Cathay FHC had a breakthrough performance in both its financial and non-financial results in 2017. We believe that as we pursue financial performance and seek to become a leading financial institution in the Asia-Pacific, focusing on sustainable development is the key to winning the trust of our customers and to long-term success. Thanks to the collective efforts of our employees, Cathay FHC's consolidated net profit reached NT$56.7 billion in 2017, the highest among financial holdings companies in Taiwan. Meanwhile, our subsidiaries also secured their positions as market leaders.

 

Complying with highest international standards

Cathay FHC has aligned the sustainability measures of our three engines of growth (insurance, banking, and asset management), with United Nations' standards. Cathay United Bank became the first Equator Principles Financial Institution in Taiwan, Cathay Life Insurance became Asia's first life insurance company to self-comply with the UN Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI), and Conning Inc., our asset management subsidiary, signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We also established four focus areas of sustainability to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Renewable Energy and Infrastructure, Aging Society and Health, Women Empowerment, and Community and Financial Inclusion. We are concentrating our resources on these areas in the hope that we can have a meaningful positive impact. Cathay FHC has been included as a constituent of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for three consecutive years, and was also one of the constituent stocks of the first FTSE4Good TIP Taiwan ESG Index in 2017. All of these achievements demonstrate that our efforts in sustainability have received widespread recognition.

 

Reinforcing our corporate governance

Our subsidiaries Cathay Life Insurance and Cathay United Bank made organizational changes in 2017, in which professional managers were appointed as chairperson and president and in order to gradually implement the separation of ownership and management. We further established a Corporate Governance and Nomination Committee to continue reinforcing our corporate governance. In 2018, we will continue to strengthen the supervisory and management functions of our board of directors and functional committees. In response to the complex emerging risk across the world, Cathay FHC will also complete our risk map framework to facilitate the prudent monitoring and management of potential risks.

 

Actively responding to climate change

Cathay FHC has supported the development of renewable energy for many years in order to contribute to the living environment of the Taiwanese people. After completing the first offshore wind power financing project in 2016, Cathay United Bank completed the refinancing of Indonesia's geothermal power plant (Star Energy) in 2017. In the future, we will continue to finance and develop solar power, hydroelectric power, and biomass energy projects in the ASEAN market, and leverage our financial expertise to help ASEAN countries carry out energy transformation. Cathay FHC was also among the first financial institution in Taiwan to adopt the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework and to become aligned with international standards. We also organized the Climate Change Roundtable Forum at the end of 2017, inviting senior executives from Taiwan's leading enterprises to engage in discussions so that the global community may witness Taiwan's efforts in responding to climate change.

 

Promoting inclusive financing

Cathay FHC has insight into what society truly needs and actively promotes inclusive financing. Cathay Life Insurance provided protection to over 3 million students around Taiwan through student group insurance in 2017. As of the end of 2017, Cathay United Bank approved loans totaling nearly US$13 million to MFIs in Cambodia, helping local entrepreneurs gain access to capital. Among the borrowers, 80% were female entrepreneurs.

 

Caring for society and contributing to the community

Since our founding, Cathay FHC has striven to care for our employees and satisfy society's needs. In 2017, up to 53% of the group's managerial positions were held by female employees, while 86% of employees expressed satisfaction with working at Cathay. Identifying society's need, Cathay United Bank, the Taipei City Government and SME Credit Guarantee Fund jointly implemented the industry's first Social Enterprise Preferential Loan Project to utilize the power of finance to help social enterprises resolve operational and development issues. Cathay is committed to protecting our community by being a sustainable corporation because we truly believe that corporate sustainability is inseparable from prosperity. As a corporate citizen of the new era, we play the multiple roles of new business model experimenter, employee caretaker, and donor that gives back to society. We also utilize various channels to forge connections with our customers and exert our influence. Cathay FHC will mobilize all of its employees to continuously make improvements on our path to corporate sustainability, work towards meeting the highest international standards and aggressively lead the industry towards our ultimate goal of the advancement of both society and the environment.

 

Chairman Hong-Tu Tsai

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