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Taiwan's best bank for SMEs 2017: E.Sun


Every now and then, a lender emerges that sees the market a little differently. E.Sun Commercial Bank is one such case: a relatively young (founded in 1992) financial institution with driven and capable senior management.

With just 135 branches across the island, it is dwarfed by Taiwan’s big commercial banks. But that matters little to an institution that long ago realized there was money to be made banking thriving young domestic firms operating onshore and around the world.

Unlike its peers, many of which pay lip service to small and medium-sized enterprises, E.Sun’s focus has long been on providing first-rate solutions to smaller corporate clients, ranging from transaction banking to cash management to treasury services. E.Sun claims to be one of Asia’s best SME banks – a bold assertion, but one that its peers in Taipei grudgingly admit might not be too wide of the mark.

“They are very good,” one leading bank executive told Asiamoney in Taipei. “Ignore size. To my mind, they’re one of the country’s best banks, and they’re going to get better.”

Total outstanding loans to smaller firms at the end of 2016 stood at NT$294 billion ($9.8 billion) – up 11.8% from a year ago – making E.Sun the island’s biggest private-sector SME lender. This growth has not come accidentally: the lender works assiduously to generate new products that help clients and add heft to its bottom line. An example is its collaboration with insurers to offer micro-insurance products to underprivileged groups. This is a really good SME lender – but also a very good all-round bank whose best days are yet to come.