THE EARLY BEGINNINGS
PHILTRUST BANK, also known as the Philippine Trust Company, is the first institution to engage in the trust business under Philippine law. It started operations on October 21, 1916.
Its organization was the result of an increasing number of estates needing administration, minor heirs requiring guardianship services and other estates which needed trusteeship relations, of which there was none in existence at the time. Trust accounts also involved receiverships, assigneeships, custodian of wills and estates under court appointed or private administration. Essentially, therefore, the fiduciary role was the guiding light of the new company. Banking is indeed vested with public trust and confidence and the relationship between bank and client must remain deeply rooted thereon. Hence, even in its humble beginnings, the Philippine Trust Company anchored its hopes for greater service to the community on its commitment to trust and confidence.
The Trust Company started with Php1 million authorized capital, of which Php500,000.00 was paid up. Its office was located at Calle T. Pinpin on Escolta.
The first Board of Directors of the Company was composed of Phil C. Whitaker, Otto Vorster, Charles Ayton, Julius S. Reis, Thomas L. Hartigan, William J. O'Donovan and W. H. Lawrence, the last three being prominent practicing lawyers at the time, Whitaker was elected president and served as such for more than six years.
As a result of the increasing recognition by the public of the convenience and practicability of the services of a trust Institution, the business of the Company expanded. After the end of World War I, the Office of the United States Veterans Administration, then known as the Veterans Bureau, engaged Philippine Trust Company to handle guardianships of deceased Veteran's children. Agencies were subsequently opened in Fort Mills, Corregidor and Fort Stotsenberg in Pampanga. The Philippine Trust became the depository of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines. It is a distinction of Philtrust to have served as depository to General Douglas MacArthur, to the lowest private of the U.S. Army stationed in the Philippines and to the Philippine Scouts.
Public Confidence Firmly Established
Public confidence in the Company rose speedily and creditably. In 1919, the trust operations reflected unprecedented progress and cash dividends were first declared.
In the same year, the stockholders amended the Articles of Incorporation of the Company to expand its operations to include the full range of commercial and savings bank activities. In September 1920, the Philippine Trust moved to new premises near the Santa Cruz Catholic Church at the foot of the Santa Cruz Bridge. Among its first depositors were Manuel L. Quezon, Manuel C. Briones, Jose C. Zulueta, Roman Mabanta and Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr.
In a short span of-time, Philtrust quickly assumed a leading and important role in this field of commercial banking. Its conservative policies became a landmark of its operations. It was quickly rewarded by the favorable and enthusiastic response of its depositors and patrons. Philtrust's enduring strength lies in a banking policy of minimal risk in order to protect depositors' funds in every kind of economic environment. Philtrust's clients know this, it's a key reason they bank with Philtrust and stay with Philtrust. They appreciate the fact that the Bank maintains an adequate capital base, high liquidity and superior asset quality.
Throughout its existence, the Bank has maintained a healthy balance of its deposit liabilities. likewise, in the management of available funds, a weighted proportion in investments has been kept. Philtrust's portfolio is a conservative mix of investments in bonds and other government securities as well as loans, discounts, equity investments and other advances to industry, commerce and trade. This pattern of fund employment has earned for Philtrust the reputation as among the healthiest and most solvent financial institutions in the banking system. It has never sacrificed strength for profits but has pursued profitability only that it may be strong and adequate to meet all requirements.
More important, however, than volume of resources and profits are the people whom the Bank serves practically on a personal basis, Philtrust believes that what matters is not size but people with whom they can work and grow effectively together -- not just for short term success but creating new standards of business relationships, It is therefore no coincidence that Phlltrust builds lasting ties of trust with its clients.
After World War II, the government extended financial aid to the banking system in the form of preferred shares. The Philtrust's authorized capital was increased in 1946 to Php3 million. Paid up capital rose to Php2 million -- Php1 million in common shares of then existing stockholders and 91 million in preferred shares owned by the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation(RFC). Eventually, from successful operations, the Philtrust fully paid its total RFC investment with interest.
New Philtrust Building
In 1950, by arrangement with the Archdiocese of Manila, the five story fully air-conditioned Philtrust Bank building was built fronting Plaza Coiti (now Plaza Lacson), behind the Santa Cruz Catholic Church, It was the first building built primarily for use and occupancy of a modern bank. The building was occupied by the Philippine Trust. It also housed the Bankers Association of the Philippines for several years.
At about the same time, the bank undertook to bring its banking services directly to the people by establishing a string of branches, foremost among others were the branches opened in Ermita (corner Isaac Peral and Florida Streets); Paco Branch also at Isaac Peral, now United Nations Ave.; and Cubao Branch (EDSA) in Quezon City.
Thus, the growth of bank resources from Php1.732 million in 1920 to Php119.500 million on its 50th anniversary in 1966, and to Php6.444 billion on its 75th anniversary in 1991.
Philtrust Contributing to Philippine Progress
By the end of the third quarter of 1991, Philtrust's total resources reached a level of Php6.444 billion and Capital base was Php757.45 million.
The Bank's continued growth and development has been possible with the wholehearted support of all Its constituents, clientele, policy and decision makers, its able officers and staff and its unswerving loyalty to the high traditions of responsible banking.
The Bank is being fully equipped and automated with the most modern and sophisticated bank equipment. A system of computerization is being installed for practically all bank transactions. The savings accounts machines system for which the Bank is particularly proud because it was the first bank in the Philippines to introduce the same in the early thirties is being modernized and refined with the latest equipment.
The Bank's Head Office is now housed in a sprawling complex on the United Nations Avenue corner San Marcelino Street in Manila. The old Head Office Building on Plaza Goiti (Plaza Lacson) now houses its Sta. Cruz branch. The bank also owns many of its branch buildings and properties in Manila and in the provinces. It is the second oldest private commercial bank in the country. Known for its conservatism, it has acquired and enjoyed the confidence and reputation for financial stability and reliability in services.
For 100 years since its establishment, Philtrust Bank has now a total of 61 branches, 40 located in Metro Manila and 21 in the provinces. Greater emphasis is being given to regional operations and financing of priority industries relevant to the need of growing economy of the country. Towards this end, the Bank increased its authorized capital stock from Seventeen Billion Pesos (P17,000,000,000) to Twenty-two Billion Pesos (P22,000,000,000), which increase was approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on January 21, 2005 and by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 10, 2005.