Fri, Jun 15, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Premier unveils financial industry plan

UTILIZING ASSETS:The vice premier said Taiwan’s financial assets are about five times its GDP and 50 times the government’s budget, and should be used for development

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer and CNA

Premier William Lai, left, accompanied by Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji, center, and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo, speaks at the Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The government is to roll out a plan to develop the financial industry, with the aim of listing at least 100 more companies on the stock exchange and over-the-counter markets in two years, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday.

As part of the government’s plan to build Taiwan into a promising and competitive investment market, it would work with industry players to establish financial and banking institutions in areas overseas where Taiwanese businesses operate, Lai said.

The government has set a target of increasing bank loans to small and medium-sized enterprises by NT$270 billion (US$9.02 billion) and to companies covered under the government’s “five plus two” innovative industries initiative, Lai said.

The initiative is a comprehensive economic restructuring program to promote the biotech and pharmaceutical, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things sectors, as well as the circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development.

The plan to encourage technological innovation includes opening two online-only banks to provide better financial services and make the sector more competitive internationally, Lai said.

The development of innovative financial products, including long-term care insurance, is also part of the plan, he added.

Taiwan’s banks hold a total of NT$40 trillion, market capitalization stands at NT$37 trillion and the total capital of domestic life insurance companies is more than NT$23 trillion, Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) said.

Taiwan’s NT$100 trillion in financial assets is about five times the nation’s annual GDP and 50 times the government’s annual budget, he said, adding that it is essential that these assets are used to meet the needs of various sectors and boost economic growth.

The plan has four action points: integrating the banking and industrial industries, staying abreast of technological advances, establishing a presence on the international market and implementing inclusive financing, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said.

The government hopes to expand the scale of the nation’s financial institutions and create an international platform for wealth management, Koo said.

The commission is mulling the possibility of using Taiwanese overseas banking units (OBUs) for capital management, especially differentiation management for high-end clients with more than NT$100 million in total assets, Koo said, adding that local OBUs have total assets of about NT$202 billion.

Gradual loosening of regulations on financial products would attract more foreign investors to initiate transactions with Taiwanese OBUs, Koo said, adding that the commission would also loosen regulations on bonds, allowing banks to offer uniquely Taiwanese financial products.

The goal for securities is to increase the number of listed companies by 100 within two years, Koo said.

For insurance, guarantee insurance and old-age-related products are expected to comprise 60 percent of insurance products within three years, Koo said.

The government wants to see more than 1 million people insured under microinsurance within five years, Koo added.

Total investment into the “five plus two” innovative industries should also reach NT$150 billion within three years, Koo said.

The commission expects the financial technology industry to accept at least 100 petitions per year for financial innovative experiments, he added.

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