Today, we are not only holding our spring wine celebration but also the kick-off meeting to pledge our impeccable determination to outperform this year! Whatever tasks wait for us, be it the perceived challenges, unknown impacts, or keen competition in the market, we need to demonstrate with agility and team efforts to jointly achieve our target!
Reflecting on 2017, Far Eastern International Bank (FEIB) managed to march forward in turbulence. From the sharp depression in U. S. dollars, the impact of foreign exchange loss, and the unexpected halting flights of TransAsia Airways after six decades of operation, we were forced to bear the tremendous bad debts. During the 4th quarter, when all colleagues were dedicated to boost revenues, FEIB was breached by international cyberattacks into our SWIFT system for bank theft. At the moment of the incident when everything was still unclear, FEIB staffs responded swiftly and calmly. We are in particularly grateful under the leadership of Far Eastern Group Chairman Douglas Hsu and FEIB Chair Lady Ching-Ing Hou for their full authorization and support to entrust us on handling this matter during this challenging turbulence. Also our tremendous gratitude to the IT Department colleagues who worked tirelessly to recover the system, and to the Crisis Management Unit to lead us working together to retrieve the cyber theft, properly respond to the press, authorizing institutions, law enforcement, credit institutions, correspondent banks, and etc. More importantly, the business group colleagues were able to hold steadfastly to their core businesses, and communicated with clients fervently to avoid liquidity risk. Afterwards, we noticed that deposits did not drop, but increased instead. FEIB share price was not affected either. Upon immediate activating the cross-national money recovery, 99.99% of the cyber hack was recovered, turning crisis into chances.
Given that our colleagues are able to respond with agility during turbulence, hold steadfastly on core business momentum, nonetheless maintain steady growth, we should not forget that we did not achieve 100% target last year. Hope that this will be a major lesson learned to push us forward with strength to work harder toward achieving our goal in 2018.
In 2018, in terms of strategic management, FEIB will pursue the following three directions to co-advance, converge, and integrate our core competence.
Ⅰ、Create New Value：
1. Going Digital: Connecting with online social media, FEIB will launch an innovative digital brand. This is the result from the efforts of our digital banking team which acquired eight technology patents last year, demonstrating their strength in Fintech R&D. Research and development work started from 3Q 2017, with the joint collaborations among IT, various business groups, finance, legal compliance department, and etc., the product is scheduled to launch in 2Q 2018. It is also worth mentioning that, this is a competitive digital product ahead of our peers, also signaling that FEIB is sailing toward the digital blue ocean! Furthermore, to seize digital payment opportunities, in addition to creating FE mobile payment integration service, FEIB has incorporated Alipay, JKOPAY, as well as nearly all other e-wallets on the market, and will cooperate with the Group’s FriDay wallet to ensure the seamless operation of the Bank’s credit cards in mobile payment.
2. Expand Overseas Deployment: This is another highlight business and major action plan for FEIB during recent years. Also thanks to the previous successful overseas strategies, we are able to significantly expand our corporate banking services. FEIB Financial Leasing Company enjoyed surging growth with 343% of target achievement, plans to increase capital this year to boost momentum in this growing business. Meanwhile, to connect with the booming ASEAN market, our corporate banking which successfully secured several international syndicated loans will establish posts in Vietnam and Singapore to capture the blue ocean from the South China Sea. These investments and deployments shall foresee the outbreak growth of the overseas businesses of our Corporate Banking Group.
3. Consolidate Niche, Continue to Promote Growth Momentum of Core Businesses: We are not satisfied with the current scale, FEIB credit card is expected to exceed one million boosted by the synergy of the Far Eastern Retail Group! Branch asset scale is also upgraded to increase deposits and ratio of demand deposit. In the early spring, wealth management which registered 38% growth in profit already received award recognition from the Wealth Magazine. Furthermore, investment position of financial transactions will also continue to expand. Far Eastern International Securities Company which has been making consecutive record growths in profits is committed to exceeding its growth target this year.
1. Integrate Resources, Restructure Organization: At the 2017 Group Strategy Summit, we reported on our organizational restructure program and will embark this year hopefully to strengthen performance management, process improvement, decrease resource repetition, and eliminate the “Silo Effect” that Chairman Douglas Hsu has been warning us all the time.
2. Expedite Fintech transformation: Employ services such as cloud counter-i payment, e-billing, corporate APP, and etc. to elevate digitization of existing services, increasing off counter ratio from the current 86% upward to over 90%, and thus create better financial service experience for our customers.
3. Promote Transformation of Branch Operations: Branch must be fully equipped with technological capabilities to enhance competitiveness. After three years of market trials, small and medium-enterprise business group will exhibit brand new momentum after restructuring and adjustment! More importantly, as it is not easy to improve margin, cost control becomes even more vital. Therefore, we must carefully assess cost effectiveness, hopefully to reach 55% of cost/income ratio.
Ⅲ、Strengthen Compliance & Control：
In the dynamic era of IoT, the importance of information security, legal compliance, anti-money laundry, internal audit, internal control, risk management, and asset quality management have become top priorities, and must be fully executed with zero tolerance. From this moment on, all colleagues should be ingrained in this mindset.
We hope that through the manifest of our core strategies, we make everyone understand our major objectives and action plan this year. Tonight, we blow the marching horn, execute strategies, respond with agility, and wish to toast the success of our target achievement next year this time! (From the speech made by FEIB President Thomas Chou at the Spring Wine Dinner Celebration.)