Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Applications to PRC financial markets to take a few weeks

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Applications by domestic financial institutions to gain greater access to the Chinese market will not be accepted for at least two or three weeks, the legislature’s Finance Committee said yesterday.

Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才), convener of the committee, said the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) needed to submit a proposal for review by the legislature before local financial institutions could submit their applications to the commission.

Lo said the proposal had to be passed by the Procedure Committee first and then sent to the Finance Committee for review.

“It will be another two to three weeks at the earliest,” he said.

It was previously expected that the FSC would accept applications by domestic financial institutions starting yesterday at the earliest, after the FSC attended the Finance Committee’s meeting the same day.

Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) chairwoman Susan Chang (張秀蓮) said the process would be less controversial if all lawmaking procedures were done according to the rules.

“We have been waiting for seven to eight years, so it will not make much difference if we need to wait for another couple of weeks or a month,” Chang said.

Meanwhile, FSC Chairman Sean Chen (陳冲) said the “early harvest” program for the financial industry under the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China would be announced at the end of next month.

Chen said the FSC would seek the best deal under the trade pact, such as allowing local banks to operate Chinese yuan-related businesses.

According to regulations promulgated by the FSC last Tuesday with immediate effect, Taiwanese banks, insurance companies and securities firms will be able to branch into China via two of the three approaches: setting up representative offices, opening branches or subsidiaries or taking up a stake in a Chinese bank or firm.

If their applications to set up operations are approved by the FSC, domestic banks and financial holding companies will also be required to file applications to Chinese authorities for regulatory approval, which will notify the FSC if the applications are approved, FSC officials said.

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