Taiwan’s Yuanta formalizes entry in Philippines

Posted on September 28, 2016

TAIWAN’S Yuanta Financial Holdings Co. formalized its entry into the Philippines, as it announced the official name change of its first overseas subsidiary to Yuanta Savings Bank Philippines, Inc.

Pedestrians walk past the headquarters of Yuanta Financial Holdings in Taipei on April 10, 2011. -- AFP
“The former Tong Yang Savings Bank will be known as Yuanta Savings Bank Philippines, Inc. This move represents not only a new name for the bank, but also a new look for its business locations, and a new effort to provide an even better core banking system; with a new brand, a new look, and new “localized” financial services,” the lender said in a statement.

The renaming ceremony took effect last Sept. 26.

Although it enters the Philippine market as an overseas subsidiary bank, Yuanta said it will actively seek to implement a “localized” business model.

“In addition to local Filipino residents and Korean clients and nationals, Yuanta will also pursue target client groups including top quality listed companies and Taiwan-funded enterprises across the Southeast Asia region,” Yuanta said, adding that along with its name change, the bank has invested millions of dollars to redesign its business look and branches.

Yuanta will also uphold consistent business concepts in its risk management, business promotion, and other operational systems by updating its core banking system, steadily expanding its lines of business, and increasing its operational efficiency.

Dan T.Y. Chang, president of Yuanta Commercial Bank in Taiwan, noted the “growing importance of Southeast Asia” and the potential of the Philippines.

“The Philippines’ efforts in recent years, in terms of infrastructure, economic and trade policy reforms, an increase in remittances from Philippine nationals working abroad, and ASEAN region negotiations for a free trade agreement, have resulted in earnings growth for domestic industries and an increase in exports,” Mr. Chang said in a speech during the bank’s grand opening in Manila.

“Yuanta Savings Bank is our first overseas subsidiary. It not only represents an important milestone in our entry into the Southeast Asian market, but also a foundation for our future development in the region.”

The Philippines -- being the nearest Southeast Asian country to Taiwan, enjoys a close trade relationship with Taipei -- and is “the ASEAN member nation with the most stable economic growth,” Mr. Chang added.

In 2015, Taiwanese imports from the Philippines amounted to $1.835 billion, and Taiwanese exports to the Philippines were $7.445 billion.

Yuanta Savings Bank has an authorized capital stock of P1.2 billion, of which P1 billion is subscribed and paid-up with par value share of P1.

In the Philippines, Yuanta Savings Bank currently consists of a headquarters and two branches in Alabang and Ortigas. Parent firm Yuanta also has overseas locations including another subsidiary bank Hanshin Savings Bank of Korea, which will is also planned to be renamed as Yuanta Savings Bank (Korea), as well as in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Indonesia.

Yuanta Savings Bank Philippines, Inc. was formerly known as Tong Yang Savings Bank, Inc., formally registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 1, 1997. It was granted a thrift bank license by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Oct. 24, 1997 and started its commercial operations on Nov. 5 that year.

On Aug. 5, 2015, the savings bank became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yuanta Commercial Bank after it acquired 100% equity shares of the bank from Yuanta Securities Korea Co., Ltd (formerly: TongYang Securities, Inc.).

On July 18, 2016, the SEC approved the change of its name from Tong Yang Savings Bank, Inc. to Yuanta Savings Bank Philippines, Inc. Kou-Shing Shen is the Philippine bank’s acting chairman and president.

So far, the BSP has approved the entry of eight new lenders since the passage of Republic Act 10641, which allowed the full entry of foreign banks in the local banking industry.

Aside from Yuanta, the foreign banks which received the BSP’s nod to operate here under the new law are: Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., South Korea’s Industrial Bank of Korea and Shinhan Bank, Taiwan-based Cathay United Bank, and Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd.

Earlier this year, Korea’s Woori Bank got the green light to enter the local market by partnering with the Gaisano-led Wealth Development Bank Corp., a thrift lender which targets to serve both Korean tourists and expatriates.

Last June, Taiwan’s First Commercial Bank also got the central bank’s approval to set up a branch in Manila. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin