“Subok Na Matibay, Subok Na Matatag” (Tested Strong, Proven Stable), the slogan of once well-known and once most popular bank in the Philippines, the Banco Filipino, formerly known as Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank, but surprisingly, it was closed twice in 1985 and in 2011 in the history of banks in the Philippines.
Banco Filipino started its operation in 1964, founded by Tomas Aguirre and was known as one of the thrift bank. The Aguirre family together with the founder control and manage the aforementioned bank. And In 1965, Banco Filipino innovated and became the first all-woman bank, making it number 1 among the banks back then. Because of its continuous innovation of its services, in 1966 it became the largest savings bank in the Philippines. It also became the first bank to process online transactions in real time in 1969, giving customers the ability to deposit in any online Banco Filipino branch. In 1970, Banco Filipino started expanding into the countryside with its first provincial branch opening in Naga City. By 1972, the bank's customer base grew to one million customers, even in the midst of martial law. Banco Filipino continuous to grew and was voted the most preferred bank in Metro Manila in 1975. By 1981, the Banco Filipino made a record that no other bank could achieved at that time, it had 89 branches, four billion pesos worth of assets, three million customers and three thousand shareholders.
But on the 23rd of July 1984, Banco Filipino declared a self-imposed bank holiday due to illiquidity. Central Bank of the Philippines did not order it closed immediately but placed it under conservatorship a week after the declaration. The central bank infused P3 billion pesos as a credit to help it. After six months of examination and supervision, the BSP released the supervision and examination (SES) report on the 23rd of January 1985. At the recommendation of the report, the Central Bank of the Philippines closed the bank on January 25, 1985 on the basis of illiquidity and insolvency.
For most of the 1980s it remained closed until the Supreme Court declared in 1991 the bank's closure as illegal. The Court found the report was based on incomplete findings and due to illegal closure. It subsequently opened in 1994 with only 15 branches out of its original 92 branches. In reopening the Banco Filipino, it would be busy trying to reestablish itself, and it would be harder for the bank to regain its popularity back then in the 60’s until the 1980’s.
Since the bank was reopened, Banco Filipino tries to enter into the banking industry again and to cope up with a lot of changes after it has been closed in 1985. Then in 1995, Banco Filipino became a member of BancNet after launching the BF Cash Card and issued its first credit card, a VISA card, a year later. In 1996, Banco Filipino shares were re-listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. And in 1999, the Supreme Court declared that Banco Filipino is entitled to damages payments caused by its illegal closure. Then in 2002, BSP extended P3.5 billion worth of emergency loan to Banco Filipino, of which P2.6 billion is still outstanding. Banco Filipino mostly competes with other savings banks, such as Philippine Savings Bank and Centennial Savings Bank. Now that Banco and It is also known for its property developments such as BF Homes, subdivisions in Parañaque, Quezon City and Las Piñas. In regaining its popularity back then, Banco Filipino strives to be in the market and they continuously innovate and study the market. And now, they were now known for the following firsts in the banking industry, such as open teller counters instead of the then-common glass-encased counter. Whereas today, all banks have adopted the open teller counter concept, also the plastic signs inside bank branches, acceptance of initial savings deposits that are as low as one peso, the offering of capital stock to its depositors, through that scheme, Banco...