The Korea Herald


DGB chairman offers to step down

By Park Han-na

Published : Jan. 12, 2024 - 16:14

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DGB Financial Group Chairman Kim Tae-oh enters the Daegu District Court, Wednesday. (Yonhap) DGB Financial Group Chairman Kim Tae-oh enters the Daegu District Court, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The chief of DGB Financial Group, the holding firm of leading regional lender Daegu Bank, decided to step down from his post Friday after being acquitted of bribery and embezzlement charges tied to the group’s overseas expansion plan this week.

After about five years at the helm of the company, DGB Financial Group Chairman Kim Tae-oh, expressed his intent to not to seek a third term. His current two-year term ends in March.

“The group needs new leadership capable of achieving sustainable growth and moving toward a dynamic future,” Kim said in a statement.

The question as to whether he would seek his third term has drawn much attention after a court in Daegu cleared his charges on Wednesday. He was acquitted of charges accusing him of attempting to provide kickbacks to a Cambodian government official for the financial group to obtain regulatory approval to run a commercial bank in the southeast Asian country in 2020.

Since September, the financial holding firm’s selection committee has been searching for candidates for the top leader position who will succeed Kim, due to the charges he faced.

“As Chairman Kim has devoted himself to establishing a sound governance structure for the group, the committee respects his intention to resign,” said Choi Yong-ho, the head of the selection committee and non-executive independent director of DGB Financial Group, in a statement.

The committee plans to recommend a final pool of candidates at the end of February.

A lifelong banker, Kim joined DGB Financial Group as a chairman in 2018 when the group was deeply disgraced by a series of scandals involving its unfair hiring practices and slush fund.

Kim spearheaded the group’s acquisition of Hi Investment & Securities, completing its portfolio encompassing banking, insurance and stock brokerage businesses.

Under his reign, the financial group’s assets have grown by over 50 percent from 67 trillion won ($52 billion) in 2017 to exceed 100 trillion won last year.