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BRANCH BANKING | Tony Chua, Taiwan
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Taiwan’s government-linked banks to expand domestic banking operations

The move to prepare Taiwan lenders to weather possible economic downturn due to US and Europe crises.

To counter possible economic downturn in the coming year, some government-linked banks in Taiwan, including First Commercial Bank, Chang Hwa Bank, Hua Nan Bank, and Taiwanese Business Bank, are planning to set up more designated domestic banking units (DBUs) to beef up foreign currency-based businesses.

M. J. Chien, president of First Bank, indicated that the debt crisis in Europe and the United States might influence the global economic climate in 2012, and therefore some banks in Taiwan intend to focus more on foreign exchange business and wealth management services than on corporate banking. 

Today, the Bank has a total of 102 DBUs, which are allowed to offer foreign currency-based financial businesses including trading forex, general remittance of foreign currencies, foreign currency deposits, foreign currency lending, foreign currency-guaranteed finance, etc. To expand foreign currency businesses, the bank intends to boost the number of its DBUs to 121 by the end of this year. 

Likewise, Chang Hwa, Hua Nan, and Taiwan Business banks, which see the number of DBUs stand at 88, 79, and 64, respectively, also plan to increase the number of DBUs by the end of the year. Among them, Chang Hua will raise the number by 19 to 107; Hua Nan by 14 to 93 and Taiwan Business by 10 to 74. 

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