Taipei-Two foreign financial institutions, among the top 500 banks in the world, have expressed an interest in establishing a foothold in Taiwan, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said Tuesday.
Wang Li-chun (???), deputy director of the FSC's Banking Bureau, told CNA that two large-sized foreign international banks have been in touch with the commission, the top financial regulator in Taiwan, to express interest in opening outlets, with Taipei, the capital city of the country, likely to be the preferred location of their initial presence.
Wang said that in the future, the banks could potentially extend their reach to other major cities in the country.
However, he declined to identify the banks concerned.
As the two are among the world's top 500 financial institutions, they will be allowed to directly open branches instead of a representative office in Taiwan, the FSC said.
Currently, 26 foreign banks operate in Taiwan, including Citibank, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., Australia and New Zealand Bank, DBS Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the FSC 's website shows.
Wang said competition in the Taiwan banking market has been on the rise.
He added that the FSC would be delighted to see the plans of the foreign banks realized as that would provide local customers with a wider range of financial services.
Due to the rising demand for digital banking services, many local and foreign banks in Taiwan have cut their number of branches in recent years.
According to data released by the FSC, as of the end of June 2017, local and foreign banks had 3,422 outlets, down 11 from a year earlier, but the number of employees in charge of digital financial services increased by 1,466 in the same period.
Over the past two years, foreign banks from Vietnam, France and Japan have established branches or representative offices in Taiwan, with France-based Natixis the latest one to open a Taipei branch earlier this year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel