodies. It attributes its success to corporate governance that focuses on effective oversight, doing the right thing, and providing sustainable value creation to promote the best interests of various stakeholders, continually refining this corporate governance framework to sustain superior business performance anchored on the principles of fairness, integrity, transparency, accountability, and performance, and maintaining its strong reputation that is built on a culture of ethics and responsible business conduct.
Progressing forward, BDO will continue championing financial inclusion through its rural banking subsidiary, BDO Network Bank (BDONB), to continue its expansion in the underserved and unbanked areas. It also supplements this with agency banking, expanding touchpoints with Cash Agad, a mobile banking solution, to offer more venues for cash fulfilment and banking transactions. Finally, it leverages on its distribution network of over 1,500 branches and over 4,500 ATMs nationwide to further its efforts to get more people into the banking system. BDO will also continually enhance its digital banking and IT infrastructure to stay nimble and flexible to take advantage of changing technologies amid rising digital adaptation.
BDO takes its human capital very seriously by offering competitive compensation packages as well as opportunities for advancement and professional development via targeted training and skills development programs. These programs cover business processes and operations, products and services, skills development, and soft skills. Furthermore, all employees are required to participate in mandatory courses such as Anti-Money Laundering Act, Data Privacy Fundamentals, Operational Risk Management, and Business Continuity.
With respect to CSR, BDO commits to initiatives undertaken by the BDO Foundation, the bank’s CSR arm. Over 2.7 million total beneficiaries of financial education programs have been developed through partnerships in order to advance financial literacy within the country. In addition, BDO has rehabilitated 121 rural health units in economically disadvantaged and calamity stricken areas, covering 6.5 million beneficiaries to date, and has spearheaded over 300 disaster relief operations mounted by BDO volunteers. BDO has also provided manpower support and helped local government units (LGUs) for their vaccination programs aimed at helping control the spread of COVID-19.
BDO Unibank rightfully deserves the honour of being named as one of the Industry Champions of the Year by ACES for making a transformative impact within the communities it serves and for demonstrating all-around operational excellence that has garnered the bank multiple accolades and other recognitions. This award validates the adroit execution of the bank’s strategies to create a strong and market-leading business franchise.
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