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FSC Chairperson Huang and NDC Minister Kung Visit Bilingual Branches to Promte the Bilingual 2030 Policy

On 21 September 2022, Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairperson Dr. Tien-Mu Huang, in the company of National Development Council (NDC) Minister Mr. Ming-Hsin Kung and Director-General Mr. Chia-Chi Hsiao of the National Treasury Administration, Ministry of Finance (MOF) visited two pilot  bilingual branches - the Chengde Branch of Far Eastern International Bank and the Songjiang Branch of the Bank of Taiwan - to better understand the implementation results of bilingual policy at these branches.

  To coordinate with the Bilingual 2030 policy, create an environment conducive to the emergence of bilingual financial markets, enhance Taiwan's image as a home to internationalized financial markets, and encourage banks to set up pilot bilingual branches, the FSC, NDC, and the Ministry of Finance in 2019 and 2020 previously made visits to pilot bilingual branches established by the following eight commercial banks in northern, central, and southern Taiwan: DBS Bank Taiwan; Mega International Commercial Bank; CTBC Bank; First Commercial Bank; Taipei Fubon Bank; Chang Hwa Bank; E.Sun Bank; and Hua Nan Bank. As of end-June 2022, 22 domestic banks have opened 584 bilingual branches, up by 412 branches (239%) from the 172 bilingual branches that were in operation at end-December 2020.

The FSC, taking into account the number of bilingual branches as well as their distinctive features and differences, chose to visit the Chengde Branch of Far Eastern International Bank and the Songjiang Branch of the Bank of Taiwan. Each of these pilot bilingual branches has its own distinctive features. Far Eastern International Bank has worked for many years to encourage its employees to improve their foreign language proficiency. Over 90% of this bank's employees have obtained certification for their English proficiency. The business of the Chengde Branch features a special focus on the concepts of sustainability and environmental protection. Greetings in numerous languages appear prominently on its outdoor signs and in public spaces inside the branch. The branch also provide multi-language translators and digital bilingual forms. 

The Bank of Taiwan seeks to ensure that all of its branches throughout the world are bilingual branches by the year 2025, and it has adopted a ratings system to encourage branches to launch bilingual services. The Bank of Taiwan currently has 79 bilingual branches, which account for 14% of the 584 bilingual branches of domestic banks. Its Songjiang Branch, which has been in operation for 50 years, is located in a bustling commercial district noted for its large numbers of international tourists, travel agencies, and trading companies. These factors mean that the Songjiang Branch handles a large volume of currency exchange and foreign currency deposit business. To meet its customers' needs, employees at the Songjiang Branch provide financial services in English and Japanese, and the branch has installed multi-currency smart ATM machines with corresponding bilingual interfaces. Moreover, to support government policy, this branch has rolled out a menu of special services available specifically to holders of the Employment Gold Card.

These two pilot bilingual branches have hired a very adequate number of multilingual employees and installed more than enough equipment. The equipment provides clear bilingual information and frequently used English version forms, and bilingual employees are on hand to provide related services. These arrangements show that banks are responding positively to the effort to encourage establishment of more pilot bilingual branches. Taiwan’s banks have already taken a big step toward a more friendly bilingual financial services environment, and these latest visits have revealed that in the stage of planning a bilingual branch, a bank can also act upon sustainability concepts and provide a customer experience that makes optimal use of digitization and high technology. The FSC expects banks to continue opening bilingual branches in order to provide foreign nationals in Taiwan with more friendly financial services. These measures will boost the creation of a bilingual financial environment throughout Taiwan, and will spur internationalization of Taiwan's financial services environment.

Contact: Lin Hsiu-lien, Domestic Banks Division, Banking Bureau, FSC
Tel: (02) 8968-9685
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Visitor: 602   Update: 2022-09-26