In the 1950s, in order to process the business of check clearing and settlement, the Bank of Taiwan (BOT) and other banks in their respective districts concluded the “Clearing House Regulations for Taiwan Province” which was verified by the Taiwan Provincial Government and approved by the Ministry of Finance, and established clearinghouses in the 21 cities or counties in Taiwan Province, yet the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan, CBC) did not resume operating in Taiwan. Within the same time period, in order to process check clearing and settlement between cooperative banks and regional financial institutions, the Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) in cooperation with local credit cooperatives, farmers’ or fishermen’s associations, set up 7 credit cooperatives clearinghouses in the city of Taipei, Hsinchu , Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung.
In 1961, following the resumption of the operations of the CBC in Taiwan and according to “The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Act” and the “The Program for Resumption of Operations of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan),” the administration of clearinghouses’ operations come under the CBC’s supervision. In reality, the Taipei Clearing House was the only clearinghouse directly administered by the central bank. The remaining 20 bank clearinghouses and 7 credit cooperatives clearinghouses were still mandated and managed by BOT and TCB, respectively. The CBC, in 1962, stipulated “Regulations of Governing the Business of Check-Clearing in the Taiwan Area of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan),” and in 1965 approved “The Articles of Check-Clearing at the County- and City –Levels in the Taiwan Area.” In 1980, the CBC revised the regulation and articles stated above and ratified “Regulations of Governing the Administration of Negotiable Instrument Clearing Business by the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan)” (On December 22, 2010, again the regulations are revised and renamed as “Regulations Governing the Business of Negotiable Instruments Exchange and Clearance of Accounts among Banks”) as the fundamental regulations of supervising clearinghouses in Taiwan.
On July 1, 1985, the automated magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) system was introduced into practice for check clearing in Taiwan. The Taipei City Credit Cooperative Clearinghouse and Taipei County Clearing House were merged and consolidated into Taipei City Clearing House.
On July 1, 1987, because the “National Dishonored Accounts and Dishonored Checks Data Bank” was set up, 6 credit cooperative clearinghouses in Hsinchu City and other districts were merged into the banks clearinghouses located within their respective districts. This improved the accuracy and timeliness of payment credit service. The clearinghouses of credit cooperatives formally walked into history.
In order to facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of clearing funds among the Taipei City, Taichung City, Kaohsiung City, and the neighboring clearinghouses in different counties or cities, the CBC directed several consolidations. On July 1, 1989, Kaohsiung County Clearing House was merged into Kaohsiung City Clearing House. On July 1, 1994, Keelong Clearing House was merged into Taipei City Clearing House. On the same day, both Taichung and Changhua County Clearing Houses were merged into Taichung City Clearing House because the computerized operations of check clearing (MICR) mechanism was put into practice in the greater Taichung Area. At that time, there were 16 clearinghouses remained in operation in Taiwan.
Yet, each of the clearinghouses was not operated as a juristic person. Without an independent character in law, each of the clearinghouses was not capable of enjoying the rights and bearing responsibilities legitimately, which tremendously impeded the development of the payment business. In addition, because each of the clearinghouses was operated separately, their resources could not be managed with cohesion and effectiveness, even with the similarities and connection of their business. In order to enhance the business of check clearing and inter-bank funds transfer and promote the security and efficiency of the payment system, the “Regulations of Governing the Administration of Negotiable Instrument Clearing Business by the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan)” (that is “Regulations Governing the Business of Negotiable Instruments Exchange and Clearance of Amounts among Banks” for updated,) was further revised by the CBC on July 31, 2002. The revised regulation stipulated that the clearinghouses ought to consolidate themselves into an independent juridical person within a defined time period. All of the sixteen clearinghouses in Taiwan made a resolution on September 2, 2002 to donate their properties and institute “The Taiwan Payments Clearing System Development Foundation.” The new foundation was registered in the Taipei District Court on September 30, 2002.
The Taiwan Payments Clearing System Development Foundation set up the Taiwan Clearing House (TCH) on November 1, 2002, which was officially approved by the CBC on October 15, 2002. The TCH formally commenced its operation. All of the original 16 clearinghouses were reorganized as the head office or the branch offices of the Taiwan Clearing House.
In accordance with the announcement of Ministry of the Interior on December 25, 2010 that Taipei County, Taichung City and County, Tainan City and County, and Kaohsiung City and County are respectively reconstructed into 4 special municipalities -- Xinbei City, Taichung City, Tainan City and Kaohsiung City, TCH merges the original two branches in Tainan City and County into Tainan City branch. Since January 1, 2012, there are 15 clearinghouses in operation in Taiwan (including head office and 14 branch offices.)
On December 25, 2014, Ministry of the Interior announced that the status of Taoyuan changed from county to special municipality. In accordance with the reconstruction, TCH changed the name of Taoyuan County Branch into Taoyuan City Branch.
It was approved by the CBC on July 18,2017 and brought into effect on July 16, 2017 that The Taiwan Payments Clearing Development Foundation(財團法人台灣票據交換業務發展基金會) was renamed to The Taiwan Clearing House (財團法人台灣票據交換所) for organization consolidation. The name change registration was completed in Taipei District Court on August 9, 2017.
To achieve the goal of organizational consolidation, 5 of the 10 TCH’s third class branches will be merged into their check clearing centers successively. On January 1, 2021, Nantou County branch was merged into Taichung City branch. On July 1, 2021, Yilan County was merged into head office and Miaoli County was merged into Taichung City branch. According to the plan of merger, Yunlin County branch will be merged into Taichung City branch and Pingtung County branch will be merged into Kaohsiung City branch on July 1, 2022.