Wed, Feb 13, 2019 - Page 12 News List

FSC to set up panel for Web-only bank applications

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it would establish a panel to review the applications for two Web-only bank licenses.

The panel would be comprised of five commission members and four independent experts, Banking Bureau Deputy Director Wang Li-chun (王立群) told a news conference in Taipei, adding that the commission has established strict qualification requirements for the panelists to avoid any conflict of interest.

The panelists would also be barred from working for the banks that win Web-only licenses for the next two years, Wang said.

So far, three teams led by Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Line Financial Taiwan Corp (台灣連線金融科技) and Waterland Financial Holdings Co (國票金控) have expressed an interest in the licenses, but as of yesterday none of them has made a formal application, Wang said.

The application deadline is Friday

The preparatory office of Web-only Next Bank (將來銀行), in which Chunghwa Telecom holds a 41.9 percent stake, plans to submit its application today or tomorrow, chief executive officer Liu I-cheng (劉奕成) told the Taipei Times on Sunday.

Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行) is the second-largest shareholder with a 25.1 percent stake, followed by Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) with 14 percent, Pxmart Co Ltd (全聯實業) with 9.9 percent, KGI Bank (凱基銀行) with 7 percent and Trade-Van Information Services Co (關貿網路) with 2.1 percent, Liu said.

The bank would take deposits, provide loans, sell insurance policies, promote mobile transfers and offer wealth management services, he said, adding that plans call for it to break even within three years of starting operations.

Chunghwa Telecom would be responsible for the bank’s information system and Pxmart would be in charge of distribution channels, while Mega Bank would help manage fund flows and Shih Kong Financial would focus on product development, the preparatory office said.

Waterland Financial has said it plans to invest NT$4.9 billion (US$158.9 million) for a 49 percent stake in a Web-only bank, with Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc holding the remaining 51 percent.

Rakuten’s 18 years of experience in operating a Web-only bank in Japan would be a great advantage, Waterland chairman Wea Chi-lin (魏啟林) said last month.

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