||During recent years, the mutual open and communication process between Taiwan and China have become more and more robust. However, the development process for banking business, when comparing to all other industries, is relatively slow. As banking industry serves as the foundation of a modern society and hence firmly links to a country’s economy development and stability, it is not surprised that more complicated issues would be involved when it comes to the relationship between Taiwan and China. The China authority has set different regulations and limitations in different time, and in this research we will focus on those currently in effect. As so far Taiwan and China have agreed on mutually setting branches and share-investment, another important issue that will be discussed is the optimal strategy that a Taiwan bank could adopt in order to promote business but at the same time mitigate risk.|
By using SCP (Structure-Conduct-Performance) as the main concept of analysis, and supporting by abundant experience sharing and interview, not only have we concluded some strategies for local banking industry, but also possible outcomes and developments resulted by those strategies. SWOT is also used to analyze local banks’ strategies when going west to China. The research focuses on three main issues as below.
First of all, local banks, before going west to seek business opportunity in China, should expand their scale by merger and acquisition while at the same time keep the superiority in risk control. Only after strengthening its own assets and properties can a bank then pursue the share investment chance with Chinese banks. When it comes to the merger and acquisition issue among banks, regardless of various laws and regulations that may be adopted, the concept of corporate governance should be fundamental. Considering special tradition and culture in Taiwan and in order to stabilize people’s confidence and the economy, the research holds the view to support government-authorities-owned-banks’ continue operation, although they are inferior in over-all performance and asset quality than private banks,
Second, since local banks’ competent advantages lie in their long and abundant experiences in corporate development, consumer financing, and wealth management, with all of the above supported by remarkable ability in risk control, business opportunities coming after the permission of RMB-dominant trading such as loan credit and wealth management are anticipated to be prosperous. However, local banks stand at an inferior point in relatively late entry time comparing to foreign banks, far less capital scale than Chinese banks, gradually slowing economy growth rate, increasing NPL rate, and control-losing shadow banks—all the factors might eventually erode the industry’s profitability. Banking industry in China was once so profitable that most were not willing to disclose the real gain but those good old times are not coming back any more. Therefore, in order to set an alarm in risk control, establishing a firewall is necessary for any local bank when going west to pursue business opportunity in China.
Furthermore, although the mutual permission agreement between Taiwan and China in setting branch and share investment percentage seems to be equal in figures, the real fact under that is actually unfair and could be quite some challenge for local banks when considering the two sovereigns’ asset and market scale. No matter setting branch or share-investing in local banks, Chinese banks’ real ambition is to acquire Taiwan enterprises’ information and controllability over local banks rather than penetrating Taiwan market, which is in scale significantly smaller than that in China. The research therefore asserts that when negotiating for share investment, a local bank should insist a premium price to protect both the bank itself and the shareholders’ right.
At last but not least, the research takes Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank (SCSB) as a case study example to discuss how a local bank, in given time and environment, fully explores its obvious advantages in both Taiwan and China to create a whole new business model and thus finds “blue sea” among banks in Taiwan. Such business model could be a useful reference for local banks when considering going west to China. Finally, the research also places focus on various challenges that SCSB could face and should deal with prudence in the future, such as the imitation of other banks in profit-gaining model, leader-to-be apprentices, insufficient domestic branch, and the foreseeable retirement of high-end managers.