RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Korea

Kookmin Bank chief to resign before tenure ends

Kang Chung-won's plans of early quitting gives incoming KB Financial chief free rein in reorganising lender.

Kookmin Bank CEO Kang Chung-won said Tuesday he plans to resign on 13 July, when the bank's shareholders meet and is expected to confirm Euh Yoon-dae as chairman of KB Financial, the bank's holding firm.

According to KB Bank officials, Kang told the bank's executives in a meeting that he would serve as CEO until the date for the shareholders' meeting. Kang's tenure is to expire in October.

They said that Kang already conveyed to Euh and KB Finance's board of directors his intention to step down in mid-June after Euh was nominated.

"I want you to do your best to develop and stabilise the bank," Kang was quoted as telling the executives. "The bank needs to focus on fiscal soundness."

Kang's expression to quit appears aimed at allowing Euh to reorganise KB without a hitch.

The 59-year-old, who also served as vice chairman at KB Financial, was nominated for the top job at KB Financial in December 2009 but decided to drop his bid before being confirmed at a shareholders' meeting.

View the full story in Korean Times.

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