FSC optimistic on easing cross-strait finance rules


TAIPEI — An official from Taiwan’s top financial regulator said Thursday that she is optimistic about more relaxed financial policies across the Taiwan Strait in the near future.

Lee Jih-chu, vice chairwoman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), said the improved ability of local banks to take higher risks and the government’s stronger risk control ability allow the FSC to “take strides in adjusting cross-strait financial policies.”

Describing the financial industry as a “confidence industry,” Lee said financial regulators in Taiwan and China have established mutual trust over the past few years.

Lee, who made the remarks at an economic forum in Taipei organized by CommonWealth magazine, said the FSC will seek to help financial institutes establish a network in the near future so that they can connect their financial services in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.

The commission will also seek to set up an Internet platform to provide money transfer services so that Chinese consumers do not have to come to Taiwan to buy Taiwanese products, said Lee.

She said the FSC will also make efforts to allow non-banks, such as financial guarantors and small loan companies, to set up branch offices in China to meet the needs of Taiwanese businesses there.

In addition, Lee went on, the commission is also considering opportunities for Taiwanese banks to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts in money management services and to provide such services for Chinese customers.

The internationalization of the Chinese yuan also provides a good opportunity for Taiwan, which has a large trade surplus with China and is also a big investor there, said Lee.

She added that the FSC is also setting up a cross-strait securities and insurance supervisory platform that is expected to speed up cooperation between the two sides in the securities and insurance businesses.