Tue, Apr 09, 2019 - Page 12 News List

New First Financial head pushes back at doubters

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

New First Financial Holding Co chairman Jason Liao, right, and outgoing chairman Ray Dawn pose for a photograph at a handover ceremony in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times

Newly installed First Financial Holding Co (第一金控) chairman Jason Liao (廖燦昌) said he would steer the company with professional prowess as critics raised questions over his appointment.

Liao, who stepped down as chairman of Taiwan Cooperative Financial Holding Co (合作金控) in November 2017 to take responsibility for losses in connection with a loan default by Kaohsiung-based Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co (慶富造船), was tapped last week to head First Financial.

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行), the main subsidiary of Taiwan Cooperative Financial, is only one of 10 state-run lenders that took part in the syndicated loan of NT$20.5 billion (US$664.61 million), Liao said on the sidelines of a handover ceremony.

“Prior to that, Taiwan Cooperative posted record profits of more than NT$10 billion for two consecutive years under my reign,” Liao said, adding that the results proved his management skills.

Liao held various positions at other state-run banks before joining Taiwan Cooperative Financial.

Liao replaced Ray Dawn (董瑞斌), who told local media over the weekend that he would turn down offers for other positions and return to academia.

Dawn is reportedly displeased about the reshuffle after guiding First Financial to record profits last year.

“I don’t want a new appointment, but hope that someone can provide reasons for my being replaced,” Dawn told Chinese-language Economic Daily News on Friday last week.

New Power Party lawmaker Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) had asked Liao to step down from his position to avoid bringing disgrace to First Financial.

In Taiwan, state-run financial institutions must support government policy as they seek to improve earnings.

Also yesterday, the board of state-run Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) approved the installation of Joanne Ling (凌忠嫄) as the bank’s new chairwoman, as 65-year-old Chang Ming-daw (張明道) is planning to retire.

Ling was chairwoman of state-owned Land Bank of Taiwan (土銀). Former Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合庫銀行) president Hwang Bor-chang (黃柏川) filled the vacancy.

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