Wed, Mar 20, 2002 - Page 17 News List

FSB given high priority

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

In a bid to accelerate the establishment of the Financial Supervisory Board (FSB, 金監會), Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday said that draft of the board's organization bill would be submitted for legislative review no later than April.

The premier also expressed his hope that the legislature could turn the bill into law before the end of the current legislative session, scheduled for June.

The bill proposes the three bank examination agencies and the supervisory bodies for banks, securities and insurance companies be consolidated into one body.

During last legislative session, the board's makeup triggered disagreement between the DPP administration and opposition parties to further deadlock the law's legislative review and passage.

The Cabinet and DPP's legislative caucus had insisted that all of the board's nine members be nominated by the premier and approved by the president.

However, opposition parties had argued that four board members should be approved by the four major political parties -- the KMT, DPP, PFP and the TSU.

The board, designed to oversee performance of emerging financial holding companies, will constitute of nine members including one politically appointed chairman, two vice chairmen, the finance minister, central bank governor and four professionals from the private sector.

Commenting on the controversy, Minister of Finance Lee Yung-san (李庸三) yesterday told lawmakers that the ministry will soon submit a new draft to facilitate the creation of one-all encompassing supervisory agency for the finance industry.

Currently, the regulatory bodies for the banking, insurance and securities industries are under the Bureau of Monetary Affairs, the finance ministry's Insurance Department and the Securities and Futures Commission respectively. Financial examinations of banks is separated into the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of China and the Central Depository Insurance Corp (中央存保).

A bad idea

Academics, however, rejected the idea of political representation in the board's makeup during a public hearing held yesterday at the Legislative Yuan.

"The board should remain as independent and transparent as possible, transcending interests of all political parties. Moreover, the less government interference, the better," said David Hong (洪德生), vice president of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (台經院).

Citing a precondition of Fair Trade Commission as an example, Hong said that that half of board members' political affiliation should not be associated with any single political party.

Echoing Hong's view at the same venue, a finance professor at National Taiwan University, Lin Yun (林筠), also raised concerns over board members' four-year tenure.

"If political representatives are nominated, difficulties will arise whenever mid-term elections reshape the political landscape to discontinue their tenure," she said.

Wang Nan-hua (王南華), vice president of CDIC, admitted that their authority over bank examination is sometimes subject to pressure from legislators.

"There were some legislators who expressed their concerns [over CDIC's bank examination], which more or less influenced its autonomy," Wang said at the hearing.

"Is it more or less?" DPP lawmaker Yu Jan-daw (余政道) said.

"Less," Wang replied, adding that "none of those political pressure was irrational."

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