Monday,24 June 2024

Cathay United Bank boosts ASEAN presence, strengthening global supply chains and regional integration

5 min read

Expanding beyond Taiwan, the bank will focus on ASEAN markets to bolster global supply chain resilience and regional economic integration, according to Benny Miao, Executive Vice President (Head of Southeast Asia Region) of Cathay United Bank. The bank aims to set new benchmarks in international banking with its extensive network and digital finance solutions.

Cathay United Bank (CUB) has long been a leader in Taiwan’s banking sector, but it has set its sights far beyond local shores. With a strategic focus on ASEAN countries, the bank has carved out a significant presence in international banking by aligning its business strategy closely with the needs of Taiwanese corporations and broader regional economic developments.

Focus and market selection

At its core, CUB’s overseas strategy is intricately linked to following the expansion trail of Taiwanese businesses, particularly in Greater China and Southeast Asia. This has led the bank to establish a wide network, including branches, subsidiaries, and representative offices across nine ASEAN countries.

In the fast-evolving political and economic terrain, companies are placing greater emphasis on the flexibility and resiliency of supply chains. This is accelerating economic integration and regional trade activities within ASEAN and enhancing the strategic position of the region’s supply chains. This trend brings many new business opportunities to Southeast Asia, and bolsters CUB’s business expansion in the region.

Benny Miao, Executive Vice President (Head of Southeast Asia Region) of Cathay United Bank stated: “The Cathay Financial Group has a growing financial services platform in the ASEAN region, anchored by CUB in nine markets, with life and general insurance also offered in Vietnam.

“This allows us to leverage our expansive overseas network to deliver value-adding, cross-border financial services to our corporate clients, a capability imperative to supporting them in their international expansion.” 

Achievements in overseas markets

CUB boasts the largest network of any Taiwanese bank in the ASEAN region, offering a diverse range of financial services. Additionally, in Hong Kong and Singapore, CUB also offers private banking.

Notably, in Vietnam and Cambodia, CUB has taken a digital approach, launching the CUB Vietnam app, and mBanking app in Cambodia, which is integrated into the country’s national-level clearing and trading system, Bakong. These initiatives not only expand our service portfolio but also align with local market trends such as the high degree of digitalisation of the relatively young and educated population in these countries.

What sets CUB apart from its industry peers is its extensive reach and tailored service offerings across ASEAN. While other banks also focus on international expansion, CUB’s scheme is deeply integrated into the local economies it enters. For example, the bank has been proactive in setting up professional cross-border service teams in key markets like Singapore, Vietnam, and Hong Kong who provide essential services to clients, including assisting in the initial market evaluation and land acquisition, capital financing and operational services. “This localised yet interconnected approach enables CUB to provide seamless financial services across borders, enhancing the operational efficiency of our clients,” said Miao.

Compared with other Taiwanese regional banks, CUB claims to have the largest number of bases in ASEAN, providing more convenient cross-border and local services for both Taiwanese and local enterprises through a seamless service chain.

Outlook and expansion plans

Looking ahead, CUB remains committed to strengthening its capabilities in corporate finance and private banking while simultaneously, selectively, expanding into the consumer finance market. The bank plans to transfer its successful digital banking capabilities from Taiwan to its markets in Vietnam and Cambodia. This pivot towards digital consumer finance is aimed at setting a new benchmark for Taiwanese banks in Southeast Asia, and reflects CUB’s adaptive strategy in response to evolving market needs.

As Cathay United Bank continues to enhance its overseas operations, it focuses on symbiosis with local markets, digital innovation, and service excellence. This not only sets it apart from its competitors but also builds a strong foundation for sustained growth and success in the exacting landscape of international banking.



Keywords: Asean Presence, Global Supply Chains, Supply Chain Resilience, Cross-border Financial Services, Digital Approach, Professional Cross-border Service Teams, Consumer Finance Market, Digital Banking Capabilities, Symbiosis With Local Markets, Service Excellence, Overseas Operations, Regional Trade Activities, Economic Developments
Institutions: Cathay United Bank, Cathay Financial Group
Country: Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore
Region: ASEAN, Southeast Asia
People : Benny Miao
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