Banco de Oro (BDO) – Building Strong Foundations
Banco de Oro (BDO) didn’t start out as the biggest bank in the Philippines, but after five years of being the dominant local player in the country’s financial sector, its clear that BDO has no plans to relinquish the top spot. Sitting atop the Philippines’ banking industry is not necessarily the end goal, but thanks to a strong customer focus, it has been the end result. BDO’s President and CEO Nestor Tan explains, “size just became a by product of doing what we do very well. If we focus on the customer, focus on what they need, and we’re able to do it well enough, size will just follow.” And it has.
While many organizations focus on a niche market, BDO has learned, through trial and error, that a solid foundation comes from a systematic approach. “We did not build the bank as one bank,” Tan says. “We built it one product, one sector at a time.” These solid foundations are a critical factor for the bank’s eventual international expansion, but with the Philippines riding a wave of economic optimism, Tan’s foremost priority is to ensure a significant domestic footprint. “We are interested in going overseas, but we believe that in order for us to be successful we should have strong foundations.”
In a country where just 20% of the population have bank accounts, the Philippines’; banking sector is ripe with possibility. Tan remains committed to helping the nation, and BDO, realize its goals through a firm commitment to increasing financial literacy. “We have grown substantially not at the expense of other banks, but because the market has expanded.”
Part of the prestigious SM Investments Corporation, BDO, like its parent, is bullish on the country’s economic prospects. “For the first time, people can look up to the President and say this guy is clean, and he means business,” Tan says. “We are a work in progress, but boy, look at the progress.” As the Philippines continues the build on the economic gains of 2012, BDO will capitalize on its strengths to grow not only its bottom line, but contribute to the country’s growth as well.