Bank of China Hong Kong (BOCHK) has moved to allay any remaining fears that the latest scandal involving two former executives may affect profits. An investigation by the bank's audit committee and independent non-executive directors confirmed funds allegedly embezzled by former deputy chief executives Zhu Chi and Ding Yansheng had not come from the bank and would have no impact on its profit result, it said in an announcement to the stock exchange yesterday. Hong Kong's second-largest lender is due to report its interim results on Thursday. In its statement, BOCHK added that external replacements would be sought for Mr Zhu and Mr Ding, who have resigned and remain under investigation by mainland judicial authorities. 'In line with board policy approved earlier this year, an open, competitive and global recruitment process will be conducted for the purpose of identifying the best candidates,' it said. The company's external auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, agreed with the findings of the investigation, yesterday's statement said. BOCHK has yet to fill a position of director of risk - a post it was urged to create and fill externally by an independent expert committee that reported in September last year after former chief executive Liu Jinbao was dismissed for his role in another loan scandal. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is believed to have urged BOCHK to fulfil this promise and find external candidates for the latest vacancies. Zhu Xinqiang, the president of Beijing-based Bank of China - the mainland's second-biggest lender and parent of BOCHK - will meet HKMA officials tomorrow. CSFB analyst Jay Luong said the 'recent negative press attention' on BOCHK was distracting but likely to have little impact.