Tue, Jun 27, 2017 - Page 1 News List

SinoPac Financial chairman resigns after a week

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) chairman Paul Chiu (邱正雄) yesterday tendered his resignation, ending a week-long tenure at the helm of the company.

Chiu said he would resign from the company’s board of directors on Friday and that his replacement would be appointed by the board the same day.

The board has selected a “reputable figure from the financial sector” to succeed him, Chiu said, declining to say who it is.

SinoPac Financial is under investigation for allegedly extending a series of questionable loans to interested parties via its banking and leasing units without adequate collateral and documentation.

SinoPac Financial founder and former chairman Ho Shou-chuan (何壽川) was detained on June 18, and Chiu was appointed interim chairman during an emergency board meeting held the same day.

Chiu was appointed chairman the following day.

Ho has been denied bail and remains in jail.

However, Chiu’s appointment drew criticism from industry observers and others, as he served as chairman and board director at Bank SinoPac (永豐銀行) from 2009 to last year, which coincided with the alleged irregularities that are under investigation.

Critics had questioned whether Chiu would be capable of improving oversight at SinoPac Financial, and whether he should be held responsible for the lapses.

Chiu said he has completed the initial phase of the company’s plans to improve its corporate governance, such as forming internal task forces.

The board is to review recommendations submitted by three international accounting and consulting firms, and select one to be implemented, he said.

Chiu also denied the rumor that the company is facing heavy penalties due to delays in a deal to sell SinoPac Bancorp, its US-based banking subsidiary, to Cathay General Bancorp (國泰萬通金控), as it has negotiated an extension until Sept. 20.

Thanks to the government’s and regulators’ support, Bank SinoPac’s and other subsidiaries’ operations have been unaffected by the developments, Chiu said.

There have been no significant cash withdrawals from the bank and its cash flows remains sound, he said.

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