President Chen Shui-bian (
He said using the issue as a political tool only impeded reform.
While there was much room for improvement, the direction of the second stage financial reform was correct and the intention was righteous, he said.
"To continue the reform is necessary," Chen said in a speech at the opening of an international forum in Taipei on economy, finance and accounting. "The second financial reform did not fail. It just hasn't succeeded yet."
Chen said what concerned him most when he came to office in 2000 was not China but a possible financial crisis.
The previous administration had allowed the number of banks and branches to increase dramatically between 1993 and 2000, Chen said. Fierce competition among banks fueled the alarming non-performing loans (NPL) ratio, he said.
Six financial-related bills were enacted in 2001 to pave the way for the first wave of financial reform. In August 2002, the government set the goal of lowering the NPL ratio to 5 percent and raising the average capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to 8 percent within two years.
The goal was achieved ahead of time, with the NPL ratio down to 2.32 percent and CAR up to 10.11 percent.
Following the Economic Development Advisory Conference in 2001, the government decided to push a second wave of financial reform, including overhauling the credit departments of farmers' and fishermen's associations and establishing the Financial Monitoring and Management Committee in July 2004, Chen said.
In October 2004 the government set four goals for the second reform phase -- to have three financial institutions with individual market shares of at least 10 percent, halve the number of state-owned banks to six, halve the number of financial holding companies to seven and have at least one domestic financial institution operated by a foreign entity or listed overseas.
Chen said he hoped financial issues could be separated from politics and that economic issues were not used as political tools to deter financial reform.
In other news, Chen solicited opinions from foreign experts on whether to designate Oct. 25 as the nation's independence day. He said he would like to know what the National Committee on American Foreign Policy thought.
Committee president George Schwab said they would be happy to offer opinions off the record.
The idea was proposed by Bruce Herschensohn, a Pepperdine University professor during a meeting with Chen on Tuesday.
Also see story:
Analysts skeptical on bank reforms
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with