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Financial regulator outlines five primary goals for 2014

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In a pre-Chinese New Year's holiday press event, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC, 金管會) outlined its plans yesterday for regulatory guidelines for this year.

In his address, FSC Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) stated that his office will focus on improving risk management measures, conformance of laws among listed companies, deterring more negative competitive practices (in particular in the banking sector), preserving soundness of market mechanisms and cultivating higher standards in financial sector human resources.

FSC Announces List of Likely Changes

At the event the FSC outlined a number of feasible changes aimed at easing limitations imposed on the financial sector that may see expedited amendment priority, but reiterated that deregulation will commence this year with increased discretion. Possible deregulation measures poised to be considered this year include the easing of limits on banks' ability to sell derivatives based on foreign currencies or those issued by mainland China-based companies, and banks' ability in playing the role of an agent in facilitating buying and selling of foreign bonds, said the FSC.

Most notably, the FSC is working toward approving the ability for banks on both sides of the strait to issue ATM cards that may allow consumers to access accounts denominated in renminbi and New Taiwan dollars, among other plans designed to further promote financial sector exchanges with China and ease limitations on activities conducted by institutional investors and brokerage companies.

Tseng also emphasized that the FSC will work toward deterring negative competitive practices on pricing observed among banks during numerous instances of syndicated loans and issuing of Formosa bonds.

The FSC will also work toward elevating the competency of financial sector human resources through training programs, while assisting banking, insurance, investment advisory and insurance companies in establishing operations throughout Asia, beyond the confines of the Taiwan market, said Tseng.

Banks will be encouraged to take part in assisting the efforts of Taiwan's small- to medium-sized enterprises and the creative and cultural industries, stated Tseng, adding that a goal has been set to lend NT$240 billion for the endeavors over this year.

Regulator Pledges to Elevate Standards in Corporate Governance, Responsibility

On the topic of corporate governance and conformance of regulations, Tseng stated that the FSC will strive to prevent unscrupulous practices such as the cooking oil scandals of last year, and step up measures enforcing corporate responsibility. Citing dividend payout statistics, Tseng also stated that over the course of last year corporate profits of companies listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TAIEX) and the GreTai Securities Market grew markedly, while urging employers to raise wages. Wage hikes will motivate employees while increasing their efficiency, and elevate economic growth through anticipated increases in consumer spending, said Tseng. According to Tseng, corporate responsibility implies that businesses should allocate a portion of profits for the benefit of their employees, consumers and shareholders.

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