Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) and Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) yesterday said they are to join Line Corp to vie for a license to offer Web-only banking services.
The announcement ended speculation that the two telecoms were on the shortlist to take a combined 10 percent stake in the Web-only bank.
Line Financial Taiwan Corp (台灣連線金融科技) owns a controlling stake of 49.9 percent in the planned bank.
Taiwan Mobile said its board of directors has given the go-ahead to invest NT$500 million (US$16.18 million) in the planned bank for a 5 percent stake.
“With the investment of 5 percent, Taiwan Mobile will be able to tap the Web-only banking business and create a new fintech platform by integrating its core telecom, big data and cybersecurity capacities,” Taiwan Mobile president James Cheng (鄭俊卿) said in a statement.
Far EasTone also plans to obtain a 5 percent share of the bank to accelerate its transformation into an information and communication services provider.
That investment would deepen the telecom’s partnerships with Line Corp, as Far EasTone already collaborates with the messaging app to provide mobile services in Taiwan through Line Mobile.
Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) is the second-biggest shareholder of the planned bank with a 25.1 percent stake.
CTBC Bank (中信銀行), Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) and Union Bank of Taiwan (聯邦銀行) each hold 5 percent, Line Financial said.
Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) has also joined efforts to make inroads into Web-only banking.
The nation’s biggest telecom plans to hold a 30 percent stake in a banking consortium led by state-controlled lenders.
First Commercial Bank (第一銀行), the banking arm of First Financial Holding Co (第一金控), Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光銀行) and Pxmart Co Ltd (全聯實業) are members of the consortium.
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