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Banking Act Amended for New Basis of Calculation of Total Investment of Financial Institutions and Other Important Rules

Benjamin K. J. Li/Jeep Chen

The Legislative Yuan passed amendments to the Banking Act on 22 January 2015, effective from 6 February 2015 after promulgation by the ROC President. Key points of the amendments are as follows:
1.     Article 11 (amended):
The words that bank debentures are for extension by banks of medium-term and/or long-term credits were deleted.
2.     Article 42-1 (deleted):
The provision that a bank shall obtain the competent authority's prior approval to issue stored-value cards and shall post reserves thereon in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Central Bank of China was deleted.
3.     Paragraph 4 of Article 45-1 (new addition):
Stipulate that any bank conducting derivatives business shall adopt an internal operating system and procedures covering the scope of the business, personnel management, protection of customer rights and interests, and risk management. Applicable regulations with respect thereto shall be prescribed by the competent authority.
4.     Paragraph 2 of Article 47-1 (new addition):
From September 1, 2015, cash advance interest rate and credit card revolving interest rate shall not exceed 15% annual interest rate.
5.     Article 72-1 (amended):
The provision that bank debentures issued by a commercial bank shall have a minimum tenor of two years was deleted.
6.     Subparagraph 1 of Paragraph 3 and Paragraph 7 of Article 74:
(1) Subparagraph 1 of Paragraph 3 of Article 74 (amended):
Before the amendment, the calculation of the total investment amount and the total investment amount in non-financial related businesses of a commercial bank was based on the bank's paid-in capital less aggregate losses. After the amendment, the basis of calculation is the net asset value of the bank.
(2) Paragraph 7 of Article 74 (deleted):
The competent authority reckons that all commercial banks have met the ratio requirement on total investment, and to accommodate the amendment to Subparagraph 1 of Paragraph 3, the provision in Paragraph 7 that if a bank fails to meet the ratio requirement on total investment, the bank's total investment amount may remain unchanged with the approval of the competent authority was deleted.
7.     Subparagraph 4 of Paragraph 2 and Paragraph 5 of Article 75:
(1) Subparagraph 4 of Paragraph 2 of Article 75 (new addition):
In addition to the three circumstances under which a commercial bank may invest in real estate other than for self-use provided under Subparagraphs 1 to 3 of Paragraph 2 of Article 75, it is newly stipulated that a commercial bank may invest in real estate other than for self-use but to make such real estate available for use by cultural and arts-related or public-interest organizations duly incorporated with the approval of the relevant competent authority, subject to approval of the competent authority.
(2) Paragraph 4 of Article 75 (new addition):
Stipulate the authorization provisions to authorize the competent authority to set forth regulations governing real estate investment, holding and disposal by banks.