Tue, Oct 25, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Banking services a reciprocal business: FSC head

Staff Writer, with CNA

Chinese banks that have established footholds in Taiwan will be allowed to operate savings and loan services in the local currency only after Taiwanese banks in China are given reciprocal treatment, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) said yesterday.

Speaking at the Legislative Yuan, Chen said it was up to Chinese authorities to decide how soon to allow yuan--denominated savings and loan services at Taiwanese banks, which have been operating branches in China for nearly a year.

The Legislative Yuan has decided against making the first move in this regard, he said.

Under Taiwan’s existing regulations, Chinese banks are required to operate a representative office in Taiwan for at least a year before they can seek approval to upgrade the office into a bank branch, which can then expand into profit-making business.

Two Chinese banks, Bank of China (中國銀行) and the Bank of Communications (交通銀行), obtained FSC permission in September last year to set up representative offices in Taiwan.

However, neither of the banks have applied to the FSC to -upgrade their offices, Chen said in response to a question on the issue by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆).

Five of Taiwan’s leading lenders — Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行) and Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) — opened branches in China late last year after securing approval from the China Banking -Regulatory Commission.

Separately, Cathay Insurance Co’s (國泰產險) Chinese -subsidiary yesterday said it received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to set up a branch in Sichuan Province, according to a stock exchange filing by parent Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控).

The move is the latest step by the Taiwanese insurance company to expand its business into the western part of China after it first entered the China market in September 2008 through the establishment of the Shanghai subsidiary. It later set up branches in Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shangdong and Hebei provinces.

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