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Taiwanese Take Millions Out Of Banks

Taiwan’s worst bank run spread to at least three more credit unions Thursday, but President Lee Teng-hui assured depositors that they would not suffer any losses.

On Wednesday, the Finance Ministry closed the Changhua City Fourth Credit Cooperative Bank following a run triggered by reports that a bank manager had embezzled the equivalent of $107.7 million.

The ministry announced Thursday that the Taiwan Cooperative Bank will take over all debts and assets of that credit union today.

The Bank of Taiwan and Taiwan’s central bank will help if the Taiwan Cooperative Bank can’t provide all depositor funds, the ministry said.

It said depositors have withdrawn the equivalent of $303.8 million from the Changhua bank since Saturday, when news about the bank’s financial trouble surfaced.

The ministry said the run was the largest in Taiwan’s history.

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