新銀行法的「開」與「關」

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1989 / 8月

文‧陳良因 圖‧林鑫


經濟法案一向是立法院冷門議題,但最近剛剛通過的銀行法修正案,卻獨受立委諸公的「青睞」,在立法院一波三周折,終於驚險「出爐」。

 

究竟銀行法修正的重點為何?通過以後,大自對我國金融環境,小至對存款大眾將有什麼影響?針對這些問題,本刊特別走訪在這次修法中身負重任的財政部金融司副司長陳木在,請他為我們細細分析。


問:新銀行法是國內最近的熱門話題,但是大家似乎都把注意力放在地下投資公司的取締與否上;輿論吵了半天,立法院還差點沒通過,方向好像誤導了是不是?

答:這次修法的精神在於促進我國金融環境自由化、國際化和制度化。但由於地下投資公司關係到許多人的利益,所以大家只注意到第廿九條,反而把銀行法修正的重點埋沒掉了。

事實上,第廿九條之一是我們把修正草案送到行政院,院會通過以後,我們才應法務部要求加上去的。但搞到最後,卻好像整部銀行法是衝著地下投資公司來的。其實,銀行法的修訂有它既定的目的、基本的精神。像放寬外商銀行營業範圍的條款,是中美貿易談判時早就講定的,輿論的確是誤導了。

希望違法見好就收

但這個結果也不太差啦,由於銀行法的修正,使得有關地下投資公司的整個政策比較明朗化,社會大眾也開始正視這個問題,理解它的本質,自然會見好就收啦!能夠使問題消弭於無形是最好的結果,因為「刑期無形」是最好的刑罰。

問:那麼什麼才是這次修法的重點呢?那些條文的修訂將對未來金融環境造成重大影響?

答:最重要的當然是開放民營銀行的設立啦!現在財政部基本上是以開放商業銀行為主,因為商業銀行是所有銀行中,業務範圍最廣的、也是大家最有興趣的。至於專業銀行,基本上是政策性的,通常是政府自己出錢來辦。民間若有這方面興趣,開商業銀行照樣可以做這類業務。

但是這次修法一方面開放銀行新設管道,一方面得從嚴管理,才能保障存款人權益,維持金融秩序。所以在健全銀行制度方面,我們做了很多修正或增訂。

例如第廿五條規定大股東持有股權的最高比例,同一人不得超過百分之五,避免股權過於集中,造成壟斷、操縱。現在對於即將公佈的「商業銀行設立標準」,我們希望至少一定比例股份採取公開募股的方式,也是為了要求股權分散。這樣還有個好處,可以藉助大眾投資人共同監督銀行的經營。

財務結構向國際標準看齊

此外,對於銀行的資本、財務結構,這次也有了明確的規定。例如銀行自有資本與風險性資產的比例,不得低於百分之八,這是參考國際清算銀行最低標準制訂的;一方面可健全銀行體質,一方面也是一種配合國際化的做法,因為將來銀行要到國外設分行,國際化的標準是很需要的。

為健全銀行制度,這次修法還增列了銀行負責人的資格規定,包括董事、監察人、經理人、發起人的積極條件和消極條件。

積極條件是指必備的資格,如學歷、工作經驗、執行職務的能力等;消極條件是指不可具有的狀況,例如犯了法、信用不好等,這些都將根據銀行法第卅五條之二訂定在「商業銀行設立標準」堶情C

這次修法的另一個重點,是促進銀行業務的自由化。因此在第四十一條,刪除了所有關於存、放款利率上下限的管制,只規定必須明白牌告出來,好讓顧客比較,增加銀行間的競爭。

另外,修正案也放寬了銀行經營的業務範圍,在原有的規定項目外,增列「經中央主管機關核准辦理的其他有關業務」。這麼一來,彈性擴大許多,財政部可以配合社會發展的需要核准銀行開發新種業務,金融商品增加了,競爭也會大幅提高。

何況,放寬業務範圍的,不僅僅是商業銀行,還包括儲蓄銀行、信託投資公司,以及外商銀行。尤其是外商銀行,現在開始可以像本國銀行一樣,開辦對個人的儲蓄存款、長期放款與信託業務,這也是配合金融自由化與國際化的結果。

最後一個重點,是整頓金融紀律,和維持金融秩序。這方面最重要的,我想可能是「緊急處分權」這一項。

存款人的眼睛要雪亮

根據銀行法第六十二條,所謂「緊急處分權」,是指當銀行業務或財務狀況惡化,不能支付債務或可能損害存款人利益時,財政部可視情況勒令停業並限期清理、停止一分或全部業務、派員監管或接管,或做其他必要的處置;甚至可以限制負責人出境。

問:當年十信案發生時,政府不就有這些處置,去接管十信和國泰信託嗎?

答:沒錯,但做法不太一樣。那時法令規定政府是能勒令停業;如果要監管、接管,必須經過股東會或社員大會的同意,決議授權給財政部請銀行團接管,這必須是內發性的,且程序非常麻煩,可能會延誤時機。

所以這次修法草案送到立法院後,又在第六十二條加上:「中央主管機關於派員監管或接管時,得停止其股東會、董事或監察人全部或部分職權。」這樣子財政部的職權才明確,我們可以排除公司法的有關規定,強制執行。否則如果發生問題的銀行內部不配合,反對你來接管,事情就上下不得,很難處理。

所以說,銀行開放設立後,看起來好像很自由,但自由中必須按照一定的遊戲規則來營業。他如果經營不善,財政部必須保障存款人的權益;你弄不好只有一條路,就是讓你關門。

另一方面,存款人必須眼睛很亮。就像現在地下投資公司,大家心裡都有數,就是一個願打、一個願挨。以後銀行也一樣,如果銀行倒了的話,政府也不會像過去一樣百分之百去支持、去理賠,因為全世界的存款保險制度,都只理賠到一個程度。像我們是規定賠到一百萬,如果倒掉的銀行有投保,那你最多可以領回一百萬,否則就要自求多福了。

所以銀行法第四十六條「為保障存款人權益,得由政府或銀行設立存款保險組織。」本來這次修法時想改為「應由政府」,後來決定還是保留「得由」。意思是說,存款保險公司可以拒絕某些銀行來投保,銀行也可以自己決定要不要投保。但存款人就要想清楚,該選擇怎樣的銀行來往。在這方面,雖然政府負有監督的責任,但風險完全是由存款人自己承擔。

公營銀行不致不堪一擊

另外社會大眾最關心的,大概就是有關地下投資公司的問題了。基本上我們是把地下投資公司違法吸收存款的「本質」在條文中明確規定,另外把刑度罰則大幅加重。

過去第廿九條雖然明文規定:「非銀行不得經營銀行業務。」但對於什麼是「吸收存款」缺乏明確定義,所以,法務部建議我們在第廿九條之一規定清楚。同時在第廿九條加上第三款:「執行前項任務(取締)時,得依法搜索扣押被取締者之會計帳簿及文件,並得拆除其標誌等設施,或為其他必要之處置。」好讓執法人員在取締時有行為的依據。

在加重罰則方面,由原規定「處五年以下有期徒刑,拘役或科或並科廿五萬元以下罰金」修正為「一年以上七年以下有期徒刑,得並科一百萬元以下罰金」,也就是新台幣三百萬元。

問:但是這樣夠重嗎?

答:有人認為不夠,也有人認為已經太重了。從罰金幅度來說,已提高四倍,從絕對值來看,當然見仁見智;以刑責來說,我國刑法除了人身傷害罪,大都判得不重,一般經濟刑責最多也只有七年。何況被取締機構的負責人,要對所有債務負起連帶清償的責任,不能賴掉的。

問:根據您的說法,這次修法重點在民營銀行的開設,這的確是個影響深遠的改變。有很多人擔心公營銀行會因效率太低,競爭不過,反而先倒。您的看法如何?

答:公營銀行在過去台灣發展經濟、對外貿易上,發揮了不少資金融通、潤滑的重要功能,它們的業務基礎、經驗、規模都已經相當大,應該不致於不堪一擊。

當然在新的競爭情勢下,公營銀行必須求好求變,才能繼續生存。政府也會在銀行開放民營的同時,推動公有銀行的民營化,想辦法訂一個「公有金融機構管理法」,突破過去受到的人事任用、薪資、組織結構等限制,使公有銀行的經營管理更有彈性。不過這還有許多立法、考試、監察方面的問題,有待一步步解決。

新法已過時?

問:聽說這次修法幅度是十四年來最大的一次,但也有學者批評新銀行法還沒通過就已過時。為什麼會遭來這種譏評?和國際趨勢比較起來,我們還有那些大方向是下一次修法可能的重點?

答:這次一共修正了廿八條條文,增列了五條,都是一些很根本的、關鍵性的修正,我不認為它現在就過時了。當然任何一個社會制度,永遠必須配合時代變動的需要,不斷演進。

我們考慮下一次的修正,幅度可能更大,現在銀行法的架構,是從民國六十四年七月四日那時候定下來的,分為商業銀行、儲蓄銀行、專業銀行以及信託投資公司,是四類混合一體的銀行法。這是一個大雜燴,不容易釐清,而且很生硬,有什麼新的改變也加不進去。我們希望以後銀行法能打散成很多法,像金融機構的合併改制,在外國就是一個單獨的法。這是未來修正很重要的一個方向。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

High Interest in the New Banking Law

Elaine Chen /photos courtesy of Lin Hsin /tr. by Phil Newell

Economic laws have long been on the back burner in the Legislative Yuan, but recent amendments to the banking law received close scrutiny. After a turbulent handling by the Legislative Yuan, the amendments finally made it out of the oven.

Arguments centered on how to ban underground investment companies. There was argument for a long time as to whether or not there should be a transition period, so intense that Minister of Finance Shirley Kuo declared: that's not the central point of the amendments.


What then is the main point? After its passage, in the big picture, what will be the impact on the R.O.C's overall financial environment? In the little picture, what about the ordinary depositor? Sinorama specially interviewed Chen Mu-tsai, director of the Monetary Department at the Ministry of Finance, for a detailed analysis.

Q: It seems everyone's attention has been on underground investment. The Legislative Yuan almost didn't pass the bill over this. Has there been a loss of direction?

A: The spirit of the amendments was to encourage financial liberalization, internationalization, and systemization. Because underground investment companies touched on the interests of many people, everyone focused on article 29 and buried the main points. In fact, section I of article 29 was only added by the Ministry of Justice after the bill passed the cabinet. With all the uproar, it seems that the amendments were aimed at underground investment. In fact, the amendments have their own purpose. Thus, public opinion is certainly misdirected.

But the effect isn't all bad. It has brought policy on the underground investment companies into the open, and people have begun to take the problem seriously.

Q: In that case, what are the main points? Will there be a major impact on the financial environment?

A: The most important is opening up establishment of private banks. But the amendments also mandate strict management to protect depositors' interests and financial order. For example, Article 25 stipulates that no individual may possess more than 5% of the stock to prevent overconcentration of control, monopolies, or manipulation.

As for banks' capital and financial structure, there are clear stipulations. For example, the ratio of capital and risk weight assets must not be lower than 8%, determined by referring to international practice. On the one hand this can make the financial system sound and on the other match internationalization. Because in the future banks will want to open branches abroad, international standards are necessary.

For a sound financial system, the amendments have also stipulated the requirements for the responsible persons and officials of the bank.

Another important point is to encourage liberalization. Thus, Article 41 eliminates all upper and lower controls on interest rates for deposits and loans, and only stipulates that these must be clearly posted to allow customers to compare, increasing competition among banks.

This time the amendments also broaden the scope of banking service. There has been added that "other related services may be undertaken after approval from central-level governing institutions." Flexibility has been greatly increased; the government can give the banks authority to develop new services and increase financial products. Expanding the scope of services is not just for commercial banks; it includes savings banks, investment and trust companies, and foreign banks. The latter can now under-take personal savings, long-term loans, and trust services. This is also to accommodate liberalization and internationalization.

The last main point is to straighten out financial discipline and maintain order. The most important in this area, I think, is "emergency punishment powers." According to Article 61, these powers indicate that when a bank's services or financial situation deteriorate, and they cannot pay debts or are damaging the interests of depositors, the Ministry of Finance can order a full or partial halt in operation or send people to supervise or take control or take other steps, even restrict the directors from leaving the country.

Q: At the time of the Tenth Credit Cooperative scandal, didn't the government have these powers?

A: That's true. But the method was different. The government could order a halt in operations, but if it wanted to supervise or take control it needed the approval of the stockholders or the members of the society to empower the Ministry of Finance to empower a banking group to take over. The process is difficult and can lead to delays.

Therefore, after the amendments were sent to the Legislative Yuan this time, the following was added to Article 62: "When the central governing bodies send persons to supervise or take control, it is necessary that the powers of the stockholders, directors, or supervisors be entirely or partly terminated." In this way the Ministry of Finance's power's are clear and we can dispense with the relevant stipulations of the company law.

Therefore, though it seems that with the opening of the establishment of private banks, things are free, there are explicit rules of the game. If management is inappropriate, the Ministry of Finance must protect the interests of the depositors.

On the other side, the depositors must be aware. Like the underground investment companies, people have to keep in mind that if they take the risk they must suffer the consequences. If a bank goes under, the government will not support it 100% as in the past. Deposit insurance systems across the world only compensate to a certain degree. If the given bank has taken insurance, then the compensation is up to NT$1 million at most.

That which most concerns people is probably the problem of the underground investment houses. Basically, we clarify the nature of the illegal acceptance of deposits by these companies, and make the punishment for violation much heavier. In the past, Article 29 clearly stipulated that "non-banks must not undertake banking services." But as to what "taking deposits" constituted, that was unclear. So the Ministry of Justice suggested we make Article 29 more clear.

Punishment was changed from "less than five years in prison and/or a fine of NT$750,000" to "between one and seven years imprisonment and an NT$3 million fine."

Q: Is this strong enough?

A: Of course opinions differ. In ROC criminal law, aside from bodily injury, most punishments are not heavy. The longest for most economic crimes is seven years. Not to mention that the director of the banned institution must be personally responsible for all its debts.

Q: Many fear that government-run banks will be too uncompetitive vis-a-vis private banks, and will be the first to collapse. What is your view?

A: The government banks have polished their functions with Taiwan's economic development. Their bases of service, experience, and scale are considerably large, and will not collapse at the first blow. Naturally, under competitive conditions, state-run banks must change to survive. While permitting private banks, the government must promote privatization of existing banks and establish a "public financial institutions management law" to increase flexibility in salaries, personnel, and structure.

Q: I've heard this is the largest scale change in 14 years. Why do some criticize the law as obsolete already? And what areas are left to be considered in the next revision?

A: This time a total of 28 articles were amended and five added. All were fundamental, key amendments. I don't believe it was obsolete. Naturally, there is a need to endlessly evolve.

We've considered that next time the scope could be even larger. The structure of the banking law was set in 1975, combining commercial banking, savings banks, speci alized banks, and investment and trust companies in a single law. This is quite complex, and not easy to clarify. The law rigidifies and new changes can't be put in. We hope that the law can be separated into different laws in the future.

 

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