Wed, Sep 13, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Governance is top priority: Koo

‘POWERFUL FORCE’:The new FSC chairman said better regulatory guidelines and compliance by companies can drive growth in Taiwan’s capital markets and industries

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) yesterday said improving corporate governance would be the regulator’s primary objective with him at the helm.

Rules governing the financial sector are to be bolstered and companies will be regulated with a carrot-and-stick approach, Koo said at his first news conference as head of the agency.

Following reports of his intention to launch a “third financial reform” that has left a series of controversial mergers and acquisition disputes in its wake, Koo said that he is merely seeking to enact changes that would improve corporate governance, adding that the public has misunderstood his use of the term.

Companies with stronger compliance performance are to be rewarded with expanded product approval submissions, while those that perform less well would see more stringent controls, he said.

Improving corporate governance would begin strengthening the role of independent boards of directors, as well as ensuring the veracity of audits and assessments, Koo said, adding that it will take time to flesh out the plans.

“The commission will not push for further consolidation between public financial holding companies, nor between private and public companies,” Koo said.

The commission is neutral on consolidation between private financial companies and will strive to create an environment for such deals to take place, he added.

Koo emphasized that his reforms are aimed at helping major shareholders meet regulatory compliance, including members of financial companies’ founding families.

“Through improved governance, companies with a high family ownership stake would no longer be regarded in a negative light,” Koo said.

“In addition to sound underlying fundamentals, the combination of improved regulatory guidelines and compliance by companies can become a powerful force driving growth across Taiwan’s capital markets and industries,” he added.

While there have been doubts about his ability to serve the needs of the financial sector and encourage innovation, Koo reiterated that the commission’s role is to regulate, contain and manage the risks associated with the industry.

Asked whether the commission will resume exchanges with its Chinese counterparts following a two-year hiatus, officials said that they have remained in contact with Chinese financial regulators.

Since the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on May 20 last year, Chinese regulators have approved the establishment of four new branches in the country by Taiwanese banks and are evaluating two other proposals for new branches, the officials said.

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