Wed, Feb 23, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Tsai backs FSC's restrictions on chairmanships

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) yesterday threw his support behind the financial regulator's new restriction that will bar the chairmen of local holding companies from heading up firms outside the finance sector, saying that it will help improve corporate governance.

The new rule has come under fire since the Financial Supervisory Commission made the announcement late last month.

"It's acceptable that financial holding companies should avoid taking chairmanships of industries outside the financial sector," Tsai said during an annual gathering with the media yesterday.

Currently, Tsai also chairs mobile operator Taiwan Cellular Corp (台灣大) and fixed-line service provider Taiwan Fixed Network Co (台灣固網).

But he added that it would be unreasonable to forbid a mega-bank chairman from taking the helm of firms outside the finance sector if they are controlled by his family.

To do so could encourage the appointment of frontmen, for example, while the family remained in charge.

"[This] would just go against the regulator's original idea of improving corporate governance," he said.

The new rule will take effect next January, although there will be a grace period of up to three years for company chairmen and presidents to complete their tenures at non-financial enterprises.

The rule is also expected to affect Eugene Wu's (吳東進) role at the Great Taipei Gas Corp (大台北瓦斯). Wu, who is chairman of Shin Kong Financial Holding (新光金控), currently heads up 24 non-financial businesses.

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