FinanceAsia presented BDO Unibank, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries with top honors during its annual Country Awards, which recognizes the best banks, brokers, and law firms across Asia.

BDO was named Best Bank in the Philippines for the 13th straight year. BDO Private Bank, on the other hand, was recognized as the Best Private Bank in the Philippines – a prestigious title it has held since 2008. Meanwhile, BDO Capital & Investment Corporation was awarded the Best Equity Capital Market (ECM) House in the Philippines, which it also got in 2017.

“The competition is always fierce, but this year it also took place against an unprecedented global backdrop thanks to COVID-19. What stood out was the banks’ resilience and their ability to adapt to fast-changing conditions, not least in enabling most of their employees to successfully work from home,” said FinanceAsia about this year’s winners.

Best Bank

FinanceAsia attributed BDO’s over-a-decade hold of the Best Bank in the Philippines Award to its continued efforts to uphold financial inclusion and enhance consumer and mid-market lending.

The bank reported a 35% increase in its year-end income amounting to P44.2 billion for 2019. Most recently, it logged P4.3 billion representing half-year earnings for 2020.

Amid the pandemic, BDO keeps its products and services within reach through its expansive nationwide network of branches. The financial institution however, encourages its clients to use online banking instead to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

Best Private Bank

BDO Private Bank had an impressive 2019, more than doubling its net profits to P878 million at the end of 2019 from P301 million in 2018.

FinanceAsia identified the local government’s move to reduce death duties on estates from 20% to 6% as an income driver for the bank’s inheritance and tax planning business. Another driver, according to the publication, was the changing mix of foreign and domestic investments, which expanded the bank’s offerings and shifted its clients’ ratio of peso and foreign currency holdings.

While physical events are on hold, BDO Private Bank has turned to digital by frequently hosting webinars to engage with its clientele.

Best ECM House

FinanceAsia called BDO Capital a “runaway winner” for the Best ECM House in the Philippines award. “It was a year when equity capital markets were quiet, but BDO was the only bank that was active across all the main categories,” it said.

In 2019, BDO Capital mounted three landmark projects. One was the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of fruit and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas, which resulted in P896.55 million. Another was the delisting of Travellers International Hotel Group worth P6 billion.

Most prominent of the three was its work for Cemex Holdings worth P12.8 billion, which was not only BDO Capital’s biggest equity deal but also the market’s largest for the year.