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UOB to enlarge board by one third to 12 members

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UNITED Overseas Bank will enlarge its board by one third to 12 members from the current 9 to help deal with the increasing complexity of managing a bank.

UNITED Overseas Bank will enlarge its board by one third to 12 members from the current 9 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 to 12 directors and is in the process of recruiting new directors. The disclosure was in the 2016 annual report released on Tuesday evening.

The smallest of Singapore's three local banks, UOB is the first to publish its 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 4 new directors.

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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.

The current 9-member board is made up of 8 men and one woman.

A bank spokeswoman declined to comment on the candidates who have been short-listed as potential directors.

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

The 2016 pay of chief executive Wee Ee Cheong fell 9 per cent to S$8.4 million, the report showed. Mr Wee's salary was unchanged at S$1.2 million while his bonus was lowered to S$7.2 million from S$8 million. UOB posted net profit after tax of S$3.1 billion for 2016, 3.5 per cent down from 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.

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