Philippine Bank of Communications

Philippine Bank of Communications
Philippine Bank of Communications
Type Public (PSE: PBC)
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded Manila, Philippines (1939)
Headquarters Makati, Philippines
Key people Enrique T. Luy, Chairman
Roman Azanza, Jr., President and CEO
Products Financial Services
Net income P215.7 million PHP (increase114.41%) (2005) [1]
Employees 994

The Philippine Bank of Communications (PSE: PBC), more commonly known as PBCom, is one of the largest commercial banks in the Philippines, ranking nineteenth in terms of assets. The bank is also known for its towering headquarters, PBCom Tower, the tallest building in the Philippines, located in Makati.



PBCom became one of the first non-American foreign commercial banks to operate in the Philippines (foreign because it was under Chinese control at the time) with the granting of its banking license on August 15, 1939. It was incorporated and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 23 and started operations on September 4. The bank started operations at the ground floor of the Trade and Commerce Building on Juan Luna Street, then the Wall Street of the Philippines, in Binondo, Manila, with a staff of twenty men, all below the age of thirty and many fresh out of school.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, PBCom followed most other banks at the time and closed operations. It resumed operations after World War II in 1945 through the infusion of new financial capital, although it had to operate from another building as its main offices at the time were used as the headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur. Although it was not legally obligated to do so, PBCom announced that it would honor all pre-war accounts, saying instead that the war and subsequent occupation of the Philippines was merely a long bank holiday that would have no effect on any depositary instrument PBCom had at the time. A year later, PBCom would join the Manila Clearing House Association.

On July 15, 1947, PBCom opened its first provincial branch in Cebu City and leased a lot in front of its main office at the time a year later. By March 1953, PBCom's new six-storey headquarters was inaugurated. The bank's trust department was established in 1962 and its headquarters was remodeled in 1964, which included the retrofitting of the building to house Binondo's first escalator.

On June 21, 1974, the then Chinese-owned PBCom was put under majority Filipino control with the purchase of a majority stake in the bank by Ralph Nubla and his company. The new management subsequently infused an additional 83 million pesos in capital, and established its treasuries group later in the year. PBCom was subsequently accredited as a certified government securities dealer in 1981.

PBCom listed on the Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges (now the Philippine Stock Exchange) in 1988 and reached an agreement with Filinvest Land to develop its properties on Ayala Avenue. In May 1997, the property was developed into the 52-storey PBCom Tower, the bank's new headquarters and the tallest building in the Philippines. PBCom relocated its original Cebu City branch in 1999 and celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in September 1999. 2.6 billion pesos of fresh capital was infused in 2000 and PBCom subsequently acquired Consumer Savings Bank, a nineteen-branch savings bank. The bank moved into PBCom Tower in 2001, occupying the first ten floors. Because of the move, PBCom subsequently refreshed its image with a new logo.

PBCom issued its first international credit card, a MasterCard issued in joint partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, in 2002. It subsequently introduced online banking in 2003 and was infused with an additional three billion pesos in fresh capital. As a show of support, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation gave PBCom an additional 7.64 billion pesos in financial enhancement funds, which formed part of PBCom's comprehensive business plan. The funds were really used to buy high-yielding government securities that would stop the true sale of any non-performing assets to a special purpose vehicle, or SPV. PBCom also welcomed its current president and CEO in 2005.

On November 22, 2006, Philtrust Bank expressed their intention to buy 58% of PBCom, buying the stakes of the Nubla and Chung families. The Luy family, the owners of the largest share of PBCom, refused to talk about the deal.[1] If it succeeded, it would have moved Philtrust up to the thirteenth largest lender in the country and the transaction would have been the fourth bank merger of that year, after the mergers of Prudential Bank into BPI, International Exchange Bank into Union Bank of the Philippines and the Banco de Oro-Equitable PCI Bank merger.


  • Luy family: 37%
  • Nubla family: 28%
  • Chung family: 26%
  • Others (includes public stock): 9%

Subsidiaries and affiliates

PBCom does not have any subsidiaries or affiliates. It is, however, a member of BancNet and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.


PBCom competes with other commercial banks, such as International Exchange Bank and other banks. It also competes with major banks, such as Metrobank, BPI, Equitable PCI Bank, Land Bank of the Philippines and Philippine National Bank.

Quite ironically, PBCom's headquarters is also home to the headquarters of a competitor bank, East West Bank. East West Bank is based on the 20th and 21st floors of PBCom Tower.

See also


External links

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