Taiwan's best bank for SMEs 2018: Taiwan Business Bank
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Taiwan's best bank for SMEs 2018: Taiwan Business Bank

Taiwan Business Bank

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Bor-Yi Huang, Taiwan Business Bank

Taiwan Business Bank has never wavered from its original remit: providing invaluable financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Taipei-based lender does the regular stuff well, lending to mid-sized local firms as they expand regionally and globally, providing letters of credit, foreign exchange services, and cash management services.

“We assist SMEs when they expand into international markets – and we want our customers to know that we are an SME-focused bank with a special mission,” rather than just another one of the island’s many medium-sized lenders, chairman Bor-Yi Huang tells Asiamoney.

This is an unusual lender in other ways. It’s a policy bank – Taiwan has eight in total – with the mind of a private lender and a vital source of funding to the island’s army of SMEs.

At the end of 2017, it had 124 domestic branches, along with a physical presence in the likes of Cambodia and China.

Huang says the bank has bought in to the government’s ‘New Southbound Policy’, which aims to strengthen financial and commercial links with 18 nations in Australasia, south and southeast Asia. Its resources are committed to helping SMEs expand into those markets, says Huang.

The lender is also investing heavily in its digital platform, increasing its fintech budget by 160% in 2017, to $34 million – another sign of how seriously this lender takes itself, and how seriously it deserves to be taken.