Tue, Dec 07, 2004 - Page 10 News List

HSBC offers cross-strait sweeteners

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Several global banking groups are racing for a piece of cross-strait fund flows as Taiwan and China gradually loosen control of their financial sectors.

British banks in particular have become major players because they entered this region much earlier than other rivals. Yesterday, HSBC launched several cross-strait service benefits, including a temporary waiver of the NT$75 transaction fee for ATM withdrawals.

To better serve businesspeople traveling across the Taiwan Strait, HSBC clients who make withdrawals in yuan from ATMs in China will be exempt from the fee until the end of February, Christine Soong (宋清華), the British lender's vice president of personal financial services, said yesterday.

However, for those who need US dollars, it will still be necessary to make withdrawals over-the-counter at HSBC branches in China, she said.

Taking advantage of HSBC's presence in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Soong said the bank is now capable of completing cross-strait remittances between HSBC accounts in less than three hours.

The process takes rivals up to one day to handle, she said.

"HSBC has set up Taiwan desks at its branches in China to provide tailor-made services to Taiwanese businesspeople," Soong said.

She noted that no declaration is needed for remittances smaller than US$500,000.

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