South Korea launches panel on banks amid outcry over pay

South Korea launches panel on banks amid outcry over pay
FILE PHOTO: An employee walks at an empty park near a financial district in Seoul, South Korea, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL: South Korea launched a task force on Wednesday (Feb 22) to study ways to improve business practices and pay schemes at banks, days after the country’s president called on lenders to help curb the cost-of-living burden on vulnerable people.

The panel is headed by the deputy chief of the top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and comprises regulators, scholars, researchers and officials from financial industry associations, the FSC said in a statement.

Kim So-young, vice chairman of the FSC, said at the panel’s inaugural meeting that it would study ways to boost competition either between existing banks or by allowing entries of niche service providers.

The panel would also look into ways to help banks diversify their business practices, currently heavily dependent on interest rate margins, and improve their pay structure, he said.

It would also discuss possible measures to strengthen capital buffers against external shocks.

President Yoon Suk-yeol and other government officials have said there is growing public discontent over reports of big performance-sharing and early-retirement bonus payments by banks.

Source: Reuters/ga