A World of Networks: manufacturing success in Taiwan

ANZ’s network of 32 markets – big and small, advanced and emerging - is really critical to who and what we are as a bank. It's a defining point of difference for ANZ.

In this new series, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott introduces some of the leaders in ANZ’s various markets to discuss the outlook for their region, opportunities for growth and what they love most about their job.

Click here to browse the full series

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In 1980, ANZ opened its branch in Taiwan – a major stepping stone as the bank grew and strengthened its network across the Asia Pacific region.

" “Although it is competitive in Taiwan, there are also a lot of areas we can grow which fit into our strategy.”  – Hong Swee Lau

Now, ANZ’s team in Taiwan is 135 strong and plays a large role in servicing customers both locally and internationally.

I recently caught up with ANZ CEO Taiwan Hong Swee Lau to learn more about the structure of the Taiwanese market and what differentiates ANZ from competitors in the region.

A wholly owned branch of the ANZ Banking Group, the Taiwan business is focused on supporting customers with moving capital and goods across the region, as well as servicing other financial institutions.

According to Hong Swee, about 40 per cent of the Taiwan business’ book is made up of technology customers. Given technology manufacturing is a key industry in Taiwan – 90 per cent of Apple’s key products are made by Taiwanese manufacturers, for example – this is a huge growth space for ANZ.

One customer – Acer – looked to ANZ for help in Taiwan and ultimately opened subsequent operating accounts with the bank in Indonesia, Thailand, India and the Philippines. It also switched all Australian and New Zealand dollar foreign exchange to ANZ.

“This is an example of connecting communities across our network. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of this approach,” Hong Swee says.

“Separately in the financial institutions space, we do a lot with the Taiwanese banks,” Hong Swee explains. “We provide clearing of Australian and New Zealand dollars for all the Taiwanese banks.

“Although it is competitive in Taiwan, there are also a lot of areas we can grow which fit into our strategy.”

Hong Swee says this focus on strategic areas like technology will allow ANZ to take advantage of opportunities for growth and investment.

“In terms of the financial institutions space, there is a huge amount of capital in Taiwan ready to be invested,” he says. “Over the last 12 months, we have helped link a number of our debt issuers from the Middle East to local customers here in Taiwan and we can do more going forward.”

With a large number of both local and foreign banks available to Taiwanese customers, Hong Swee says ANZ’s keen focus on enabling customers to tap into our network sets the bank apart.

“When you get more focused, customers like it,” he says.

“It's not about servicing everybody in the same manner, it's about focus and direction. During the pandemic we were very quick and adaptable in helping our customer and ensure our service remained excellent even though 85 per cent of our people were working from home.”

Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ

Click here to browse through the full “World of Networks” series

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