A special meeting of Diplomat National Bank stockholders scheduled for today has been postponed amid a deepening rift within the bank's board of directors over the role of the bank's former chairman, Charles C. Kim.
Kim has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with aiding a secret takeover of the bank by South Korean agent Tongsun Park and an aide to Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon. A court order prevents the bank from allowing Kim to participate in managing the bank or from continuing his consulting role beyond April.
Recently the current chairman of the bank, William Chin-Lee, ordered Kim to move his offices out of the bank, which was organized in 1975 to cater in particular to Asians in the Washington area.
However, three of the bank's six directors had called the stockholders' meeting to elect two additional directors described as being favorable to a continued role for Kim.
Dr. Mgin T. Quiambao, one of the three directors, said yesterday the meeting was postponed at the request of the comptroller of the currency. He said teh comptoller, whose office regulates national banks, said the papers calling for the meeting did not comply with security laws and that an investigation would have to be conducted into any ties that Kim might have with the two peoposed directors.
Quiambo said the meeting has not been rescheduled.
"I wish Kim could be reinstated as a director," Quiambao said. "But I don't think we can now."
He added, "Even if he's not in the bank, what is wrong if he continues to bring in deposits behind the scenes? He is a stockholder. How come (the other directors) are agaisnt it?
Harry J. Zink, another director responsible for calling the meeting, said, "My position is he (Kim) is a necessary part of this bank. He did some things wrong. I think he's suffered enough. I feel he ought to be chairman eventually, in another year or so." Zink later modified his statement to say that he thought Kim should assume "some position" in the bank, not that of chairman.
Under the terms of the court order, Kim may not be rehired as an officer of the bank without the approval of the comptorller. In addition, he is barred from engaging in fraud in connection with sales of securities.
Both Zink and Quiambao said their concern is less with Kim than with the bank's current management, which they criticized as being inadequate.
Minutes of a Dec. 8 meeting of the bank's directors, attended only by the pro-Kim board members, show that Zink chastised the president and chairman of the board for failing to set forth "a marketing policy and objectives - a very vital aspect for the survival of the bank."
Referring to deposits by Moon's Unification Church at the bank, Quiambao said, "Is someone going to say, 'You're a Moone, we don't want your money?"
Asked yesterday what role he might play at the bank after his consulting contract expires in April, Kim said, "There are many people who invested in the bank, and if I can help the bank, I'll do my best by referring customers (to the bank) after April."
Kim said he would perform this service without charge. Asked if he would influence the directors behind the scenes, Kim said, "After April, if the directors come to me, I'll give my experience and knowledge."
Kim declined to discuss what knowledge he might have had of the hidden ownership in the bank of Tongsun Park and aide to Moon. The SEC, in a complaint, said Kim and others sold stock to Tongsun Park and an aide to Moon through front men and lied about the bank's true ownerhip to the comptroller.
However, Kim said, "The bank has had nothing to do with Koreagate or the KCIA (Korean Central Intelligence Agency)."
A confidential report of a special examination of the bank comptroller completed in August shows relatively little criticism of the bank and its management.
The report, based on examination begun in June, classified only $16,314 in loans as losses and $12,066 in loans as being of doubtful collectability. Another $159,084 in loans was said to be of substandard quality, and $518,243 in loans was "especially mentioned." The latter category problems for the bank at present but might eventually become problems.
Beyond the bank's failure to keep a record of its directors' business connections on file, the report said no violation of laws or regulations were found.
The examination, by Nancy C. Cody, examiner-in-charge, rated the bank's liquidity as "adequate" although it said the bank's ability to pay off depositors quickly had been a problem in the past.
"An area of some concern is your bank's lack of significant growth in stable deposits," the examiners said in a letter to the directors. "This lack of growth has prevented Diplomat National Bank from reaching a break-even point as far as earnings. It is recognized that unfavorable publicity has somewhat hindered efforts to attract deposits, and that management is actively seeking new deposit relationships."
Philip N. Smith, a lawyer for the bank, said most banks show losses in their first several years of operation. He said the bank's loss for the first half of this year was $41,000, almost all attribute to legal fees caused by government investigations of possilble Korean influence at the bank.