Sat, Aug 26, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Fubon to shift its banking focus

CUTTING STATE LOANS:Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank said it would be driven by demand from self-employed individuals and small and medium-sized businesses

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) yesterday said that its banking subsidiary would shift its focus toward individual customers while improving the unit’s online tools.

Incoming Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank president (台北富邦銀行) Roman Cheng (程耀輝) said the company is creating a new platform to consolidate client and product information data across departments to improve cross-selling.

Cheng, who is to assume the role at the beginning of next month, said Fubon Commercial Bank’s customer data is organized according to product classes, which makes it difficult for client relations staff to recommend alternatives for them.

Following the change, first-line financial planners and customer relationship managers across different product departments would be able gain a full picture of a client’s assets allocation at the bank, Cheng said at an earnings conference in Taipei.

“The platform would allow the company to take full advantage of the digital footprint left by customers in past interactions and transactions,” he said.

Loans or other products could be recommended to the bank’s credit cardholders as their financing needs are identified, Cheng said.

The bank’s mobile tools have seen robust growth in the number of users, with personal loan applications made using smartphones totaling NT$300 million (US$9.92 million) since the service was introduced in June.

The bank reported consumer loans in the second quarter of this year rose 4.9 percent quarterly and 9.4 percent from a year earlier to NT$505.29 billion.

Overall, the bank reported total loans of NT$115.1 billion in the second quarter, with consumer loans making up 4.3 percent of the total, company data showed.

Enterprise loans still accounted for the lion’s share of the bank’s loan book, taking up 47.4 percent, followed by housing mortgages at 43.9 percent, data showed.

Cheng said that the bank’s net interest margin, which had dipped from 1.03 percent in the first quarter to 0.98 percent at the end of June, is expected to recover in the second half, as the pace of loan expansion quickens to match high growth in deposits during the first six months.

Loan growth is expected to be propelled by rising demand from self-employed individuals as well as small and medium-sized businesses, he said.

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank would also trim loans to the government, Cheng added.

The lender’s loan-to-deposit ratio dipped from 83.5 percent a year earlier to 79.8 percent, while the same metric for foreign currencies saw a decline from 48.5 percent last year to 37.1 percent.

Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽) would see diminishing pressure from elevated hedging costs and foreign exchange-related losses as the strength of the New Taiwan dollar stabilizes over the remainder of the year, Fubon Financial Holding added.

The insurer would also bolster its recurring yield by expanding investments in international bonds and commercial real-estate properties abroad.

Fubon Financial said its net income in the first half dipped 21.2 percent annually to NT$18.7 billion.

Fubon Life Insurance’s net income contribution decreased from NT$23.7 billion in the first six months of last year to NT$18.7 billion in the same period this year, company data showed.

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