DBS Bank Taiwan (星展台灣), the local unit of Singapore-based DBS Group Holdings Ltd, has reportedly won a bid to acquire Citibank Taiwan Ltd’s (花旗台灣) consumer banking business, but the two companies declined to confirm the report yesterday.
Citibank Taiwan’s consumer banking business is to be sold for about NT$60 billion (US$2.17 billion) to DBS Taiwan, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported on Sunday.
DBS Taiwan and its parent company are expediting the negotiations with the seller’s US-based parent company, while other local bidders, including Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), have dropped their bids, the report said.
Photo: Lee Chin-hui, Taipei Times
Citibank Taiwan and DBS Taiwan remained tight-lipped, saying they could not comment on rumors.
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has not received a report from Citibank Taiwan about a transaction, Banking Bureau Deputy Director-General Lin Chih-chi (林志吉) said by telephone yesterday.
The deal is subject to the commission’s review and approval, and the seller and buyer must ensure that the rights of Citibank Taiwan’s employees and clients are not affected, and that the bank’s wealth management clientele would be retained in Taiwan, Lin said.
Another issue of concern is whether all of Citibank Taiwan’s branches would continue operating, as DBS Taiwan had closed some of its branches in the past few years.
Asked about the issue, Lin said that any changes in the operation of the bank’s branches would affect the rights of clients, so Citibank Taiwan and the buyer must disclose whether the buyer would be making changes to the branches’ operations and the reasons for such adjustments.
With 2.08 million credit cards in circulation, Citibank Taiwan ranks first among four major foreign banks in terms of credit card operations, while DBS Taiwan ranks third with 317,527 credit cards, data released by the commission showed.
In terms of consumer lending, Citibank Taiwan also ranked first, with total loans of NT$197 billion as of the end of November, while DBS Taiwan ranked fourth with loans of NT$107 billion, commission data showed.
If DBS Taiwan acquires Citibank Taiwan’s retail banking business, the company is likely to outrank all foreign banks in Taiwan if it is able to retain all of Citibank Taiwan’s clients.
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