K.K. Hua Nan Bank was founded in 1919 by a local entrepreneur, Mr. Lin Hsiung-cheng, and several overseas Chinese. The bank was established to serve the needs of overseas Chinese and to promote domestic and foreign investment. Lin paid visits to Xiamen, Fuchou, Shanghai, Swatow, Hong Kong, Canton, Singapore, Jakarta, Semarang and Surabaya to find investors to establish the bank. The bank was formally created on January 29 of that year and had a capitalization of 10 million yen. Lin served as the bank's first chairman and the bank's headquarters were established in Taipei at what is now No. 45 Kuanchien Road. The bank opened its doors in March and it began setting up branches abroad, in Canton, Haiphong, Saigon, Rangoon, Singapore, Semarang and Tokyo. The branches played a key role in expanding trade with neighboring countries, and business developed steadily. However, Taiwan's private banks faced troubled times in the economically lean 1930s and a round of mergers ensued. Hua Nan pulled through, and Lin served as chairman until 1944 when the bank increased capitalization. The Bank of Taiwan, holding half of Hua Nan's shares, appointed a new chairman, while Lin was honored with an even more respected position.
After Taiwan's retrocession on October 25, 1945, Lin was selected as a representative from Taiwan in the Hua Nan government. In addition, he was responsible for ensuring the continued viability of Hua Nan. A government directive on October 16, 1946 called for creating a Hua Nan Bank organizing committee. Lin headed the committee until his death just a month later. On December 12, banking authorities appointed Mr. Liu Chi-kuang to head the organizing committee. Meanwhile, the government expropriated the assets of K.K. Hua Nan from the Japanese, and these were returned to Hua Nan's organizing committee. The first shareholders' meeting of Hua Nan Commercial Bank was held on February 22, 1947, and Liu was selected chairman. The bank inaugurated operations on March 1 with a capitalization of old Taiwan $15 million. Initially, the bank focused on expanding business on Taiwan and served with other local banks in the mission of financing the construction of a new Taiwan. On May 3, the bank's shareholders agreed to merge with the Taiwan Trust Company, which then became the bank's Trust Department. Capitalization was increased to old Taiwan $25 million. Hua Nan's operations grew, creating an even more stable foundation from which to expand further. By June 1948, the bank had established more than 60 branches throughout Taiwan. Its top-quality staff further helped to expand operations, creating one of Taiwan's most stable and highly regarded commercial banks.
In 1948 Taiwan's economy began feeling the impact of economic instability on mainland China. Hua Nan realigned its business focus to maintain operational stability. It upgraded important offices to branches while closing unprofitable offices in various remote areas. In November of that year, it increased capitalization to old Taiwan $1 billion in line with revised government regulations. Taiwan's economy began to gain steam after monetary reform was instituted on June 15, 1949. Hua Nan raised its capital to New Taiwan $1.5 million and over the years has repeatedly increased capital. On May 18, 2001, its shareholders approved a proposal to further raise capita l to NT $37.091 billion, making Hua Nan one of Taiwan's most highly capitalized commercial banks.
On January 22, 1998, the government released shares in Hua Nan, completing the bank’s effort toprivatize. On November 14, 2001, in line with changes in the banking environment, the need for operational synergy, long-term development needs and in line with government policy objectives, Hua Nan and Hua Nan Securities held extraordinary shareholder meetings at which it was decided that the companies would fully convert their stock into shares of the new Hua Nan Financial Holdings Co., Ltd. Mr. Lin Ming-cheng was elected as Chairman of the Board and HNFHC’s shares were listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on December 19. Headquartered in Taipei, the company had a registered capital of NT $100 billion. Hua Nan Commercial Bank is a subsidiary of HNFHC. As of the end of 2002, Hua Nan Commercial Bank maintained 160 branches and 22 offices throughout Taiwan, five overseas branches and one overseas representative office. The bank employs a total of 6,199 people.