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Philippine Trust Company, also known as Philtrust Bank, celebrates 96 years of banking service this year.  The first institution to engage in the trust business under Philippine law, Philtrust opened its doors on October 21, 1916 at the corner of Muelle del Banco Nacional and Calle T. Pinpin a block away from the Escolta. From a trust company with paid-in capital of R500,000 and a single office, Philtrust Bank has grown to be a universal bank with paid-up capital of R10 billion and 55 branches nationwide.  

Founded in recognition of an increasing need for trust services, Philippine Trust Company initially offered assistance in guardianships, receiverships, assignee ships, and custodianships of wills and estates. From the outset, the Bank’s guiding principle was one of a responsible fiduciary role, recognizing that banking is vested with public trust and confidence. Its goals have always been anchored on service to the community on a commitment to trust and confidence.   Leading businessmen comprised the Bank’s original Board of Directors, namely Phil C. Whitaker, Otto Vorster, Charles Ayton, Julius S. Reis, Thomas L. Hartigan, William J. O’Donovan, and W.H. Lawrence.  Whitaker served as President for the first six years of Bank operation.  

Hartigan, O’Donovan and Lawrence were prominent lawyers.  Soon after its incorporation, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila (RCAM) became a principal stockholder.   The Bank expanded rapidly and at the end of World War I, the United States Veterans Administration (USVA, then known as the Veterans Bureau), engaged the Company to handle guardianships of veterans’ children.