Taiwan increasing financial inclusion for seniors, disadvantaged

  • Date: 2019-01-31
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday said that the government’s “house-for-pension” scheme has proven to be practical and beneficial since its inception, and instructed the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to strengthen the scheme’s promotion and make it more widely available to bring justice and comfort to society’s neediest.

The premier’s remarks came following the FSC’s briefing on its financial inclusion programs to assist the elderly and the economically disadvantaged.

As part of the scheme, many banks across the nation now offer reverse mortgage plans in which older homeowners can borrow against the equity in their homes in return for monthly stipends. The number of approved loans jumped from over 1,200 in 2016 to 3,000-plus last year.

In Taiwan, some senior citizens’ only remaining asset is a home, Premier Su said. The FSC’s awareness of this phenomenon and the push for the house-for-pension scheme are indicative of not only the banking sector’s continuing evolution, but also its obligation to social justice in addition to business and profits.

The FSC said that with Taiwan having entered the stage of an “aged society” last year, the government’s financial inclusion policy aims to make financial services available and accessible to the disadvantaged. Specific measures include financial products for the elderly and people with disabilities, reverse mortgages, microinsurance and financial inclusion services.