The Financial Supervisory Commission’s (FSC) affirmation of SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) board director Paul Chiu’s (邱正雄) eligibility to become chairman as was “a confusion of the commission’s role,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
Chiu yesterday was appointed chairman following an extraordinary meeting of the board of directors.
He had been named acting chairman on Saturday, a day after prosecutors raided the company’s offices as well as the homes of key executives allegedly involved in a series of severe lapses of governance.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Tsai made the remarks at a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting after Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) delivered a report on an investigation into over-lending by SinoPac, DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said.
The government would not close the investigation until those responsible are identified and investigated, Lin said.
It was improper of the commission to use the word “affirm” in its news release, CSC member Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) said.
New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) also questioned Chiu’s eligibility to be chairman.
As Chiu was a member of the company’s board when the over-lending occurred there was no reason Chiu would be eligible for the chairmanship, Huang said.
Tuan said on Facebook that it was “laughable” for SinoPac to appoint Chiu as chairman, adding that the Ho family was “in bed with” the higher echelons of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), pointing to Chiu’s appointments as vice premier, central bank deputy governor and minister of finance under former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
SinoPac Financial chairman Ho Shou-chuan (何壽川) was detained on Sunday for suspected violations of the Securities Exchange Act (證券交易法).
His request for bail was denied on Monday and he remains in detention under conditions of restricted communications and visits, aside from constitutionally guaranteed rights of consultation.
The investigation comes after the FSC in April fined SinoPac Financial NT$10 million (US$328,181) following the discovery that the company’s leasing unit had extended NT$5 billion in questionable loans to Sun Power Development and Construction Co (三寶建設) — whose chairman is related to Ho’s wife, Chang Hsing-ju (張杏如) — and handed its findings over to prosecutors.
The loans extended to Sun Power were allegedly transferred between shell companies controlled by SinoPac and Sun Power without sufficient collateral, which violates the limitations on transactions between interested parties, as the borrower had familial ties to Ho, the commission said.
FSC Secretary-General Jean Chiu (邱淑真) said Tsai’s expression of concern meant the commission needed to be more careful with the language it uses in its news releases.
However, the commission’s primary task is to provide oversight of financial institutions and maintain stability, Jean Chiu said.
That SinoPac’s board held a meeting, appointed an acting chairman and pledged reforms relieved the public and offered stability, Jean Chiu said.
The commission had intended to show the SinoPac Financial board of directors support rather than offer an official endorsement, Jean Chiu said.
The company also appointed Lin Miao-zhen (林妙貞), who had previously worked at the lender’s financial products group office, as a Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行) board director.
Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho and Ted Chen
EIGHT-YEAR WINDOW: Avril Haines said that Beijing is closely watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although Moscow’s actions have not sped up Beijing’s timeline The threat posed by China to Taiwan until 2030 is “critical,” US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Tuesday while testifying on worldwide threats at a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services. “I think it’s fair to say that it’s critical, or acute,” Haines said when asked by US Senator Josh Hawley if she viewed the threat facing Taiwan to be acute from now until 2030. “It’s our view that they [China] are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” she said, without
‘DAMOCLES SWORD’: An Italian missionary said the arrest of cardinal Zen is a blow for the church in Hong Kong, China and the world, signaling great danger ahead China yesterday defended the arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, a move that triggered international outrage and deepened concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. Retired cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, was among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested on Wednesday for “colluding with foreign forces.” Pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩), veteran barrister Margaret Ng (吳靄儀) and cultural studies academic Hui Po-keung (許寶強) were also arrested, the latter as he attempted to fly to Europe to take up an academic post. Cyd Ho (何秀蘭), a democracy
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate