Bank of the West opens 2nd rep office in Taiwan


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Bank of the West, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, said yesterday it had opened its second Asian representative office in Taiwan, aiming to tap the growing financial needs of Taiwan’s high-tech firms in the United States.

Taiwan, home to many big firms making PCs, semiconductors and cell phones for U.S. customers, offered strong potential for the San Francisco-based bank.

“It is a growing business,” Yukinori Nishio, an executive vice president, told reporters in a teleconference. “I expect the Taiwan office to cover Hong Kong and China as well.”

Bank of the West had no immediate plans to open more representative offices in Asia, he said, following the one it opened in Tokyo last year. The bank, which serves Asia-based companies’ units in the United States, would have to compete with the banking arms of Taiwan’s Chinatrust Financial and First Financial for Taiwan customers.

Some of the lender’s major clients include Taiwan’s No. 2 carrier Eva Airways and disc maker CMC Magnetics, Nishio said.

Bank of the West, founded in 1874, operates more than 700 branches across the 19 states in the U.S.