The Financial Supervisory Commission has received applications from eight or nine local banks to open new outlets, as the government plans to issue its first new branch licenses since 2002.
Secretary-general of the Banking Bureau, Lin Tung-liang (林棟樑), said the commission had received applications from "eight or nine" banks by yesterday's deadline. He wouldn't identify the banks or give a more exact figure.
Commission spokesperson Susan Chang (張秀蓮) said on May 11 that the commission would resume issuing licenses to qualified local banks wishing to set up new branches this month.
Chang said at the time that local banks must file their applications by the end of last month for two new branches and those that plan to set up outlets in rural areas will be eligible for an extra license.
The commission will issue no more than 10 branch licenses to banks and two to cooperatives each year, she said.
The financial regulator freezed the issuance of the permits in 2002 to promote consolidation in the nation's crowded banking sector.
"While we are taking applications regularly again for adding branches, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of asking banks to close some of their branches if they perform poorly," Chang said yesterday.
The chinese-language Commercial Times reported that Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank (上海商銀), the Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), Bank of Taiwan (臺灣銀行), Fubon Financial Holding Co's (富邦金控) Taipei Fubon Bank (台北富邦銀行) and Cathay Financial Holding Co's (國泰金控) Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) are among the applicants.
additional reporting by Amber Chung