Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) yesterday entered into a partnership with peer-to-peer lending operator Robo Web Technology Co (瑞保網路科技) to expand its retail banking clientele from high-net-worth individuals to the general public.
The alliance enables borrowers to open accounts and apply for loans without visiting brick-and-mortar branches and came as competition from non-traditional players gains force.
“We aim to reach out to the general public through the strategic cooperation, a departure from the past focus on high-net-worth individuals,” Standard Chartered retail banking head Kate Lin (林素真) told a news conference.
Standard Chartered would continue to pursue affluent clients, but also aims to take advantage of the fast-growing digital banking business, which was valued at US$64 billion in 2015 and could hit US$1 trillion in 2025, Lin said.
Robo Web develops and operates the nation’s largest online peer-to-peer lending platform, LnB (信用市集), which has amassed 37,000 clients and processed loan requests totaling NT$5.1 billion (US$170.61 million) since its launch in March 2016.
The fintech company thrives on commission charges for matching lenders and borrowers at lower borrowing costs than traditional lenders, Robo Web founder and CEO Joanna Yang (楊瑞芬) said.
It has developed a set of criteria to grade the credit profile of borrowers, who are mostly aged between 20 and 50, Yang said, adding that lenders — referred to as investors on the platform — are usually a few years older.
The purpose of LnB is simple: allow people with funding needs to find lenders with ease and convenience over the Internet, which is the basic and core function of a bank, she said.
Standard Chartered has set interest rates at 0.88 percent for the first two months and between 2.99 percent and 16.99 percent from the third month, Lin said, adding that it would charge an extra NT$2,988 in one-off account maintenance fees.
“The offer demonstrates the bank’s seriousness about growing its retail banking business in Taiwan, which ranks third in profitability worldwide only after Hong Kong and Singapore,” Lin said.
Standard Chartered would consider extending low interest rates depending on customer feedback, she said.
In practice, LnB would pass details of interested borrowers to Standard Chartered, which could settle loan requests within 24 hours, she added.
The lending platform says it can approve loan applications within at least three-and-a-half minutes.
Standard Chartered is to spend US$2 million to establish its third iWealth center in Taoyuan by the end of this year to meet the growing demand for digital services, Lin said.
Its iWealth centers target affluent Taiwanese with net worths of at least NT$3 million who can sip expensive tea, read magazines and use iPads at the facilities for financial consultations.
DIGITAL RIGHTS: Although Ottawa did not identify any particular country as a risk in the video-game sphere, it has repeatedly accused China and Russia of interference Canada is to enhance its scrutiny of foreign investments in video games and other interactive media, seeking to block outside actors from manipulating public opinion in the country. “Hostile state-sponsored or state-influenced actors may try to leverage foreign investments in the interactive digital media sector to spread disinformation and manipulate information,” Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Friday in a joint announcement with Canadian Minister of Heritage Pascale St-Onge. Starting immediately, Ottawa is to increase scrutiny of investments “by entities owned or influenced by foreign states, particularly states that engage in activities that may pose a risk
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICERS: Y.J. Mii, who is in charge of R&D, and Y.P. Chyn, who is responsible for fab operations and management, start their new positions today Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday promoted Y.J. Mii (米玉傑) and Y.P. Chyn (秦永沛) as co-chief operating officers (COO) of the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, signaling the formation of a succession team. The latest executive reshuffle comes after TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) in December last year announced that he is to retire this year. CEO C.C. Wei (魏哲家) has been recommended as his successor while continuing to serve in his current position. Mii and Chyn, as well as the company’s human resources, finance, legal and corporate planning units, are to report directly to Wei, a company statement released after the
SEMICONDUCTORS: Under India’s chipmaking incentive plan, the government would bear half the cost of any approved project, with an initial budget of US$10 billion for the task The Indian government, after years of watching from the sidelines of the chips race, now has to evaluate US$21 billion of semiconductor proposals and divvy up taxpayer support between foreign chipmakers, local champions or some combination of the two. Israel’s Tower Semiconductor Ltd is proposing a US$9 billion plant, while India’s Tata Group has put forward an US$8 billion chip fabrication unit, people familiar with the matter said. Both projects would be in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, the people said. Semiconductors have grown into a key geopolitical battleground, with the US, Japan and China investing heavily in
AI PRIORITIZED: Analysts said the move was a good strategic decision for Apple, which was still years away from producing a vehicle and facing a cooling market Apple Inc is canceling a decade-long effort to build an electric vehicle (EV), people with knowledge of the matter said, abandoning one of the most ambitious projects in the history of the firm. Apple made the disclosure internally on Tuesday, surprising about 2,000 employees working on the project, the sources said. The decision was shared by Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams and Kevin Lynch, a vice president in charge of the effort, the sources said. The two executives told staff that the project would begin winding down and that many employees on the EV team — known as the Special Projects Group