News Release

Philippine National Bank Standardises IP Network on Cisco Systems Equipment

MANILA, Philippines - February 2, 2005 - Philippine National
Feb 02, 2005

MANILA, Philippines - February 2, 2005 - Philippine National Bank (PNB), one of the country's biggest banks, is deploying a high-speed Internet Protocol (IP)-based network built end to end with equipment from Cisco Systems®. The network will provide the bank with a foundation on which to deliver fast, reliable and highly secure banking transactions for its 324 branches nationwide.

The core of PNB's network comprises of Cisco® Catalyst® 2950 and Catalyst 4500 series switches, Cisco 3745 multiservice access routers, Cisco 1760 and 1750 modular access routers and Cisco PIX® Firewall security appliances.

"PNB remains as one of the largest banks in the country after more than 88 years of operations. We are focused on further strengthening its current standing by undertaking initiatives that will reinforce the PNB franchise among its customers both locally and overseas. Among these initiatives is the upgrading of the bank's branch delivery system and customer facing platforms to enable us to answer the diverse needs of our over 2.5 million depositors. The rich and strong features of Cisco's solutions such as industry-leading security and voice over IP will enable us to continue to deliver advanced banking applications," said Roland Oscuro, first vice president, PNB.

Initially, PNB considered low-end switch brands for its unmanaged-switch requirements but later on chose managed switches after Cisco was able to demonstrate the strengths of an end-to-end networking solution.

"Banking environments are highly mission-critical and require a networking infrastructure that is robust, manageable, highly secure and flexible enough for changing requirements. The end-to-end nature of PNB's network will enable the bank to increase the efficiency of operations and lower the total cost of ownership while delivering new, integrated services such as voice over IP in the future," said Luichi Robles, country manager, Cisco Systems Philippines.

The Cisco Catalyst 2950 Series switches are stackable switches that offer wire-speed connectivity to the desktop and gigabit-per-second uplink connectivity using several optional gigabit interface converter (GBIC) uplinks. These products deliver intelligent services such as availability, network security, and quality of service (QoS) to the network edge-using the easy-to-use Web-based interface of the Cisco Cluster Management Suite (CMS) software. The Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series switches, alternatively, are designed for enterprise local-area network (LAN) access, branch offices, Layer 3 distribution points, small and medium-sized businesses, and metropolitan-area (metro) Ethernet deployments.

The Cisco 1760 and 1751 modular access routers deliver highly secure Internet and intranet access to businesses. The routers offer a wide array of wide-area network (WAN) access options, voice over IP, high-performance routing with QoS, inter-virtual-LAN routing, and VPN access with firewall options.

The Cisco PIX security appliances provide robust, enterprise-class integrated network security services to create a strong multilayered defense for fast-changing network environments.

"Using only one brand for our WAN, LAN and security will make it easier for us to manage the network. The network overhaul and security infrastructure for the main office, where all branch transactions will come together, can now take place," added Oscuro.

About Philippine National Bank

The Philippine National Bank provides a full range of banking and other financial services to corporate, middle-market and retail customers in the Philippines as well as to the Philippine National Government, national Government agencies ("NGAs"), local national Government units ("LGUs") and government-owned and controlled corporations ("GOCCs"). While the Bank's principal market has historically been serving the banking needs of government-related entities and GOCCs, the Bank's strategic focus going forward is to further develop its banking services to cater for corporate middle-market and retail customers.