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Gov't-linked banks expand operations due to upbeat economy.

Taipei, Aug. 19, 2009 (CENS) -- Seeing gradual economic recovery, some government-linked banks, including Chang Hwa Bank, Hua Nan Commercial Bank and First Commercial Bank, have been setting up new branches, 20 of which have been in the last few months set up or relocated on the island.

A senior manager at Hua Nan indicated that the bank usually reviews the performance of branches once a year for adjustment. The downturn has forced some banks to downsize and become more prudent. For instance, Cosmos Bank, a medium-sized domestic bank, closed a few branches during the worst period.

With a seemingly recovering economy in the second half of the year, some banks are expanding operations. The Hua Nan plans to set up two more branches in the second half of the year, with one in Kaohsiung county and one in Taichung.

In contrast, Taiwan Cooperative Bank, a state-run bank, does not plan to expand, despite having 13 new branch licenses on hand. On the contrary, the bank may merge closely-located branches to avoid redundancy, hoping to maintain its branches at around 300.

An executive at Taiwan Cooperative pointed out a new branch may not break even until the third month at the earliest.

The Bank of Taiwan (BOT), also a state-run bank, has 162 branches and no plans to establish new branches in the near future.

((JL)) (GE)
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Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Aug 19, 2009
Words:226
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