BPI Family Savings Bank, the biggest thrift bank in the Philippines, celebrated its 36th year last July 1 -- two days ahead of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas's 28th anniversary.

BPI Family was established in 1985 following the historic merger between BPI and Family Bank and Trust Company, a universal bank positioned in the consumer banking segment. This year's anniversary will be the last for BPI Family as it is set to merge with its parent bank, the 170-year-old Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, D.D., Apostolic Vicar of Taytay, Palawan, offered the anniversary mass not only as a "thanksgiving for another year of service" but also "for the new life that this bank will have in the merging with BPI... a new phase in the life of the bank and in the life of also many people."

In the online ceremony attended by thousands of bank employees and clients, Jose Teodoro "TG" Limcaoco, BPI Family Chairman, reminisced: "Over the past 36 years, BPI Family has served the nation quite well. We have provided the means for many families to progress with their lives, to secure their futures, providing them with homes, transportation, and capital for their small businesses."

Limcaoco looks forward to the forthcoming merger, which will enable BPI Family "(t)o dream bigger dreams. To aspire for greater accomplishments. To make more dreams come true."

Limcaoco likens the merger to a maturing relationship between a mother and a daughter. "BPI and BPI Family have always been like mother and daughter to each other. A loving and respectful relationship but sometimes with tension. But as the daughter grows up in age and grows in wisdom and maturity, the mother and daughter become almost as one. And eventually, you won't be able to tell them apart. So, it hopefully will come to pass where with One BPI, the merger of BPI and BPI Family, the mother and daughter become one. A signal that the daughter has become as important and as equally prominent as the mother."

The merger, Limcaoco said, will mean "the qualities and successes of BPI and BPI Family will combine for even greater strength. And while the brand BPI Family may disappear, the importance of family will always remain at BPI."

Ma. Christina "Ginbee" Go, BPI Family president, waxed nostalgic as she looked back at 36 years of BPI Family.

"I feel a certain sense of pride for the opportunity to be part of this great institution. An institution that knows exactly who it serves and why it serves. BPI Family has defined the gravity of its mission: to help families live their dreams every day through each one of you."

Ms. Go also recounted how BPI Family bankers "stood by their post"(referring to the battle cry of past Chairman Cezar "Bong" P. Consing) during the pandemic. "The past year has tested the bank and the strength of our family ties. When most banks slowed down on issuing loans, we remained present for our business partners and for our clients who continue to aspire for their dream homes or their dream cars. When most other banks charged for the full 2 to 3 months amortization of the loan upon the expiry of the Bayanihan period, we maintained the same amount of the loan amortization and extended the term. The reward is our client's continued trust and patronage. Our housing loans portfolio, continue to register growth, as we supported our partner developers' need for liquidity. Our auto loans releases registered higher growth than the auto industry sales. Our delinquency and NPL ratio are better than industry average. Our core income, before provisions, improved versus previous year. All told, we have provided over 750 billion in loans over the last 36 years and now we release on the average 90 to 100 loans a day!"

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas @ 28

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas turned 28 last July 3 as it continued to grapple with the effects of the pandemic. July 3, 1993 marks the passage of Republic Act 7653, or the New Central Bank Act. Personally, it is not too difficult to remember the date. I assumed office as a member of the policy-making monetary board on July 3, 2008 -- which coincided with the BSP's 15th anniversary.

The new law clearly defined the bank's new primary goal focused on maintaining price stability -- an objective only implied in the old Central Bank charter. The new law also gave the BSP fiscal and administrative autonomy which the old Central Bank did not enjoy.

The BSP has been led at various periods by Gabriel C. Singson (my former law professor at Ateneo), Rafael B. Buenaventura, Amando M. Tetangco Jr., (under whom I served as MBM) Nestor A. Espenilla Jr., and currently by Benjamin E. Diokno.

Governor Diokno and the Monetary Board have been praised by the business community for BSP's timely and decisive response to the pandemic. The BSP provided ample monetary stimulus to mitigate tightening liquidity conditions, thus boosting consumer confidence and ensuring the continued orderly functioning of the financial system.

Note: You may wish to share the foregoing article via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.