Citi Taiwan aims to tap into a potential clientele in high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hsinchu after setting up nine business hubs nationwide to maximize effectiveness at 66 expanded outlets, a bank executive said yesterday.
"With our financial expertise and global network, we have the potential to land new clients from traditional industries in Taoyuan and hope to tap into high-tech clients in Hsinchu," Simon Chung (鍾國強), head of Citi Taiwan's global commercial bank, said at a press briefing yesterday.
Chung said that the foreign-turned-local bank has added 140 professionals in SME corporate banking business through the integration of the Bank of Overseas Chinese (BOOC,
He said that Citi Taiwan is strengthening its 200 employees' knowledge about high-tech industries as it prepares to tap into Hsinchu-based high-tech firms.
Chung, however, brushed aside talk of any head-on competition with Standard Chartered Taiwan, which appears to have an advantage in serving high-tech clients based in Hsinchu after acquiring Hsinchu International Bank (
"The market is big there," Chung said, adding that the bank welcomes healthy competition.
After gaining 110,000 more SME deposit customers as well as 7,000 SME loan customers from the merger with BOOC, Citi Taiwan has vowed to better serve corporate clients, and, in particular, SME clients.
"SME business will be the key driver for Citi Taiwan," Chung reiterated yesterday, declining to reveal its growth target for SME clients.
These clients bring in between US$2 million and US$200 million in annual revenues.
He said that SMEs serve as the backbone of the nation's economic development since there are 1.24 million companies, which create 7.75 million job opportunities and generate a total sales value of NT$10 trillion, citing statistics from the finance ministry.
Many of the bank's SME clients, Chung said, are shifting from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to original design manufacturers (ODM) and even original brand manufacturers (OBM), who will need value-added financial services including financial consultation in merger and acquisition activities.
"Our Taiwanese SME clients in the shoe-making, clothing and luggage-making industries are branding pretty well," Chung said.
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