The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Banking: Taiwan’s feet of clay

The island’s biggest lenders are pushing hard into Asia, snapping up regional banks in a quest for growth and higher returns. Back at home, though, the island’s banking sector remains as moribund as ever, hobbled by too small a market and powerful unions.


Crippled by powerful unions, a surfeit of competition at home and a lack of drive overseas, Taiwan’s banks have long been viewed as unambitious underachievers. Asia now boasts a small army of powerful regional lenders – think of ANZ, DBS and Maybank, to name but a few. All have benefited directly from the region’s long boom and from snapping up the market share left behind after the financial crisis by retreating western rivals. 

Yet not one lending institution on this list hails from Taiwan. None even come close. For years, the island’s banks appear to have had their feet pre-baked in clay, so ponderously do they move. 

That may finally be changing. A clutch of deals signed during the summer months point to a much-needed surge in financial M&A deals. In August, Taipei-based Yuanta Financial Holding agreed to buy Ta Chong Bank, a local lender part-owned by the American private equity firm Carlyle Group, for NT$56.6 billion ($1.73 billion) in cash and stock, the largest domestic financial transaction in more than four years. Within a fortnight, Yuanta was at it again, snapping up Hanshin Savings Bank for $112 million, marking the first foray into South Korea by a Taiwanese lender. 

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree