2 Taiwan banks open branches in Shanghai
SHANGHAI: First Commercial Bank, which is partially government controlled, opened a branch in Shanghai Thursday, becoming one of the first two Taiwan banks to do so.
The First Commercial Bank branch, located in the Changning District in Shanghai's Puxi Region, is poised to take advantage of a boom in China's domestic consumer market, said Chou Pochiao, executive vice president of the bank.
The branch initially aims to serve Taiwanese businesspeople in China who require funds in foreign currencies, said Chou, who traveled to Shanghai from Taipei for the grand opening.
The Puxi branch will start with this service and after one year, it is expected to show a profit and thus become eligible to expand to Chinese yuan business services, according Lu Hsin-chih, who has been appointed manager of the branch.
Under Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that was signed between Taiwan and China in June, Taiwanese banks will be allowed to conduct Chinese yuan business in the second year if they make a profit in the first year of operation. First Commercial Bank will soon begin planning for branches in other areas of China, including the central and western parts of the country, Lu added. Meanwhile, also on Thursday, another Taiwan institution, Cathay United Bank, opened a branch in Shanghai's upscale Lujiazui financial zone in the Pudong Region.
Cathay United Bank Vice President Lee Wei-cheng said at the opening ceremony that the bank will seek to establish a second branch in China soon, probably in the Haixi Area, the Bohai region or in Sichuan Province. -PB News