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KEB Hana Bank chief decides against 3rd term amid charges of hiring irregularities

Facing charges of questionable hiring, KEB Hana Bank CEO Ham Young-joo has decided against running for his third term, industry sources said Thursday.

According to the sources, Ham pulled out of the race during a meeting of Hana Bank‘s candidate recommendation committee.

Ham took over KEB Hana Bank in September 2015. He was indicted without physical detention last June on allegations of hiring irregularities and obstruction of duties. He has been on trial since last August, and the court verdict is expected at the end of this year.

Ji Sung-kyoo, KEB Hana Bank Vice President (KEB Hana Bank)
Ji Sung-kyoo, KEB Hana Bank Vice President (KEB Hana Bank)

The committee had initially put Ham on its preliminary list of candidates. But on Tuesday, the state regulator Financial Supervisory Service expressed its concerns about Ham’s bid in a meeting with three members of the committee.

Sources said FSS officials were worried about the negative impact Ham‘s situation would have on the bank’s financial stability and credibility. They also criticized Ham for staying on board after relieving other KEB Hana Bank officials of their duties for their alleged roles in dubious hiring.

The committee instead nominated Ji Sung-kyoo, currently the bank’s vice president in charge of global business.

Ji, 55, will be up for approval at the shareholders’ meeting on March 21. (Yonhap)