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Standard Chartered Bank Philippines

Standard Chartered Bank serves Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking clients with differentiated expertise. We support clients with their transaction banking, corporate finance, financial markets and borrowing needs.

Person, Human, Suit

Who we are and what we do

We offer banking services that help people and companies to succeed, creating wealth and growth across our markets. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise – here for good.

With 85,000 employees and a presence in 59 markets, our network serves customers in close to 150 markets worldwide. We’re listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.

Standard Chartered in the Philippines

Standard Chartered Bank stands as a proud witness of the rich history of the Philippines, being the first international bank that was established in 1872, and now celebrating its 150th year in the country. Its name reflects the wealth of its heritage here and around the world. The bank’s global foundation was built 168 years ago from its former name, The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1853 in England. Overseas branches were then established in Calcutta, Bombay and Shanghai, followed by the Philippines, Malaysia in 1875 and Thailand in 1894.

Early operations in the Philippines saw the bank financing machinery imports of the booming agricultural industries such as sugar, hemp, coconut, and shortly after copper, pig-iron, anchors, cordage, tobacco, coffee, and rice. Its first Manila premises was the shabby lower story of a house in Binondo, the financial district at that time, whose upper floor was used as a kindergarten. The Manila operations consisted chiefly of the granting of accommodation secured upon export produce, imported merchandise, and promissory notes. As worldwide demand for Philippine produce grew in the 1890s, Chartered Bank granted fixed loans to leading firms against sugar, hemp, copra, tobacco and coffee. It also financed shipments of sugar to China, Canada and London; copra to Paris; and hemp to New York. Much of the produce pledged to the bank were stored in Iloilo and Cebu.

Notable of the early accounts of the bank’s high reputation is a historical note about the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal. While pursuing advance studies in Paris at the time of the Revolutionary Movement during the Spanish regime in the country, Dr. Rizal wrote to his parents in 1886, saying:

“The day before yesterday, I received a draft of $200 which when collected in Francs gave me only 192, so 4% is lost. With more reason than ever, I repeat to you now what I have told you. If you are to send me money, do it by The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China which is much better. Had you sent me those $200 through that House, they would have given me some 204 or 205 Francs.”

In 1887, the banking industry as a whole took a dip in fortunes. During the late Spanish period, however, Britain was the Philippines’ largest trading partner, accounting for some 27% of exports and 33% of imports.

Effects of the execution of Dr. Rizal included the end of the Spanish regime and the entry of the American forces into the Philippines. With this came the many changes in the business and the financial sectors. Through these all, The Chartered Bank was actively progressing with its operations.

At the end of the Spanish regime, only four banks were allowed by the Americans to operate in the Philippines with combined resources standing at P40 million. The Chartered Bank was one of these four banks. When the Americans offered Emilio Aguinaldo $400,000 to go into exile, the money was paid by a demand draft drawn on a bank in Hongkong. After that the balance was transferred to The Chartered Bank in Hongkong and placed on deposit for two years at two per cent interest.

Upon the ascension of the new Philippine government, The Chartered Bank became one of the two depository banks for the government’s money. They held this distinction until 1916. World War II brought new hardships to the bank. Its branch in the Wilson Building was frequently rocked by the constant bombing raids directed at the ships docked on the Pasig River near the building. In 1942, at the time of the Japanese occupation, all foreign banks were forced to close down, as well as to declare and surrender all their assets.

Unfortunately for The Chartered Bank, the building was claimed by the Japanese as their Treasury Headquarters. But because of foresight, the bank officials were able to evacuate a number of their gold bars to the island of Corregidor.

Although the Japanese occupation left the Philippine banking system in a state of almost total collapse, The Chartered Bank was the second bank to reopen on July 23, 1945 at the SJ Wilson Building branch. At that point of history, General Banking Act 1948 limited the presence of foreign banks to the existing number of branches each had. Thus, The Chartered Bank in the Philippines was limited to its offices in Cebu, Iloilo and Manila, with the Zamboanga office long been closed.

The year 1969 was marked as a historic year when The Standard Bank and The Chartered Bank formed into a merger into what is known today as the Standard Chartered Bank. In 1972, the Manila branch moved to a larger, and more modern premises leased from the Philippine National Oil Company in Makati. This move happened after 25 years of staying in the Trade and Commerce Building since the end of the war.

The year 1977 saw the successful transformation of a Foreign Currency Deposit Unit which was authorized to accept deposits in foreign currencies and to make foreign currency loans.

Through the years, Standard Chartered has made worthwhile contributions to the development of the Philippines. It has widely supported the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors and has helped greatly in the growth of some of the country’s exports like coffee, sugar, hemp, coconut products, ready-to-wear clothing, and handicrafts.

Mid-1990’s saw Standard Chartered Bank Philippines become more aggressive in reaching out to a larger market by introducing consumer banking products and services, notably the Credit Card. It was in 1999 that Standard Chartered Bank grew, opening three branches in succession in prime commercial and financial districts: Alabang in April, Ortigas in August, and Quezon City in December.

Recognizing its commitment to the country, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas upgraded the status of Standard Chartered into a Universal Bank in 2001. It operated two primary businesses, the Wholesale Banking covering corporates and institutions, global markets, and Consumer Banking that include Wealth Management, Cards and Personal Loans. Standard Chartered Bank Philippines had six branches in Makati, Cebu, Alabang, Ortigas, Quezon City and Caloocan, part of the international network of 500 offices and branches in 50 countries with 30,000 employees.

Since 2016, Standard Chartered Bank in the Philippines operates as a global network bank with focus on Corporate and Institutional clients. It supports clients with their transaction banking, corporate finance, financial markets and borrowing needs, providing innovative product solutions.

Today, it is the only international bank to have a presence in all ten ASEAN markets, and leverages on its extensive global network across the world’s most dynamic markets to extend its service footprint. The bank provides access to more than 2,000 touchpoints through its partner network.

Through the years, Standard Chartered continues to create value-added services through technologies beyond traditional banking. Digital capabilities allow the bank to service its clients’ growing and complex needs in trade and commerce. The digitisation of its core banking is one of the key elements in its innovation strategy to improve transparency and deliver the best possible client experience.

The Bank’s deep local knowledge, global expertise network and pre-eminent cross border capability enabled the bank to be recognized as a leader, consistently delivering best-in-class products and services, unparalleled performance and track record through the years.

Standard Chartered Philippines has been the bank of choice for corporate financing and loan syndication and has maintained its dominant position as Lead Underwriter and Bookrunner for syndicated loans in the Philippines as acknowledged by the market across issuers, investors and competitors.

The bank is also a top-rated custody and fund administration services provider to leading foreign and domestic institutional clients, and has been recognized as Consistent Category Outperformer, Market Outperformer and Global Outperformer in industry surveys.

Despite the challenges brought about by the global pandemic since 2020, Standard Chartered has remained steadfast in becoming an enabler of growth and committed to fully support our clients’ financing requirements as we move into another decade.

In recent years, the bank successfully executed and mandated a wide range of deal types including landmark and sustainable finance transactions. These highlight the bank’s commitment to support its valued clients – the government, private institutions, and banks to monitor the capital markets and seize opportunities to help raise strategic capital through the challenging times and support the key engines that drive the nation and lead it to a sustainable recovery.

Standard Chartered also promotes economic inclusion as one of its sustainability priorities. Futuremakers by Standard Chartered is a global initiative that tackles inequality across our markets through fundraising and community programs that are anchored on the pillars of Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship.

Beyond the deep foundation and long history of 150 years in the Philippines, Standard Chartered Bank remains committed to support the growth and development of the Philippine economy, to leverage on its deep local knowledge, extensive network and global expertise to deliver the best outcomes for its clients, and reaffirm its brand promise to be ‘Here for good’.

Our global network

We are present in 59 markets

Standard Chartered Bank was formed in 1969

Quick glance at our history