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Cathay United Bank cardholders outspend counterparts in April

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Cathay United Bank (國泰世華) posted NT$27.3 billion for April credit card sales volume, marking the first time it has outrun CTBC Bank (中國信託商銀) in this regard.

Cathay United Bank's credit cardholders outspent for the first time their CTBC Bank counterparts, having swiped in April NT$27.3 billion and exceeded CTBC's corresponding NT$25.2 billion.

According to local media reports, Cathay United Bank set the highest monthly record of credit card sales in April and gained a 16.68-percent share of home turf, vis-a-vis CTBC Bank's 15.39 percent.

With 3.67 million credit cards in circulation, CTBC Bank remains Taiwan's largest credit card issuer.

According to the United Daily News, Cathay Financial cited two main reasons for such commercial success. One is the issuing of affinity cards with Costco, a leading hypermarket chain in Taiwan, and a promotion for cardholders of food & beverage, traveling, shopping and transportation products and services.

Cathay United issued over 800,000 Costco affinity cards in the first five months of the year, with a net increase of 144,800 credit cards circulated in the first quarter.

ETC Boosts New Card Issuance

E. Sun Bank (玉山銀行) and Taishin International Bank (台新國際商銀) witnessed a rise of 108,700 and 38,900 credit cards respectively in the first quarter of this year after issuing affinity cards with ETC, an electronic toll collection service provided by Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co.

Last year Shin Kong Financial Holding (新光金控) encouraged its affiliate, Shin Kong Commercial Bank (新光商銀), to issue affinity cards with its other affiliate -- Shin-Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store (新光三越百貨), having issued about 400,000 such affinity cards in the initial six months.

Regarding the domestic credit card market situation in April, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) indicated that 36 credit card issuers were in operation in Taiwan. The number of effective cards totaled 36.46 million, among which the total active cards numbered in 23.23 million.

As of March 2014, the number of effective cards totaled 36.3 million among which the total active cards numbered in 23.13 million. The amount of monthly retail sales was approximately NT$163.5 billion that increased by NT$11.9 billion as compared to NT$151.6 billion of March 2014.

The FSC's data also showed that the balance of revolving credit decreased by NT$0.9 billion from NT$114.8 billion to NT$113.9 billion. The amount of undue balance of installment was approximately NT$67.4 billion from 67.05 billion at the end of March 2014.

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