Results at Taiwan’s banks put them among those to watch in the Asia-Pacific region, with almost half in the Top 1000 seeing double-digit growth. Kimberley Long reports on their strategy. 

Despite its small size, Taiwan punches above its weight when it comes to banks making it into the Top 1000 World Banks ranking: 30 domestic banks appear in the main ranking this year. Perhaps even more interesting, none of them recorded a loss in their Tier 1 capital during 2019. 

The top four banks remain unchanged from last year’s ranking. CTBC Bank holds on to the top spot and is 155th in the global ranking. However, despite seeing its Tier 1 capital climb by 5.13%, the bank’s overall ranking is lower than its 148th place in last year’s listing. It is a similar story for second place Mega International Commercial Bank, which fell from 165th to 171st place this year, despite increasing its Tier 1 capital by 4.29%. 

Bucking this trend, however, is third-placed Bank of Taiwan; it rises to 177th in the overall ranking from 200th last year, thanks to an impressive 26.88% increase in Tier 1 capital. Overall, 14 domestic and foreign-owned Taiwanese banks have posted a double-digit increase in their Tier 1 capital in 2019, although Bank of Taiwan was the only one to record more than a 20% increase. 

Bank of Taiwan holds the top spot for assets, with a 3.65% rise. However, return on assets (ROA) is a different story, as the bank skims the bottom of the table with 31st place. The highest placing for ROA is foreign-owned subsidiary Citibank Taiwan. 

In the best-performing banks ranking, E Sun Commercial Bank takes the top spot with an overall performance score of 6.25. The bank is also top for both profitability and return on risk, despite only coming eighth in the country by Tier 1 capital. CTBC Bank is ranked the second best-performing bank, leading its peers in operational efficiency.  

Mega International Commercial Bank, meanwhile, is the sixth best-performing bank, with its highest ranking a second place for soundness. Cathay United Bank is in third place in the best-performing banks table. Although it performed poorly in growth and operational risk metrics, it clinched the top spot for both liquidity and soundness. 

The Export Import Bank of China has good results in the overall global rankings for its capital-to-assets ratio, coming in 10th place with 22.59%. Similarly, in the top 25 world banks for BIS capital ratio, the bank takes 24th place, with 31.2%. The results are an interesting insight into the bank, which has otherwise ranked at 29th place in the country ranking, falling one place from 28th last year. Overall, the bank placed 729th, a strong climb on 754th in 2019, doubtless helped by its 8.98% increase in Tier 1 capital. 

Taiwan saw two banks re-enter the ranking this year, with Bank of Kaohsiung jumping up to 965th place overall, and taking 32nd place in the country ranking. The bank’s success comes down to seeing its Tier 1 capital rise by 15.91% in the last year. Meanwhile, Bank of Panhsin also made it back into the ranking in 993rd place. The bank boosted its Tier 1 capital by 9.23%, which enabled it to rejoin the Top 1000. 


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