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Government to speed up processing time of foreign banks' local acquisitions

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government will speed up its approval process for foreign banks' local acquisitions, provided sufficient information is disclosed and an agreement is made between the involved parties, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said.

U.S. President Barack Obama's 2014 Trade Policy Agenda points out that Taiwan's financial investment system lacks transparency. FSC Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) said recently that the U.S. might have produced its conclusion about Taiwan based on outdated information.

FSC representatives have paid a visit to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to explain Taiwan's current financial system in more detail. In response, the AIT provided positive feedback regarding recent measures rolled out by the government to open up the country's financial system, Tseng said.

In an effort to improve the country's audit system, the government will conduct a review this week. The FSC's goal is to shorten the amount of time required to process an acquisition made by foreign capital to less than one month. FSC officials pointed out that processing time has been greatly reduced, and the FSC now makes fast decisions on finance and business related problems in an acquisition.

Labor unions for Mega International Commercial Bank and First Bank recently staged a protest at the Ministry of Finance to voice opposition for a possible merger between the state-funded banks.

In response to the protest, Tseng pointed out that it is the Ministry of Finance (MOF) that authorizes bank mergers, and the FSC will follow with the MOF's decisions. Tseng stressed, however, that mergers of state-funded banks have never resulted in layoffs.

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