Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Winston Wong mulling setting up banks for the poor

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Winston Wong (王文洋), the eldest son of Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) founder, Wang Yung-ching (王永慶), was said to be interested in establishing banks for the poor, using part of the estate of his late father.

Wang Ben-hu (汪笨湖), a talk show host, told local media outlets on Sunday that Wong planned to establish domestic banks that would provide microcredit to low-income or disadvantaged families to help them through their financial difficulties.

A friend and adviser to Wong, Wang Ben-hu said his friend was also poised to form a “third force” in local politics to balance the country’s political landscape.

“When time is ripe, Winston may announce his bid to enter the 2012 presidential race,” Wang Ben-hu said.

Wong, a university lecturer and chairman of the Grace T.H.W. Group (宏仁企業集團) of high-technology companies with operations mainly in China, made an aborted bid in 2007 to run in the presidential election last year.

Wong, who was booted from FPG in 1995, recently launched an international lawsuit to get to the bottom of his late father’s overseas assets, many of which are unaccounted for. Some believe the late tycoon left more than NT$500 billion (US$15.2 billion) in the US and China.

Wang Yung-ching died of cardiopulmonary arrest on Oct. 15 at his house in Short Hills, New Jersey, while on a trip to inspect FPG’s US operations.

Wang Ben-hu said his friend filed the lawsuit to prevent being surprised by potential fines or even criminal liability related to unreported funds from his father’s estate and to put the funds to good use in Taiwan.

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