Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Easing cross-strait financial regulations being mulled: FSC

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff Reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) confirmed yesterday it was mulling easing rules to provide financial institutions in Taiwan and China further flexibility to expand in their markets.

The financial regulator is slated to brief the Cabinet on the issue on Thursday.

“It is true the commission is assessing further liberalization,” Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairwoman Lee Jih-chu (李紀珠) said by telephone, although she declined to comment on the details or the timing.

Local Chinese-language media reported the commission plans to ditch the requirement for lenders in Taiwan and China to have prior operations in advanced economies to order to apply to establish representative offices, branches and subsidiaries.

Banks that intend to take up stakes in peers across the Taiwan Strait also have to meet the requirement.

The reported relaxation would enable Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) and Far Eastern International Bank (遠東商銀) to qualify for expansions in China. It would facilitate the Agricultural Bank of China (中國農業銀行) and China Development Bank (國家開發銀行) entering Taiwan’s market.

“Domestic banks have been pressing for the easing and the commission is looking at the issue from a broad perspective encompassing all cross-strait financial ties,” Lee said.

Taihsin Bank, a subsidiary of Taishin Financial Holdings Co (台新金控), said it would immediately file an application to boost its presence in China once the commission loosens the access rules.

Taishin Financial owns a capital leasing company in Nanjing, China, through indirect investment and is in talks for launching fund management, capital venture and small loan businesses there.

Far Eastern Bank has also voiced interest in the Chinese market if the commission gives the go-ahead, local media said.

The commission is also studying the practicality of building an electronic platform for cross-strait financial service flows so local banks may provide customers here with yuan-denominated wealth management services, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) said earlier this month.

The opening would allow local banks to benefit from yuan’s increasing importance in international trade, Chen said.

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