The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said it was mulling whether to take into consideration non-performing loan (NPL) ratios when conducting performance appraisals of employees at its Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund of Taiwan in the future.
The fund’s employees are set to receive annual bonuses this year equivalent to 2.6 months’ salary even though the fund experienced huge losses last year due to a large amount of bad debts.
Wang Po-por (王鉑波), the fund’s chairman, yesterday told reporters at a press conference that fund employees were able to receive that large a bonus because the fund had achieved its ministry-designated mission over the past three years.
The state-run fund was launched to help domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) raise funds.
It has distributed NT$371 billion (US$12.79 billion), NT$600 billion and NT$730 billion to more than 1.28 million SMEs over the past three years respectively, according to Chan Yih-yaw (詹益燿), the fund’s chief executive officer.
The ministry has set a target of offering NT$770 billion to SMEs this year, Chan said.
However, the fund also posted losses of NT$1 billion in 2010 and NT$1.6 billion last year due to a high NPL ratio. In 2011, the fund posted NT$800 million in profit.
Chan said the fund could not raise interest rates to avoid making losses because it was a state-run institution established to help SMEs, while Wang said the fund’s operations were “above average” compared to its peers in Japan and South Korea.
Yeh Yun-lung (葉雲龍), director of the ministry’s Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, said the fund’s NPL ratio had fallen to about 1 percent in the past three years from 5.71 percent in 2006.
Yeh said the ministry would reassess criteria of performance evaluation and consider about taking the NPL ratio into account when conducting performance reviews in the future.