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Union opposes reappointment of KB chairman

Management accused of faking responses to an approval survey
Sept 13,2017
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Union members from affiliates of KB Financial Group gather at the headquarters of KB Kookmin Bank on Tuesday to oppose the second term of the group’s chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo. [YONHAP]
The chairmanship of KB Financial Group is up in the air as the group’s labor union opposes Yoon Jong-kyoo, the current chief who seeks a second term in the top post.

Still, it remains to be seen whether the opposition can affect the reappointment decision since the head is credited with generating healthy profits and effectively managing the merger between KB Investment & Securities and Hyundai Securities.

Union members at KB claimed that the management under Yoon meddled in an approval survey about the incumbent chairman, saying that it altered results using multiple IP addresses.

“We got a flood of responses between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the last day of the survey last week,” a source at the labor union said on Tuesday.

“We had a total of 4,282 responses during the two hours, 4,252 of which favored Yoon as the next chairman, though the vast majority of the previous answers did not favor Yoon,” the source said.

The union member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the thousands of responses proved to come from only 17 IP addresses, according to the survey company.

KB Financial Group, however, denied the accusation.

“We see that there has been no meddling from the management,” a spokesperson at KB Financial Group said.

“To verify the truth, we will suggest a joint investigation with the labor union. If any problem is found, [the company] will respond sternly,” the source said.

Besides the survey, the labor union also pointed to the process of screening candidates.

“The screening process is far from transparent,” the source from the union said, “We still don’t know who applied for the position although the company already short-listed applicants, which is different from the previous procedure.”

But others say that Yoon is an ideal candidate to lead the country’s largest financial group by assets.

During his term, the group posted record-high profits and business milestones to find a new growth engine.

The group emerged as top earner in net profit in the second quarter, beating Shinhan Financial Group, the second largest financial holding unit in the country.

The quarterly performance, announced late Thursday, helped KB achieve the highest half-year profit in its history.

Earlier this year, the financier also fostered a partnership with Uber to offer travelers that exchange money with KB access to the car sharing service around the world.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]