Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) said yesterday it was planning to open a branch in Hong Kong in the second half of this year after it received a nod from the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to upgrade its representative office into a branch in the territory. The bank said it would file an application with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for approval for the upgrade to boost its international visibility, while seeking a location for the branch.
The bank’s representative office in Hong Kong was set up in August 1999 and the need to upgrade the office into a full-service branch has increased as the financial institution aims to provide a wide range of services to Taiwanese investors who operate in China, it said. According to a plan submitted by the bank to the FSC, Union Bank will remit US$15 million as working capital to the Hong Kong branch in an initial phase and will use the funds to lend to Taiwanese investors or join syndicated loan activity.
The bank said it was considering seeking approval to conduct yuan-denominated deposit and lending businesses at its offshore banking unit. In addition to the Hong Kong office, the bank operates a representative office in Hanoi, Vietnam, and 87 outlets throughout Taiwan.
However, the bank said it had no immediate plan to extend its overseas presence beyond Hong Kong and Vietnam. So far, local banks have opened 19 branches and two representative offices in Hong Kong, the FSC said. Besides approving Union Bank, the commission has approved Taichung Bank (台中銀行) to upgrade its Hong Kong office into a branch.