UOB to expand board from 9 to 12 members

United Overseas Bank (UOB)

United Overseas Bank (UOB) will enlarge its board from the current nine members to 12 members to help deal with the increasing complexity of managing a bank.

UOB chairman Hsieh Fu Hua said the bank has decided to expand the size of the board up to 12 directors and is in the process of recruiting new directors. The disclosure was made in the bank's 2016 annual report released on Tuesday evening.

The smallest of the three local banks, UOB is the first to publish the 2016 annual report.

UOB also said non-executive and non-independent director Wong Meng Meng, 68, who has been a director since 2000, is retiring; this means UOB will be looking for four new directors.

Read also: UOB's Q4 net profit fell 6.2% amid hit from oil industry exposure

The bank said the board had previously determined that increasing the board size would be beneficial to the group. "Some factors underpinning the decision include the pace at which the operating environment is evolving, technological advancement and the increasing regulatory burden on banks," it said.

Under the leadership of the nominating committee (NC) chairman, the NC mapped the skill-sets and expertise currently available on the board against an ideal framework, so as to identify the additional skills required, it said. These included finance, technology, strategic planning and human resource management.

All directors were then invited to nominate candidates who were shortlisted for further assessment by the NC. With the concurrence of the board, the NC chairman initiated discussions with the shortlisted candidates as appropriate. All appointments are subject to the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Read also: UOB economists flag two key challenges for Singapore SMEs

The current nine-member board is made up of eight men and one woman.

A bank spokeswoman declined to comment on the candidates that have been shortlisted as potential directors.

UOB said its board has professional, gender, geographical and ethnic diversity and a wide range of experience.

Chief executive Wee Ee Cheong's 2016 pay fell almost 9 per cent to S$8.4 million. Mr Wee's salary was unchanged at S$1.2 million while his bonus fell to S$7.2 million from S$8 million.

Read also: UOB launches scheme to help millennials build up wealth

UOB posted a net profit of S$3.1 billion for 2016, 3.5 per cent lower than the year before.

Chairman emeritus and adviser Wee Cho Yaw's pay of S$1.3 million was little changed while chairman Mr Hsieh got S$976,000, up from S$890,000.

The Wee family owns 18 per cent of UOB.

This article was first published on Mar 29, 2017.
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