Agreed, it is not Taiwan that is discriminating. It is the specific banks that make [strike]business decisions[/strike] discriminatory decisions based on their own [strike]assessments of risks and potential profits[/strike] prejudiced opinions of foreigners (sorry had to do that )
It is up to the government to make rules if the reasons for not issuing credit are blatantly discriminatory. It would be OK if they fed our info into the computer as a local and it comes up either yes or no, but if banks think it is their right to immediately trash a foreigners application or reach for the guarantor form, they need to be forced to stop that practice. Again, I am not against there being a higher standard, but systematically declining legal residents needs to be illegal. And believe me, they do not decline locals. Anyone with a pulse is being hawked at store entrances everywhere in Taiwan. Have some fun and reach for the application if you are a foreigner though and see the reaction. I bet even Satellite TV himself would get the application yanked back if he went for it.
If what is not available in a given market is not available due to discrimination, then we as residents need to make a big stink about it. Again, equal treatment perhaps not exactly, but fair treatment.
Your last sentence is very good though about negotiation. As I stated before, there are some banks out there willing to take the risk. You just need to convince them of that. That's where "skillz" comes in.