Posted January. 12, 2010 08:37,
Kookmin Bank President Kang Jung-won (picture) yesterday denied financial regulators pressured him to drop his candidacy as chairman of KB Financial Group.
He said financial authorities asked for a delay in selecting the chairman last month. Kang also said he will not run for Kookmin president again but do his best through October, when his term ends.
I know that the board chairman was asked to postpone selection of his successor, he told reporters at Kookmin headquarters in Seouls Yeouido district. I didnt consider it external pressure so I continued the process of selecting a new chairman.
I think that financial authorities can say, Since the board has begun the process of self-restructuring, it is OK to report this.
Kookmin said in a statement, however, that academics and media reports are the ones saying financial authorities asked for a delay in the chairman`s appointment, not financial authorities.
There was no request from financial authorities to the board or chairman, it said.
On the dismissal of Kim Jung-hoe as group chairman, Kang said, It was a managerial decision made after prior talks with Kim since he was responsible for enhancing organizational efficiency. It was not revenge.
The Financial Supervisory Service from Thursday will begin a probe into Kangs decision in 2008 to buy Bank Credit Center of Kazakhstan, a move that caused Kookmin a paper loss of an estimated 250 billion won (221 million dollars) due to a plunge in the Kazak banks stock value.
He also made the decision to invest in a Kazak movie production that collapsed. On the investigation, Kang said, This will be clarified after the investigation results come out.
I believe the investment in Kazakhstans Bank Center Credit was strategically right. Investment in the movie was proven sound and having two drivers was necessary to prevent a car accident by reducing the heavy workload, which was necessary for scheduling.