In a ceremony to mark its 13th anniversary yesterday, Union Bank of Taiwan (
"We'll have to work hard this year on business integration with the bank we just bought. But we're confident that it will turn a loss into gain, or at least break even, within one year," Huang Chun-chung (
Union Bank outbid three other competitors in an auction early last month to acquire the poorly performing Chung Shing Bank for NT$7.108 billion (US$225 million), more than double the base price of NT$3 billion.
The purchase will boost the number of Union Bank branches from the current 40 to 87, the largest number of branches of any private bank, excepting financial holding companies' banking arms.
"In the short term, we hope to integrate information systems, personnel and corporate cultures so that business will run smoothly and profitably," said Lee Shian-chang (李憲章), Union Bank's president.
But the bank declined to elaborate on how the integration will be carried out or whether there will be layoffs.
Jeff Lin (
Lee said Union Bank will strive to become one of the nation's top three credit card issuers this year from its current fourth place position.
The bank currently has 2.84 million credit cards in circulation.
The bank will also focus on expanding its loan business. It has issued more than NT$10 billion in car loans and expects to be among the top three lenders in the country this year, Lee said.