The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is to complete its evaluation of proposed mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among state-controlled banks in two to four months, Finance Minister Chang Sheng-ford (張盛和) said yesterday.
Any merger involving the banking units of Mega Financial Holdings Co (兆豐金控) and First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) could fall under the ministry’s plan, he said.
The government is determined to help the local banking sector expand so that it can compete in the region, with mergers between state banks a top priority for policymakers.
“The plan [to launch a regional-scale bank in Asia] has become official government policy,” Chang said during a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee in Taipei.
The ministry has requested Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐國際商銀) and First Commercial Bank (第一銀行) to review possible M&A deals with other government-owned banks respectively, with the results of evaluations to be announced in two to four months, Chang said.
In January, Chang said the ministry was intending to establish the nation’s first regional-scale bank in Asia within three years, to enhance the financial sector’s international competitiveness and solve the problem of over-concentration in the domestic banking market.