TAIPEI: Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd. (HNCB) of Taiwan has debuted in the Philippines with the opening of a full branch in this fast-growing Southeast Asian economy on Wednesday.
The Manila branch is the 14th overseas branch of the 98-year-old Taiwanese bank, a subsidiary of Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co. Ltd. which was the first company to list on Taiwan’s stock exchange.
“Looking into the future, our vision is to become first class regional bank in Asia..and we know that Taiwan and Philippines are two neighboring countries sharing similar location and traditional friendship,” HNCB chair Wu Tang Chieh said in a gala dinner to celebrate the opening of the Manila branch on Wednesday night.
HNCB is the ninth foreign bank and the fourth domiciled in Taiwan to enter the Philippine banking system under Republic Act 10641 of 2014, which allowed a new wave of foreign bank liberalization. The three other new Taiwanese banking players that have entered the local banking system since then were Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. and First Commercial Bank.
“Indeed, this event represents the realization of the objectives of the law allowing greater foreign participation in the Philippine banking system,” said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. during the gala dinner as he welcomed HNCB to the Philippine banking industry.
Espenilla, who become the BSP Governor next month, said: “The economic benefits from the entry of foreign banks are clear. This generates more foreign direct investments, provides more financing opportunities to fund infrastructure projects and creates greater employment opportunities.”
For his part, HNCB Manila branch general manager Jeff Lai said in a press statement: “The Manila branch will not only serve Taiwanese businesses, who are clients both in Taiwan and in the Philippines, but will also tap local/domestic customers, based on HNCB’s tradition of helping small- and medium-sized businesses develop.”
Founded in 1919, HNCB is one of Taiwan’s largest financial institutions with total assets of US$89 billion in 2016. It operates 186 branches serving over seven million customers in Taiwan.