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Mega Bank chairman steps down

In a leaked resignation letter, Shiu says he was stepping down due to his “inability to gain the trust of the public and unwillingness to add to the burden of (his) superiors.”

Shiu, who was on a visit to the U.S., said in a statement that he had ended his trip early and would immediately return to Taiwan.

The chairman would relinquish all of his roles in the financial group and “patiently wait for the judiciary to look into the controversy,” the statement said.

Cabinet spokesman Tung Chen-yuan (童振源) said Premier Lin Chuan (林全) respected Shiu’s decision.

The Cabinet has faced criticism for appointing Shiu as chairman of Mega Financial — in which the Ministry of Finance is a major shareholder — even after being informed that U.S. authorities had fined the bank for breaching anti-money laundering laws while Shiu was serving as CEO between 2012 and 2014.

The Cabinet was informed of the fine on Aug. 1 and announced Shiu’s chairmanship appointment on Aug. 11, more than a week before the fine was made public.

Shiu’s resignation Wednesday makes his term as chairman the shortest in the bank’s history.

U.S. regulators said earlier this month that the bank slapped a massive fine of US$180 million (NT$5.7 billion) on Mega Bank’s New York branch for breaching the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act.

Mega Bank is the flagship banking unit of Mega Financial Holding Co. (兆豐金控).

Mega Bank To Hold Emergency Board Meeting

The Finance Ministry issued a press statement Wednesday confirming that Shiu had resigned.

“In consideration of the recent controversy that has hit Mega Financial Holdings, the Ministry of Finance approves the resignation tendered by Chairman Shiu Kuang-si,” the statement said.

The ministry said Mega Bank would hold an emergency board meeting Thursday to appoint a board member to serve as acting chairman before the Finance Ministry appointed Shiu’s formal replacement.

According to local media, Deputy Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) said that before the new chairman was appointed, the ministry would re-evaluate all 10 current board members and “would not rule out” reappointing the entire board.

“Shiu stepped down from his post in hopes of ending the controversy. Though the ministry was surprised to hear the news, we respect his decision,” Su said.

Ex-chief Relinquishes Current Position

Mckinney Tsai (蔡友才), former chairman of Mega Financial, said Wednesday night he would leave his post as chairman of asset management company Chien Chi (鑒機資產管理) due to health considerations.

Tsai left Mega Financial in March and joined the asset management company rumored to be helping Ruentex Group (潤泰集團) chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) carry out a hostile takeover of CTBC Financial Holding Co. (中國信託).

The news comes after Tsai resigned from Cathay Financial Holding Co.’s (國泰金控) board of directors last week.