The Philippine National Bank of Bacoor City
(Aguinaldo Highway Branch)
By Apolinario Villalobos
My opening of an account with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) as a repository of my pension was actually a revival of my trust to this bank which happens to be the “sister company” of Philippine Airlines, my former employer. I had my first experience of the bank’s service when I decided to use checks for personal transactions many years back, particularly, during the 1980s. My feeling of security was anchored on the bank’s being a government institution since 100 years ago. I closed my checking account when I left Philippine Airlines as I had no more use for it. Though I had some regrets, I treasured the opportunity of having experienced the traditional Filipino service which is deeply impressed with hospitality.
The second time I had the chance to experience the well-known traditional service of the bank was when I filed for my pension with the Social Security System (SSS) which during the time was literally, a neighbor of the bank, as it was just a few steps away, along Aguinaldo highway. As I was in a hurry to go back to the SSS, Ms. Sheryll Ann Erive compassionately attended to me immediately. My transactions with the bank did not end with the issuance of my ATM card which was given to me together with complete instruction, including the rules that cover the ACOP. I could not help noticing the smile that never left the lips of the personnel, even the contracted staff – the security guards, as they open the door for the clients with a warm greeting.
The Branch Manager, himself, Mr. Roy Tan is always smiling and ever patient. Just this morning when I dropped by to make some verification on my ATM withdrawal record, he put down the phone momentarily to listen to me. But upon noticing that Ms. Sarah Artiaga was already free, I asked that I be entertained by her. With much patience, Ms. Artiaga immediately displayed my e-record to help me recall one withdrawal which I failed to enter into my cell phone’s archive. My query was a blessing in disguise as I came to learn about their internal security verification system which will be needed for my future blogs.
My pension is comparatively small but my experience that morning made me feel that the amount of deposit made by their clients is immaterial for them, as what matters is the client, himself. In other words the number of digits does not make any difference as foremost in their mind is the satisfaction of all their clients. Such service is given substance by their latest message to their clients which says, “you first”.
According to Mr. Tan, they are not affected by the cut-throat competition posed by other banks as they continuously exert their total effort to satisfy their clients based on their “traditional service” which as mentioned earlier, is truly deeply impressed with Filipino hospitality. The principle is simple….satisfy the client and he will be back. And, what else can put a client at ease than an assuring smile. Nevertheless, Mr. Tan mentioned that the bank has plans to enhance its service for the convenience of their ever-growing number of clients. To date, the bank has a “bank on wheels” which I came across at the PNB/PAL headquarters along Roxas Boulevard.
Here are some historical notes about the bank: it was established on July 16, 1916 at the old Masonic Temple in Escolta, based on Public Act 2016 authored by Miguel Cuaderno, replacing the government’s Agricultural Bank; its first president was an American, H. Parker Willis; it served as a de facto Central Bank of the Philippines in 1949; its first local branch was established in Iloilo in 1917; its first international branch was opened in New York; it was the first to offer the ATM service to clients; the Memorandum of Agreement with Lucio Tan Group of Companies was signed in May 2002, two years after the said group became the bank’s first single stock holder; the bank also prides in the awards received from SSS twice (Balikat ng Bayan), as well as, Reader’s Digest and AC Nielsen (Gold Superbrand).