Rakuten International Commercial Bank Co (樂天國際商銀), the nation’s first Web-only bank, aims to attract new clients by offering more attractive lending and deposit rates, but is cautious about funding young borrowers without credit records, the bank said yesterday.
At an event celebrating its first full month of operation in Taipei, the bank said it is offering a 50 percent discount on lending rates for consumers applying for personal loans from today until March 22.
The virtual bank allows customers to open accounts and file for loan applications via its mobile app.
Photo: Kao Shih-ching, Taipei Times
People aged 30 to 50 were the bank’s major group of customers in the past one month, Rakuten Bank chief executive officer Kazuhiko Saiki said.
However, the bank expects to reach out to people in their 20s through a mobile payment service it plans to launch, and hopes to secure more customers older than 50 going forward, Saiki said, adding that inclusive finance is the bank’s goal.
Asked how the bank assesses lending risks and sets interest rates for new customers, Saiki said it has built a model to calculate risks, with factors including age, assets and income.
The bank would be very careful about loan applications by people who have no credit cards or credit records at the Joint Credit Information Center (金融聯合徵信中心), as it would take more time and effort to calculate their risks, Saiki said.
“We will review their case one by one... We might ask them to provide more information and arrange more phone interviews with them, as there will be no relevant records that we can use,” Saiki said.
The bank is still likely to lend money to people without credit records if they provide solid information, and the likelihood is higher if they are users of the bank’s affiliates, such as Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc, as the bank would know them better, Rakuten Bank chairman Chien Ming-ren (簡明仁) added.
From yesterday until March 22, the bank is also offering an interest rate of 0.55 percent for 66-day fixed deposits, with the interest rate to be raised to 1.1 percent if the Rakuten Monkeys win the CPBL championship this year.
“It is common in Japan for a product marketing activity to be linked to sports games,” Saiki said. “We want to try this strategy, too, [in Taiwan] and hope to leave a deeper impression on local consumers.”
Tesla Inc temporarily halted some production at its auto assembly plant in California because of problems with its supply chain, but work has begun to resume, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail on Thursday. “We are experiencing some parts supply issues, so took the opportunity to bring Fremont production down for a few days to do equipment upgrades and maintenance,” Musk said in an all-staff message seen by Bloomberg. The factory was “back up and running as of yesterday,” and would rapidly ramp up to full production of Model 3 and Model Y cars “over the next several days,”
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is expected to post a 25 percent year-on-year increase in sales in the first quarter of this year to US$12.91 billion, up from US$10.31 billion a year earlier, as its production is at full capacity, market advisory firm TrendForce Corp said in a note last week. The increase would help TSMC cement its leadership in the industry by taking a 56 percent market share in the global pure wafer foundry business, TrendForce said. Its forecast was in line with TSMC’s estimate in January, which pointed to a range of US$12.7 billion to US$13 billion for the
MULTI-USE: The arrangement of seats in future vehicles would be different, allowing passengers to do everything they do at home, the CEO of the firm’s EV platform said Electric vehicles (EVs) developed on a Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) platform would be built like “a smartphone on a different platform,” Jack Cheng (鄭顯聰), chief executive officer of the Hon Hai-initiated MIH Open Platform Alliance, said on Saturday. It would be the ultimate goal to make vehicles built on the platform an extension of the driver’s home, he said during an online presentation. The alliance aims to provide resources to automakers and boost Taiwan’s EV development, with a vision to make an EV its owner’s “second home,” Cheng said. “Whatever they can do in their home, they will be able
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) was on Thursday set to sell local currency bonds, as it prepared for a spending blitz amid a global chip shortage. The world’s largest contract chipmaker planned to price about NT$16 billion (US$565.25 million) of notes in three parts in an auction, though the actual issuance size might change. The manufacturer would have to contend with a recent rise in rates globally that has sent many corporate bond yields up from record lows in the past few weeks. The debt offering comes at a promising time for the semiconductor industry as the world scrambles its way