17 banks warned by FSC to curb focus on mortgage loans

The China Post news staff

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday it had reminded 17 domestic banks found to be excessively focused on providing mortgage loan products to tackle the problem.

FSC officials told lawmakers at a legislative session that even though the outstanding home and construction loans of the 17 banks was over 40 percent of their total outstanding loans did not mean the whole financial system was overexposed to mortgage loans.

On the issue of curbing the potential property bubble, the Ministry of Finance said, in response to questions by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), that it would raise the possibility of suspending the vacant land tax with Taipei City government. Gao expressed doubts that the city government could put the vacant land tax on hold because the MOF-proposed luxury tax would levy special taxes for the transaction prices of non-self-use homes, vacant land and commercial buildings resold within the two years of purchase. In response, Minister of Finance Lee Sush-der (李述德) said that the luxury tax and the vacant land tax are two different things. The latter is established by local governments to levy tax on idle lands in order to spur development. The MOF, however, will talk with local financial officials through its National Treasury Agency.