Bank of Taiwan opens liaison office in Philippines

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — State-run Bank of Taiwan has opened a liaison office in the Philippines, bringing to 13 the number of foreign banks operating a representative office in the country.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier issued Circular Letter 2019 – 011 announcing the opening of the Bank of Taiwan - Manila Representative Office last Jan. 31.

“As a liaison office of the Bank of Taiwan which deals directly with the public, its function shall be limited to promoting and providing information about the services or products offered by Bank of Taiwan and shall not include those of its affiliates,” Fonacier said.

The central bank’s Monetary Board issued Resolution 359 in March last year, giving the Bank of Taiwan the green light to open a representative office in the Philippines.

Bank of Taiwan has 169 domestic branches as well as presence in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Tokyo, London, Singapore, South Africa, Los Angeles and New York.

The bank was established in May 1946 as the first government-owned bank following the island’s restoration to the Republic of China. In 1998, Bank of Taiwan was subsequently taken over by the central government of the Republic of China and was placed under the Ministry of Finance.

In 2008, Bank of Taiwan became part of the Taiwan Financial Holding Group.

So far, the BSP has allowed 13 foreign banks to establish representative or liaison offices in the country.

Aside from Bank of Taiwan, other foreign banks that opened representative offices are the State Bank of India, Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank Ltd, Wells Fargo Bank, Korea Development Bank, Bank of Singapore Ltd., DBS Bank Ltd, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Rothschild (Singapore) Ltd., The Bank of New York Mellon, Korea Eximbank, UBS AG and Zurich-based Credit Suisse.

Fonacier earlier said more foreign banks are looking at setting up branches and representative offices in the Philippines on the back of the country’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals.

The BSP has so far allowed 12 foreign banks to open branches in the Philippines since former president Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10641 or An Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in July 2014, removing the limit in the number of foreign banks that can enter the country.

These are Taiwan’s Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd., Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Bank, First Commercial Bank, and Chang Hwa Bank Commercial Bank Ltd.; Korea’s Shinhan Bank, the industrial Bank of Korea, and Woori Bank; Sumitomo Mitsui of Japan; United Overseas Bank Ltd. of Singapore, CIMB Bank of Malaysia and Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

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