Recent circumstances bring to mind how difficult it actually is to thrive as a business in a competitive environment. Disruptions abound in the world in every industry, whether for start-ups or longstanding corporations. Longevity is no small feat and is the mark of excellence for any company.
As Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank) celebrates its 60th anniversary this September, it further builds on its reputation as a reliable, stable, and responsible bank for Filipinos of all generations. It should come as no surprise that even in spite of challenging economic circumstances, the bank has become stronger than ever, because it traces its origins to a globally troubling time.
Metrobank’s beginnings in 1962 were a brave response to a call for growth and progress. The world was on the verge of a nuclear war, with the United States facing down the Soviet Union over missiles in Cuba. China and India were at war. The Vietnam War was escalating. In contrast, the Philippines was doing well. Ahead of all its Asian neighbors, it had a good economy, good infrastructure, good government, and a working democracy.
The new era of optimism, brought about by government liberalization of fiscal and economic policies, heightened the growing need for fresh sources of credit to jump-start the economy. Spurred by this challenge, Metrobank was established. The bank was set up to help businesses needing funding.
Since then, Metrobank has grown the number of clients it serves across industries. It has gone from strength to strength, providing a strong and stable financial partner for Filipinos with a reputation that allows it to stand the test of time. From just over PHP52 million in assets after its first year of operations in 1963, it now has PHP2.7 trillion worth of resources as of June this year — retaining its position as the country’s second largest bank.
As it aided Filipino consumers and businesses, Metrobank introduced new products and services through the years.
It has also evolved and kept pace with Filipinos’ shift to the digital space. Today, it is able to cater to clients who prefer face-to-face transactions in its physical branches as well as those who prefer digital transactions. As of the first half of 2022, Metrobank has a consolidated branch network of 950 and 2,300 ATMs, with over 30 foreign branches, subsidiaries, and foreign offices. It also has Metrobank Online, its internet banking platform, and the Metrobank Mobile app, which allows account holders to transact anytime, wherever they are.
The bank knows that financial products can be oftentimes intimidating for consumers and to help them better understand and make well-informed financial decisions, it has rolled out different financial education initiatives. Most recently, Metrobank introduced Wealth Insights — a website where high net worth individuals can get timely market news, valuable insights, and expert advice to make meaningful investment decisions. For first-time investors, Metrobank offers Earnest, a learning and investing platform and Tara Invest, a series of bite-sized video explainers on the basics of investing. While on personal finance, Metrobank regularly posts useful money habit tips and articles on its website and social media platforms.
“Since the Bank was founded, our reason for being has always been to serve our customers extraordinarily well by helping them spot opportunities and working together to realize their dreams — whether to scale up their business or achieve their goals whatever life stage they are in,” said Metrobank President Fabian Dee.
The numerous awards that the bank has garnered was proof of its success in this regard. In the last two years, Metrobank has won the Euromoney Awards for Excellence as Best Bank in the Philippines. It was also named as the Strongest Bank and Most Helpful Bank in the Philippines during COVID-19 by the Asian Banker; Asiamoney named it as the Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines for 2021 and the Best Domestic Private Bank for 2022; and most recently, LinkedIn, conferred it as the Top Banking Employer in the country.
More than numbers and awards, however, Metrobank continues to stand true to its mission of being a responsible and trusted financial institution with a central message for its stakeholders: You are in good hands.
“As we usher in our diamond year, we look back with pride and take a step forward stronger than ever. ‘You’re In Good Hands,’ a catchphrase that we’ve always known by heart. But in reality, these four words hold much more value over time as our customers and employees experience our brand,” Mr. Dee said.
“It has evolved into our brand promise — a personal pledge of each Metrobanker and a lasting commitment of our institution, that in good or in trying times, Metrobank is the bank one can always trust.”