Former KTB executive objects to findings

Former KTB executive objects to findings

Chief executive Kittiphun Anutarasoti of CIMB Thai Bank (inset) criticises the Krungthai Bank investigation of the Energy Earth loan scandal as 'unfair'.
Chief executive Kittiphun Anutarasoti of CIMB Thai Bank (inset) criticises the Krungthai Bank investigation of the Energy Earth loan scandal as 'unfair'.

Kittiphun Anutarasoti, chief executive of CIMB Thai Bank (CIMBT), is crying foul over the probe made by Krungthai Bank (KTB) into previous loan extensions to Energy Earth after the findings made serious allegations against him.

The probe alleges misconduct and fraud carried out by Mr Kittiphun for his own and others' benefits that resulted in huge damage to KTB from loans extended to Energy Earth when he was a high-ranking executive at the bank overseeing the corporate banking business.

"I support the probe finding out the truth, but I've noticed KTB's examination process is unfair," he said. "I was never notified about the charge, nor was I allowed to clarify. The probe was done in a manner to ensure that the bank can find someone who is responsible."

Mr Kittiphun contended that the probe panel did not make clear allegations against him in the letters he was sent. The bank only made clear the allegations against him on Dec 25 when the inspection was finished, he said at a press conference Wednesday.

Mr Kittiphun will make an appeal to KTB within 60 days and discuss with lawyers how to proceed.

There have been no changes in CIMBT's management team so far, he said.

According to a Bangkok Post report earlier this week, KTB's board of directors delegated Payong Srivanich, the bank's chief executive, to proceeding with disciplinary actions against several of the bank's executives and employees who were found to be implicated in extending loans to SET-listed Energy Earth.

KTB, Energy Earth's largest creditor, had launched a probe into the 12 billion baht granted to Energy Earth after the coal miner failed to redeem two lots of bills of exchange (B/Es) worth 90 million baht that were due in June 2017. KTB filed a complaint with the Department of Special Investigation to probe an accusation that Energy Earth might have used a fabricated coal import document to seek a 12-billion-baht loan from the bank.

Mr Kittiphun said he joined KTB in October 2013 to oversee the corporate loan business, after which the bank extended the loan to Energy Earth twice, each time worth 4.5 billion baht in early and mid-2015 and the lending was approved by the bank's board as normal practice.

After he resigned in 2017, KTB was the lead underwriter for Energy Earth's bonds worth 5.5 billion baht to retail investors while the two batches of loans remained performing, he said, adding that Energy Earth's B/E default eventually triggered a cross default.

He said he complained to the Bank of Thailand three times about the probe process being unfair, but the central bank wanted the process to be completed before getting involved.

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