Two banks aim to have all branches bilingual by 2026

Taipei,  E. Sun Commercial Bank and Hua Nan Commercial Bank, two major Taiwanese banks, said Tuesday that they will make all of their branches bilingual by 2026, with their employees proficient in English.

  1. Sun Financial Holding Co., which wholly owns E. Sun Bank, said that all of its 139 branches in Taiwan will be English-proficient by 2026, while Hua Nan Financial Co., which owns Hua Nan Bank, said that by 2026, all of its 186 branches will also be bilingual.

The two banks are among local banks that are eyeing the goal of becoming bilingual, a push that has been ongoing since 2019 by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Taiwan’s top financial regulator, to boost the banking sector’s competitive edge.

The FSC’s efforts fall under the Taiwan government’s “2030 Bilingual Country” policy. The policy was initiated by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) in 2018 when he was serving as premier.

According to the FSC, 15 banks in Taiwan have made a total of 69 branches bilingual.

  1. Sun Bank is one of the 15 banks to follow the government’s initiatives. Magi Chen (陳美滿), president of E. Sun Financial, said the bank has 17 bilingual branches so far.

One such branch is located in Zuoying, close to the Zuoying station of the Taiwan High Speed Rail, since the neighborhood hosts both a major department store and an American school, Chen said, adding that the branch recorded its highest amount of foreign exchange transactions and new accounts opened by foreign clients in the bank.

Chen said that modeled on the Zuoying branch, E. Sun Bank will make an additional 13 branches bilingual next year and achieve its goal of having its 139 banks bilingual by 2026.

According to E. Sun Bank, the bank has 28 outlets in nine foreign markets, with 2,663 employees possessing foreign language proficiency certificates.

For its part, Hua Nan Bank has 11 bilingual branches in Taiwan, a number that is expected to rise to 100 in two years before achieving its goal of having 186 bilingual branches by 2026, Hua Nan Financial Chairman Chang Yun-peng (張雲鵬) said.

In addition to bilingual employees, Chang said, Hua Nan Bank has installed the first artificial intelligence (AI) smart clerk in Taiwan that speaks English to communicate with foreign clients. It can also provide services outside business hours.

Chang said Hua Nan Bank is forming a bilingual seed team, with the aim of dispatching suitable employees to central, southern and eastern Taiwan to train their colleagues there and help them become better-positioned in market competition.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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