Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank first mover in Shanghai Free Trade Zone

06 January 2014   Category: News, Asia, China, Taiwan   By Asia Asset Management

Cathay United Bank has become the first Taiwanese lender to set up a branch office in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) following it receiving the approval from Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to do so on January 2.

Jean Chiu, deputy director-general of the banking bureau at FSC, told local media that the formation of a branch office in the SFTZ is critical for Taiwanese banks in terms of pushing ahead with cross-border investments, overseas financing and remittance in China.  

Ms. Chiu added that a prerequisite condition for Taiwanese lenders to set up a foothold in the SFTZ is that they should already have offices in Shanghai. A number of Taiwanese state-owned lenders including First Bank, Land Bank of Taiwan, Bank of Taiwan (BoT), and Taiwan Business Bank have met with the criteria. First Bank and BoT have submitted applications to the FSC to extend their turf to the new financial hub.

Up to the end of November, a total of 11 Taiwanese banks had established a presence in China with total revenue contributions of NT$1.5 billion (US$49.8 million). Cathay United Bank, First Bank, and Mega International Commercial Bank have the largest exposure to the Mainland market.