Asia Express - Consumer Electronics
Taiwan Issues Three Internet-only Bank Licenses
July 31, 2020

Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) announced on July 31 that it has issued three licenses of internet-only banks, known as virtual banks, to three conglomerates, the Economic Daily News reported on July 31. Three conglomerates include Next Bank, in which Chunghwa Telecom holds a 41.9% stake; Line Bank, in which Line Financial Taiwan holds a 49.9% stake, and Rakuten International Commercial Bank, in which Waterland Financial Holdings and Rakuten Group hold a 49% and 51% stake, respectively. The FSC originally planned to issue only two licenses out of three teams. However, since they have different operating models and target customers, the FSC finally decided to issue three licenses to better tap the consumer demand in Taiwan with more convenient financial services. Thus far, Hong Kong issued 8 virtual bank licenses while Singapore and South Korea issued 5 and 2 such banks, respectively. Following the release of the licenses, these three banks are expected to begin operations in April 2021 the earliest.