China could accept stricter rules for its banks to operate in Taiwan than those for other foreign lenders in the market, Taiwan’s regulator said on Monday, a day after the two sides signed a landmark financial services agreement.
Lee Jih-chu, a vice-chairperson of Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission, said China’s stance on the matter was a good gesture from Beijing, which signed a series of landmark agreements on Sunday. The deals laid the groundwork for a flood of financial services investment to flow across the Taiwan Strait for the first time in six decades.
Due to political reasons, no Chinese banks have operated in Taiwan since the two became separately ruled following the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
But both sides are preparing to open their banking markets to each other as ties across the Taiwan Strait improve under the year-old administration of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.
‘China would not make a request difficult to honour,’ said Lee.
She did not elaborate on what criteria China would ask for its banks, which are expected to apply to open branches in Taiwan later this year.
Taiwan expects to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on financial services supervision with Beijing before June, which would provide a regulatory framework to oversee banks operating in each others’ markets.