Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) yesterday said that he does not rule out the possibility of launching mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among state-owned financial institutions if the timing is right.
However, the government has not yet started formal discussions on the M&A issue between state-owned banks, Chang added.
Newspapers reported yesterday that financial sector representatives have suggested the government merge the current eight state-owned banks into four to improve their competitiveness.
The merger between the Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) and Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行), as well as one involving Hau Nan Commercial Bank (華南銀行), First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行), have both been pointed out as possibilities.
Chang said he has been discussing the issues with central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) in private, reaching a consensus to back the possible mergers among state-owned banks to raise operational efficiency.
However, the ministry has not set a schedule for launching the mergers, as the issue is involved in the strategy is complicated, Chang said.
As for mergers between state-owned and private banks, the prerequisites for the ministry to consider include protection of state-owned stakes, transparency of the merger process and the willingness of the bank’s labor unions, Chang added.