Fri, Jun 08, 2012 - Page 11 News List

FSC allows Chinese banks to provide corporate services

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Two Chinese lenders will soon join Taiwan’s overcrowded banking market after the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday approved their plans to provide corporate financial services here.

The commission granted the Bank of China (中國銀行) and the Bank of Communications (交通銀行) permission to provide savings and loans, remittance, currency conversion, bills finance and other commercial banking services to corporate customers in Taiwan.

The two Chinese lenders set up representative offices here in September 2010 and were told by the commission to prepare to upgrade the offices into branches in December last year.

While it is up to the Chinese banks to decide when they would begin their local operations, Banking Bureau Director-General Kuei Hsien-nung (桂先農) said he expected the two banks to begin operations next month at the earliest.

Nevertheless, the two Chinese banks' entry is likely to intensify already sharp competition among existing local and foreign peers.

Meanwhile, DBS Taiwan (星展銀行) on Tuesday launched a signature business card aimed at affluent Taiwanese customers — those with investable assets in excess of NT$2 million (US$66,876).

Jerry Chen (陳亮丞), general manager of the Singaporean lender’s local unit, said DBS Taiwan remains on track to grow its consumer banking business by between 25 percent and 30 percent this year, unaffected by a turnaround in market sentiment this quarter.

The lender is also upbeat about increasing loans to corporate customers at a similar pace this year, Chen said.

“We do not see the need to revise down our growth target based on our performance thus far,” Chen said.

DBS Taiwan has more than 20,000 credit cards in circulation and aims to push the figure up to 50,000 within three years, DBS' head of consumer banking Kevin Tang (唐正峰) said.

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