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FEIB gains open banking approval

Post Date 2020.12.12From:Taipei Times By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter

Far Eastern International Bank (FEIB, 遠東國際商銀) yesterday became the nation’s first lender to gain regulatory approval to offer open banking services.

The medium-sized lender said it had been given the go-ahead by the Financial Supervisory Commission on Thursday to launch an account integration app, a new service provided in conjunction with affiliate Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信).

The move makes FEIB the nation’s first third-party service provider, as technology is reshaping the banking industry and more customers prefer online transactions, FEIB digital banking division head Simon Tai (戴松志) said.

The new app enables customers to integrate their accounts at different banks, allowing them to manage their savings accounts, bills, credit cards and funds without having to open multiple apps or windows, Tai said.

The app uses artificial intelligence to recommend the most favorable options for customers when making wealth management decisions or choosing banking services, the Taipei-based lender said.

FEIB was able to steal a march on its peers in open banking due mainly to its collaboration with Far EasTone, which does not keep a record of customers’ banking details or passwords, maintaining the safety of transactions, Tai said.

The lender has achieved significant progress in digital transformation, with 93 percent of its transactions taking place over the Internet this year, up from 90 percent last year, he said.

FEIB has more than 40,000 digital banking accounts, which function as an entry-level product to help the bank gain more business, much like credit cards did in the past, Tai said, adding that the bank plans to introduce more digital services later this month.

The bank posted net income of NT$2.33 billion (US$81.93 million) in the first three quarters of the year, or earnings per share of NT$0.68, FEIB president Thomas Chou (周添財) said.

That suggests a 20 percent full-year retreat from a year earlier, as the banking sector takes a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chou said.

Increased market liquidity is weighing on loan growth and increasing the costs of provisions, but FEIB has fared better than its peers on non-performing loans so far this year, he said.