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Summary of TABF’s Annual Report
At 30 years since the birth of TABF, we can look back with satisfaction at a three-decade course of growth that coincides with the burgeoning development of Taiwan’s financial sector. Since Taiwan’s economy took off into soaring ascent in the 1980s, banks have played an increasingly active role in industry financing, and the demand for research and training in banking and finance has grown constantly. It was against this background that the Banking Institute of the Republic of China (BIROC) and the Banking and Finance Institute (BFI) were set up to help nurture the blooming growth of Taiwan’s banking industry. At the turn of the millennium, these two organizations were merged into the formation of TABF, creating Taiwan’s most comprehensive specialized research and training institution for banking and finance.

 

The opening of TABF’s new headquarters building in 2005 was another important milestone in our academy’s development. Besides enabling us to fulfill our commitment to providing more complete hardware and software facilities and services, it also signified that TABF had formally taken a big step toward becoming an “Asia-Pacific stronghold of banking and finance research and training.” Over the course of three decades, despite the succession of changes in Taiwan’s economic situation and the fluctuating conditions in the financial environment, despite the expansion of its organizational scale and changes in the number of its component units, TABF has stayed committed to serving as a “cradle of banking and finance talent.” Never have we wavered from our purpose of helping Taiwan’s financial industry keep in pace with the times. The feedback we have received from banking personnel at home and abroad, as well as from society at large, has presented the truest and most moving affirmation of our endeavors.

 

In 2010, Taiwan stood at a watershed in cross-strait banking competition and cooperation. After the two sides of the Taiwan Strait signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), our financial industry faced unprecedented opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, Taiwan’s banks could upgrade their mainland offices to branch status, opening up tremendous business opportunities. But at the same time, it also heralded the intensification of competition between banks on the two sides of the strait. Change in Taiwan’s banking domain was inevitable. TABF responded to this new situation by flexibly adjusting its organization, adding an Overseas Business Development Center to inject new energy into financial research and training exchanges across the Taiwan Strait and among Chinese around the world. The academy also instituted changes in all areas of its activity, to maintain its capacity to stay at the forefront of Taiwan’s banking development trends.

 

In the sphere of financial research, the Financial Research Institute continued to supplement its research personnel and augment its research teams, with the aim of enhancing its long-term research capabilities. The Taiwan Financial Forum series of seminars added to its already established bright image, achieving great effect in spreading public awareness of financial policies. Other large conferences hosted by the institute during the year, such as the international symposium on “Managing Capital Inflows in East Asia after the Global Financial Crisis,” with scholars from many countries invited to take part in the discussions, drew an especially enthusiastic response. The institute also continued to publish The Taiwan Banker journal, which reached its 14th issue with an issue volume of 5,000 copies by the end of the year, gaining establishment as vital reading material for keeping up with the latest financial developments and for self-enhancement by members of the financial industry.

 

The Training and Development Center also achieved outstanding results in 2010. During the year, it received nearly 60,000 enrollments in its training courses, and also held a series of “30th Anniversary Leader Lectures” that drew a combined attendance of more than one thousand. To improve training quality, it launched the “Elite Lecture” system, with all of its lecturers selected from those with top-drawer credentials. It also held a number of major activities, such as the “Symposium on Strategic Positioning by Taiwanese Banks in the Mainland Market after the Signing of ECFA,” aimed at helping members of the financial industry keep abreast of latest market developments, and be at the forefront of gaining from new opportunities. In addition, it organized the “Financial Knowledge A+ Lecture Tour for All the People” and set up the “Taiwan Finance e-University,” to deepen the roots of Taiwan’s financial education and create opportunity for people to improve their knowledge of banking and finance no matter where their location.

 

The Overseas Business Development Center was set up in 2010 as a new unit of TABF specially tasked with carrying out the planning and execution of overseas-related business. A core purpose of its establishment was to integrate the resources of all departments to strengthen the training of international banking personnel and the promotion of cross-strait financial exchanges. After its establishment, it not only carried out many international financial training courses, but also organized more than one hundred commissioned training courses and exchange visits for mainland Chinese financial institutions. It is hoped that this new center will be able to continue helping Taiwan’s financial institutions expand their business in international and mainland markets, and become a main platform of exchange for developing financial practice and personnel in the Greater China region.

 

The academy’s proficiency testing business has gained growing public affirmation of its credibility and quality. After the financial industry got back on track to recovery from the global financial crisis of 2008, the number of registrations for professional financial proficiency testing reached 150,000 in 2010, up 18% from 2009; and the number of candidates for commissioned proficiency testing increased by 41% to 140,000. Further, in the spirit of manifesting care for the disadvantaged and the welfare of society, the academy offered preferential registration fees to members of low-income households, indigenous people, the physically and mentally disabled, and recipients of unemployment benefits, and also took active measures to provide for the convenience of test candidates with sight, hearing or mobility impairments.

 

In publication and communication, in addition to focusing on the issuance of special studies, training textbooks, and reference books for proficiency tests, the academy published five pioneering works on banking and finance in mainland China, including Financial Law in China. We also spared no effort in expanding the range of publications on banking and finance for children, youths, and the general public. While the internet has spawned an era in which everyone can be a publisher, it has also put many misleading economic and financial theories into the marketplace. TABF’s publications adhere strictly to dissemination of the most accurate ideas, as we strive to enhance national knowledge on matters of banking and finance.

 

Our rear-service administrative units have been highly praised for their important contributions in support of the academy’s business innovation and growth. In 2010, the Customer Service Center strengthened its external services, giving our customers a deep feeling of home away from home. It also organized many public welfare activities, to enhance the academy’s public service image. Our Administration Department successfully conducted the Taiwan Banking and Finance Best Practice Awards. It also renewed and improved all kinds of teaching and learning facilities, to enhance academy staff education and training, and its hard work to maintain the quality of TABF hardware was evident for all to see. The Information Technology Department introduced remote backup, and developed electronic invoicing. It also brought a new-generation website online in July, to create a more convenient and user-friendly experience for our website users.

 

A highlight of the year was the presentation ceremony for the 5th Taiwan Banking and Finance Best Practice Awards. The awards were presented by a host of top-ranking officials, including Vice Premier Sean Chen and FSC chairman Chen Yuh-chang. A record number of 35 financial institutions competed for the awards, attesting to how, through the selection and public laudation of the award-winning institutions’ best practices, these awards are gradually realizing their intended effects of prompting financial institutions to learn from each other’s work and stimulating progress and innovation in the financial industry.

 

TABF has worked ceaselessly to establish itself on strong foundations and embrace new conditions in global banking and finance. From here, we will continue to stride boldly on into the next new stage of our development. Let us look forward to achieving new heights of success for the academy over the course of the next thirty years!