The first bank established in the Philippines was the El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2. It was founded in August 1, 1851 and was also considered as the first bank in Southeast Asia. Its actual operations began in 1852.
This bank was established twenty-three (23) years after Ferdinand VII (King of Spain) issued a decree in April 6, 1828 to establish a public bank in the Philippines.
The Spanish governor and captain-general of the Philippine Islands, Antonio de Urbiztondo led the organization of this first bank in the Philippines. The bank was established as a limited stock company the same as with the contemporary state banks in Europe at that time.
Its first office was located in Intendencia which is now called Intramuros.
The confraternities managed the funds of the bank and the invested capital to be spent in secular activities like underwriting cargoes for the galleon trade.
In January 1, 1912, the bank was officially renamed into Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).