Standard Chartered Korea CEO Steps Down

Richard Hill Richard Hill

The CEO of Standard Chartered Korea is stepping down two years before the end of his tenure. Richard Hill will be replaced by Ajay Kanwal, the CEO of the U.K. bank's Taiwan operations.

Hill's departure comes as a number of foreign banks pull out of Korea amid dwindling profits here.

According to financial industry sources on Monday, Standard Chartered Group recently asked Korean financial regulators to review Kanwal's eligibility as the head of its local operations.

The U.K. bank has been reducing branches and cutting staff here since last year because the Korean market has lost its luster. The replacement of Hill is apparently related to the poor earnings of the local operations.

Standard Chartered apparently plans to reduce the number of executives here as well.

Hill was appointed CEO in December 2009 and his tenure was extended by another three years in 2012. But the bank's business here suffered dwindling profits with accumulated net profit from January to September last year falling more than 30 percent to W74.6 billion (US$1=W1,057) compared to the same period of 2012.

To add insult to injury, it last month accidentally leaked the personal information of around 100,000 of its account holders.

But a Standard Chartered spokesman here said the replacement is "not due to poor earnings performance and is part of a routine reappointment by headquarters."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 14, 2014 12:05 KST