The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday approved an application by DBS Group Holdings Ltd to upgrade its Taiwanese branch into a subsidiary, which will make it the fourth foreign bank to set up a subsidiary in Taiwan.
The other three foreign banks’ subsidiaries are Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打商銀), Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) and HSBC Bank Taiwan Ltd (匯豐台灣商銀).
Australasian banking group ANZ is also expected to follow suit.
Singapore-based DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, plans to upgrade in the fourth quarter, after relocating its Taipei headquarters to Xinyi District (信義) in May to demonstrate that it is serious about the Taiwanese market.
“We approve the upgrade application whereupon the forthcoming subsidiary will take over the branch’s assets, debts and operations in the near future,” the commission said in a statement.
As of May, DBS’ pretax earnings totaled NT$441 million (US$22.18 million), with its bad loan ratio falling to 0.7 percent, from 6.05 percent in May 2008, when it integrated Taiwan’s Bowa Bank (寶華銀行), commission data showed.
DBS has 40 branches in Taiwan with assets totaling NT$22.04 billion. It has pledged to become one of the top three foreign lenders in Taiwan and is prioritizing strengthening its branding toward that end.