Thu, Jul 11, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Union voices opposition to Chang Hwa merger

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from Chang Hwa Commercial Bank’s (彰化銀行) labor union yesterday voiced opposition to the bank’s planned merger with Taishin International Bank (台新銀行), saying that Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控) is an immoral company with speculative management.

Chang Hwa Bank Corporate Union (CHBCU, 彰銀工會) officials also met with Vice Minister of Finance William Tseng (曾銘宗) and National Treasury Agency Director-General Joanne Ling (凌忠嫄) yesterday afternoon, urging the ministry — the second-largest shareholder in Chang Hwa Commercial Bank — to reject the merger.

“We request the ministry to firmly reject the merger,” CHBCU president Huang Shui-chuan (黃水泉) told a media briefing yesterday after visiting the government officials.

Despite Taishin International posting strong earnings over the past few years, a heavy social cost was paid for its profitability, Huang said, citing the bank’s strategy of over-issuing cash-advance cards as an immoral move which ruined countless people’s lives.

Meanwhile, Taishin Financial saw its gearing ratio — a measure of its debt in relation to its equity — reach 118 percent as of the end of April, marking the highest level among local financial holding companies, further evidence of the company’s speculative management style, Huang added.

The union has set up an anti-merger strategy team, which will be in charge of organizing activities to express Chang Hwa Bank employees’ opposition to the planned merger, with the next event a possible visit to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Huang said.

Last month, Chang Hwa Bank’s executive directors — who have been accused of being influenced by Taishin Financial — approved plans to merge Chang Hwa with Taishin’s banking arm, aggravating relations with the finance ministry and with Chang Hwa Bank staff.

A National Treasury Administration official said the ministry has reached agreement with CHBCU representatives on three points.

In terms of the planned merger, the agency will take Chang Hwa Bank employees’ opinions into consideration, relay these opinions to related government agencies and voice fierce opposition to the merger, the official said.

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