Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) yesterday gave an optimistic outlook on its consumer and corporate banking business this year despite an uncertain global economic climate, as more firms in Taiwan would seek to survive seasonal corrections through mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
The world’s two largest economies — the US and China — likely gained progress over some issues in their trade talks last week, but it is difficult for them to reach an agreement on structural issues, such as intellectual property protection, before March 1, when a 90-day truce is due to expire, Citi Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said at a media gathering in Taipei.
Hence, the US-China trade dispute is likely to persist for a while, and Taiwanese firms must prepare for it and learn that they cannot place too much reliance on the Chinese market, Mok said.
Photo: Grace Kao, Taipei Times
Despite the uncertainty linked to the trade dispute, Citi Taiwan is optimistic about this year, as the bank, with a history of 55 years in the nation, has a solid foundation, the chairman said.
With an eye on the younger generation, the bank would optimize its Web site and apps, and offer a better digital experience for consumers this year, encouraging them to “bank on the hand,” Mok said, adding that the bank plans to hire 60 employees.
The bank not only helped top-notch clients raise funds from the local and international capital markets, but it also advised many significant M&A transactions and completed several deals last year, including strategic loan deals, Citi Taiwan president Christie Chang (張聖心) said.
Last year saw Taiwanese firms become more open to M&A discussions with prospective buyers or sellers, Chang said, adding that she expects this passion to continue this year.
Although Taiwan is a highly competitive market, the bank saw its wealth management and credit card customer bases expand last year, consumer business manager Dennis Hussey said.
He added that the bank has pursued customer-centric, rather than headline, growth, meaning it is not focused on stimulating short-term spending or customer base growth, but cares more if consumers are happy with using Citi Taiwan’s credit cards.
The bank plans to launch a new credit card program to attract new customers, Hussey said.
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