The Korea Herald


Neutral financier to lead Shinhan Bank

By Chung Joo-won

Published : Feb. 24, 2015 - 15:52

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Shinhan Financial Group tapped CEO Cho Yong-byoung of Shinhan BNP Paribas as the new head of Shinhan Bank, group officials said Tuesday.

Cho, 58, will replace outgoing president Suh Jin-won, 64, who offered to resign in January citing health reasons.

Cho’s nomination will get final approval at soon-to-be-held meetings of board of directors and shareholders, bank officials said.

New Shinhan Bank CEO (Cho Yong-byoung) New Shinhan Bank CEO (Cho Yong-byoung)

Recognized as being neutral among different power groups in Shinhan, the new bank chief secured the position after competing with a handful of candidates, including the bank’s acting president Lim Young-jin, Shinhan Card CEO Wi Sung-ho, Shinhan Life Insurance CEO Lee Sung-rak and Shinhan Financial Group vice president Kim Hyung-jin.

Cho began his career in the banking operations of Shinhan in 1984, and was transferred to Shinhan’s New York branch in 2007 to accumulate global experience.

In 2009, Cho was promoted as vice president of Shinhan Bank’s overseas business department, a year before the outbreak of the so-called “Shinhan incident.” The fiasco began when then-group chairman Ra Eung-chan reported then-group president Shin Sang-hoon to prosecutors on embezzlement charges.

A civic group brought Ra to the financial regulator on charges of transferring 5 billion won ($4.5 million) to Taekwang Co. under a borrowed name. Shortly after, the group’s Japanese shareholders sued then-Shinhan Bank president Lee Baek-soon, Ra’s right-hand man, for spreading unwarranted rumors about Shin.

Shin was also sacked in the board meeting on Oct. 14, 2010.

By Chung Joo-won (