Sep 10, 2021
- FSC Chairman Meets with Heads of Major Financial Holding Companies
- FSC Chairman Koh Seungbeom met with the heads of major financial holding companies on September 10 and held talks on ways to strengthen household debt management as well as the issue of loan maturity extensions and payment deferrals. As it was the first time that Chairman Koh has held a meeting with the five CEOs of financial holding companies in his current role, at the beginning of the meeting, Chairman Koh laid out his principle of financial policy and supervisory role of the FSC as aiming for market-friendly policy and supervision with respect for the creativity and autonomy of financial institutions. With regard to the matters concerning internal management of individual institutions, such as interest rates, fees and dividends, Chairman Koh stated that he will respect individual firms decisions. Even when intervention is inevitable for the purpose of maintaining macroeconomic soundness and consumer protection, Chairman Koh said that interventions will take place at a minimum level through a fair and transparent procedure in a market-friendly and market-centered approach based on sufficient communication and collaboration with market participants. On the issue of household debt growth, Chairman Koh raised concerns about asset market overheating and the mutually reinforcing effects between the two. Chairman Koh spoke about household debt management as a top policy priority and pledged to effectively implement the measures in place while working to come up with improved measures. With regard to the loan maturity extensions and payment deferrals set to expire at the end of September, Chairman Koh said that the authorities are considering diverse factors, such as the demand from SMEs and small merchants, repayment burdens of long-term borrowers, potential default risks and so on, while emphasizing the importance of cooperation to arrive at a reasonable solution. Chairman Koh and the five CEOs also held talks on regulatory issues surrounding digital transformation an
Sep 09, 2021
- FSC Announces 10% Stake in Woori Financial Group to be Sold
- The FSC announced its plan to sell ten percent of the remaining stake (15.13%) held by the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation in Woori Financial Group through competitive bidding. Background With the goal of complete privatization of WFG, the government has been selling KDICs stake in WFG through a series of block sales and competitive auctions over the years. The sales allowed the government to recoup about 89.6 percent of public funds and afforded WFG with management autonomy as its MOU with the KDIC has been retracted in 2016. The KDICs sale of 29.7 percent stake in December 2016 further accelerated WFGs privatization process. However, as the KDIC still maintained the largest shareholder status, the Public Fund Oversight Committee announced the roadmap for selling remaining stake in WFG in June 2019. Thereafter, the KDIC sold two percent of its remaining stake through a block sale on April 9, 2021. After assessing market demand, on August 23, the PFOC decided to sell up to ten percent of KDICs remaining stake in WFG through competitive bidding. Details Ten percent of shares will be put up for sale with minimum bidding of one percent through a competitive auction with highest bidders winning the auction. However, when no workable competition is established or the bidding price is below the PFOC set price, the sales method may change to a block sale. Investors who newly acquire four percent or more of stake are granted right to recommend an outside director to the board. Successful sales of KDICs stake in WFG at this round may lead to the completion of the privatization process of WFG in essence, since the KDIC may no longer be the largest shareholder with its right to recommend an outside director also taken away. Schedule With the sales notice announced on September 9, letters of intent (LoIs) will be due on October 8 and the bidding will close and winning bidders selected in November. * Please refer to the attache PDF for details.
Sep 08, 2021
- Household Loans, August 2021
- The outstanding balance of loans to households rose KRW8.5 trillion in all financial sectors at the end of August 2021 (up 9.5% y-o-y).The balance of household loans increased KRW6.2 trillion in the banking sector and KRW2.3 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +9.7% (Jun 2021) +10.0% (Jul 2021) +9.5% (Aug 2021) By type, mortgage loans went up KRW7.2 trillion in August, expanding at a similar level compared with the previous month (up KRW7.4 trillion) as housing market transactions remained active. Other types of loans including credit loans grew at a slower rate (up KRW1.4 trillion) compared with the previous month (up KRW7.9 trillion) due to large scale refunds of IPO subscription deposits taking place in the beginning of the month. The growth of household loan balance in August has dropped compared with the previous month but still remains above pre-pandemic levels. The financial authorities will continue to strengthen management until the trend of household debt growth shows signs of stability. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Sep 08, 2021
- Joint Job Fair Held in Financial Sectors
- The FSC announced the opening of the 2021 joint job fair in the financial industry which will be held online at www.financejobfair.co.kr between September 8 and 9. The 5th annual job fair event is co-hosted by six financial industry groups with 55 financial institutions offering employment opportunities to job seekers. The two-day event will feature one-stop career support services using AI technologies, career information sessions offered by employers, a chance to communicate with current employees as well as virtual interviews with employers. Chairman Koh Seungbeom delivered congratulatory remarks for the event and spoke about changing dynamics in employment conditions and efforts to create quality jobs in the financial sectors. More specifically, Chairman Koh said that the acceleration of digital transformation has also transformed job markets in the financial sectors, with contactless sales channels and automation of work becoming more prevalent. However, Chairman Koh stated that there are possibilities for creating new quality jobs as newly developed financial services become available using digital technologies. As such, Chairman Koh urged financial institutions to pay special attention on their new recruitment practices and pledged to work on improving conditions to help create more jobs in the financial sectors. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Aug 25, 2021
- FSC Changes Rules to Allow Cross-border ETF Scheme with China
- The FSC approved changes in the Enforcement Rules of the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act and other relevant industry regulation to allow China-based exchange traded funds (ETFs) listed in the Shanghai Stock Exchange to be registered for sale by local asset managers in Korea effective from August 27 this year. The Korea Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange signed an MOU in May this year to establish a cross-border ETF scheme (ETF Connected). However, the current regulatory framework allows only foreign based ETFs from OECD members, Hong Kong and Singapore to be eligible for registration in Korea. As such, the FSC changed the relevant rules for a seamless implementation of the cross-border ETF link between Korea and China. The authorities expect that there will be more opportunities for domestic investors to make investment in foreign assets. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Aug 11, 2021
- Household Loans, July 2021
- The outstanding balance of household loansin all financial sectors increased KRW15.2 trillion from the previous month at the end of July 2021 (up 10.0% y-o-y). The household loan balance rose KRW9.7 trillion in the banking sector and KRW5.6 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +9.6% (May 2021) +9.7% (Jun 2021) +10.0% (Jul 2021) By type, mortgage loans grew KRW7.5 trillion in July, rising at a faster rate compared with the previous month (up KRW6.4 trillion y-o-y) due to a steady rise in demand for jeonseloans. Other types of loans including credit loans expanded KRW7.7 trillion due to increased demand for large scale IPO subscriptions in the last week of July. The financial authorities will work to ensure that the pace of growth in household loans remains within the target of 5 to 6 percent for this year while also working to effectively implement the household debt management measures. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Jul 14, 2021
- Household Loans, June 2021
- The outstanding balance of household loans in all financial sectors rose KRW10.1 trillion from the previous month at the end of June 2021 (up 9.6% y-o-y). The household loan balance increased KRW6.3 trillion in the banking sector and KRW3.8 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +10.0% (Apr 2021) +9.6% (May 2021) +9.6% (Jun 2021) By type, mortgage loans expanded KRW6.3 trillion in June, growing at a faster rate compared with the previous month (up KRW4.5 trillion y-o-y) due to active housing market transactions. Other types of loans including credit loans increased KRW3.7 trillion, remaining at a similar level to the average monthly growth rate (up KRW4.5 trillion) in the first half of this year. The financial authorities will closely monitor trends in household loans while working to ensure an effective implementation of the household debt management measures. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Jul 13, 2021
- FSC Grants Preliminary Approvals for Credit Information Business
- The FSC granted preliminary approvals to Shinhan Card and Korea Technology Credit Bureau for their application to assume credit information business on July 13. The FSC decided that both companies satisfied all the requirements set forth by the Credit Information Act, such as the large shareholder qualification, etc. Shinhan Cards application was for individual business CB while that of Korea Technology Credit Bureau was for tech credit bureau (TCB). The granting of preliminary approvals for credit information business today is the first such decision made by the FSC since the revised Credit Information Act went into effect in August 2020.With the revised Act, it is expected that providing more accurate and diverse models for credit evaluation will become possible for both individual business owners and technology firms. This will also have a positive impact on the development of financial products suitable to the risk characteristics of different borrower types. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Jul 06, 2021
- FSC Holds Symposium on COVID-19 Financial Policy
- The FSC and the Korea Institute of Finance co-hosted a policy symposium on the effectiveness of COVID-19 financial policy on July 6. FSC Chairman Eun Sung-soo attended the symposium and delivered a keynote address highlighting the progress of policy implementation and future policy direction. The following is a summary of Chairman Euns remarks. (COVID-19 Crisis Policy Response) In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government rolled out policies focusing on the prevention of risk transfer channels, provision of an exhaustive level of support and setting up firewalls in financial markets to help remove market anxieties. The authorities worked on stock market and bond market stabilization measures while prioritizing support for small-scale businesses. Financial support was extended to businesses of all sizes that have been hit by the pandemic. The KRW175 trillion-plus COVID-19 financial support programs were introduced to contain fear and anxiety in markets. This unprecedented level of financial support by the government helped to quickly stabilize the financial system, provide liquidity to small merchants and SMEs while preventing large-scale bankruptcies or job losses in key industries. As a result, the Korean economy saw the smallest negative growth last year while stock markets continue to set new record highs. In March this year, the IMF stated that Koreas decisive policy response has helped the country navigate the COVID-19 shock. (Future Policy Direction) In order to overcome the pandemic-induced crisis and be prepared for potential aftershocks, an orderly process for policy normalization is necessary. First, the government will maintain close monitoring on the status of virus prevention, real economy and financial market conditions as there still exist uncertainties, such as the spread of COVID variants. Second, the government will work to ensure financial stability by preemptively managing potential risk factors, such as an excessive accumulation of debt.
Jun 29, 2021
- Indemnity Health Insurance 4.0 to be Available from July 1
- The FSC announced the availability of indemnity health insurance 4.0 from July 1 with upgrades and improvements from the previous system. The indemnity health insurance 4.0 will offer a much more equitable premium payment system according to ones own needs and use of health care services, lower premium levels by about 10 to 70 percent compared with the previous services and provide those that are already covered an opportunity to easily switch to the newly available coverage plan. As the indemnity health insurance service first became available in 1999, about 39 million individuals as of the end of 2020 were found to be covered by indemnity health insurance coverage. With about 75 percent of the population using the indemnity health insurance service, it provides important social safety nets alongside the state-operated national health insurance (NHI) program. Key Details I. Lowering Premiums while Ensuring the Same Level of Coverage (Coverage) Indemnity health insurance 4.0 will provide the same level of coverage as previously available on most types of illnesses and injuries with the maximum coverage of about KRW100 million for both in- and outpatient services.However, in order to prevent moral hazard of excessive and unnecessary use and provision of medical services, out-of-pocket expenses and deductions for outpatient services will be increased. (Premium) Due to the increase in out-of-pocket expenses and outpatient deductions, insurance premiums will be significantly lower compared to the previous levels.Considering high levels of loss ratios, it is expected that premiums of newly available indemnity health insurance policies will be much lower in the future compared to the current levels. II. Improving the Premium Payment System (Non-covered Services) The current integrated management system for insurance coverage of both NHI-covered and non-covered services will be managed separately with differential premium rates applied to non-covered services plans. The in
Jun 10, 2021
- Online Education Program Offered on the Supervision of Financial Conglomerates
- The FSC and FSS announced that the authorities will provide an online education program for the employees of non-holding financial groups from June 10 ahead of the newly enacted law on the supervision of financial conglomerates taking effect on June 30. The online live streaming education program was prepared to ensure thorough preparation for the implementation of the new law and make sure that the employees of relevant financial institutions have a clear understanding about the relevant rules and requirements, such as the self-assessment on capital adequacy, internal control and risk management and reporting and disclosure requirements, etc. The program will be available in two separate sessions on June 10 to 11 and June 17 to 18 for about 134 employees of 46 financial companies affiliated with the six major non-holding financial groups. In the process of implementing the new law on the supervision of financial conglomerates, the authorities will maintain close communication with financial institutions and make support available. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Jun 10, 2021
- Household Loans, May 2021
- The outstanding balance of household loansin all financial sectors fell KRW1.8 trillion from the previous month at the end of May 2021 (up 9.6% y-o-y). The household loan balance dropped KRW1.5 trillion in the banking sector and KRW0.3 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +8.5% (Mar 2021) +10.0% (Apr 2021) +9.6% (May 2021) By type, mortgage loans expanded KRW4.5 trillion in May, growing at a slower rate compared with the previous month (up KRW5.2 trillion y-o-y), due to an overall drop in housing transactions. Other types of loans including credit loans fell KRW6.3 trillion due to a large-scale refund of deposits taking place in the aftermath of the SKIET IPO subscription. The financial authorities will closely monitor trends in household loans and work for an effective and consistent implementation of the household debt management measures. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
May 25, 2021
- Government Approves Revised Rules to Introduce Small-sum & Short-term Insurance
- The government approved the revisions to the Enforcement Decree of the Insurance Business Act at a cabinet meeting on May 25, aiming to introduce a small-sum, short-term specialized insurance business with a variety of insurance coverage such as pet, leisure and travel insurance. Key Revisions (Small-sum Short-term Insurance Business) The minimum capital requirement for a small-sum, short-term specialized insurance business will be set at KRW2 billion. They are allowed to provide various types of insurance coverage e.g. pet insurance, leisure travel insurance, weather insurance, etc with a one-year renewable term and premiums of up to KRW50 million. The insurers annual gross premium revenue will be capped at KRW50 billion. (Scope of Insurers Subsidiaries) To promote digital transition in the insurance sector, the revision permits insurers to own more than a 15% stake in a healthcare or MyData service provider as subsidiaries. (Access to Administrative Information) Currently, insurance policy holders are required to submit required administrative documents such as a copy of residence registration, family relation certificate, drivers license, etc, to insurers. To ease such a burden, the revision will allow insures to access to administrative information upon policy holders consent. (External Evaluation of Policy Reserves) Insurance businesses with total assets of KRW1 trillion or more will be required to have external actuaries approve the appropriateness of their policy reserve. Schedule The revisions will take effect from June 9, 2021. The FSC will complete revisions to subordinate rules including the Regulation on Supervision of Insurance Business in accordance with the revised Enforcement Decree. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
May 13, 2021
- Financial Development Review Committee Holds 1st Special Committee Meeting on Young Adults
- The FSC announced that the financial development review committee launched an eighteen-member special committee on young adults made up of members in the age of twenties and thirties representing diverse areas of professions on May 13. At its kick-off meeting, the special committee on young adults held discussions on the issue of housing finance and the housing ladder. During his keynote address, FSC Chairman Eun Sung-soo spoke about the importance of maintaining close communication with young adults as the level of interest shown by young adults recently on financial markets and policies have grown significantly. As such, Chairman Eun pledged that the FSC will continue to listen closely to the needs of young adults to help improve conditions and minimize disadvantages for them. Throughout the year, the special committee will hold meetings and have discussions on a range of topics that are of concern to young adults, such as creating fairer conditions for stock investment, challenges of young adults as startup entrepreneurs, the electronic payment system and so on. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
May 12, 2021
- Household Loans, April 2021
- The outstanding balance of household loansin all financial sectors rose KRW25.4 trillion from the previous month at the end of April 2021 (up 10.0% year-on-year). The household loan balance increased KRW16.0 trillion in the banking sector and KRW9.4 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +8.5% (Feb 2021) +8.5% (Mar 2021) +10.0% (Apr 2021) By type, mortgage loans increased KRW5.2 trillion in April, growing at a slower rate compared with the previous month (up KRW6.5 trillion y-o-y). Other types of loans saw a spike of KRW20.2 trillion as demand for credit loans jumped ahead of the SKIET IPO which attracted about KRW80.9 trillion in subscription deposit. However, as of May 3, the household loan balance in both the banking and non-banking sectors appear to have fallen back following refunds of subscription deposits. The temporary spike in credit loans in both the banking and non-banking sectors in April was mainly caused by an increase in demand for credit loans amid large-scale IPO subscription activities. The financial authorities will continue to closely monitor trends in household debt while working for an effective implementation of the household debt management measures. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
May 06, 2021
- Financial Authorities to Improve Rules on the Suspension of Licensing Review Process
- The financial authorities introduced the measures to improve rules on the suspension of licensing review process for financial institutions. The measures are intended to increase predictability and minimize legal uncertainties for businesses. The rules on the suspension of licensing review process have been introduced to prevent the granting of license to legally disqualified entities that may be undergoing an investigation or lawsuit at the time of their licensing review process. Under the rules, financial authorities may decide to suspend the licensing review process (a) if the applicant is facing a criminal charge or under an investigation or inspection by a relevant authority and (b) if the lawsuit or the investigation or inspection is deemed to have significant impact on the licensing review process. However, there have been criticisms regarding the current system as it serves a contradictory purpose to the principle of presumption of innocence, leads to unnecessary breach of rights and interests on the part of the applicant, impedes the level of predictability for resumption of the review process and raises the issue of inconsistency in terms of the application of the rules across different sectors. As such, the FSC will carry out the following measures to make improvements to the current suspension of licensing review process. Key Measures First, the authorities will newly establish a guideline that provides a specific and detailed list of grounds and reasons for suspending a licensing review process. Second, for business entities whose licensing review process has been suspended, the authorities will reconsider every six months the possibility of resuming the licensing review process and whether to extend the suspension period. Third, the suspension of licensing review process, which is currently not applicable to insurance businesses, specialized credit finance companies and financial holding companies, will be applied across all financial sectors to enhanc
Apr 15, 2021
- FSC Chairman Holds Talks with Relevant Officials Ahead of Partial Resumption of Stock Short-selling
- FSC Chairman Eun Sung-soo met with officials from relevant institutions and heads of securities companies on April 15 and held talks on the preparatory measures for partial resumption of stock short-selling on May 3,recent stock market trends and virus prevention measures taken by the financial investment industry. The following is a summary of Chairman Euns remarks. (KOSDAQ Surpassing 1,000 pts) KOSDAQ recently surpassed 1,000 points for the first time since September 2000. Throughout the years, the authorities have worked to improve the KOSDAQ market for venture capitals and startups by allowing lossmaking companies to be listed and introducing technology-based preferential listing system. As a result, KOSDAQ emerged as a distinct market for investors with many businesses with significant future growth potential being listed. The Korea Exchange, relevant institutions and the financial investment industry have put efforts to improve the investment infrastructure and seek out promising businesses. Through the Korean New Deal initiative and the government-wide effort to cultivate more innovative businesses, the government will work to support venture startups and innovative firms in KOSDAQ market to further strengthen our economy. (Ensuring Investor Trust in the Market) It is important to ensure that investors have confidence and trust about the fairness in the market. In order to root out illegal and unfair marketing or advising practices in stock markets, the government has been operating a response team since October 2020. The response team will continue to work to prevent inappropriate activities and improve regulations. Prior to the partial resumption of short-selling on May 3, the authorities will continue to work to resolve various concerns of investors. Out of the four regulatory improvement measures announced earlier, stronger penalties on illegal short-selling activities and improved rules for market makers have already become effective. The two remaining m
Apr 14, 2021
- Household Loans, March 2021
- The outstanding balance of household loansin all financial sectors rose KRW9.1 trillion from the previous month at the end of March 2021 (up 8.4% year-on-year). The household loan balance increased KRW6.5 trillion in the banking sector and KRW2.6 trillion in the non-banking sector. All financial sectors (y-o-y): +8.5% (Jan 2021) +8.5% (Feb 2021) +8.4% (Mar 2021) By type, mortgage loans increased KRW6.5 trillion in March, growing at a slower rate compared with the previous month (up KRW7.8 trillion y-o-y). Mortgage lending and jeonseloans declined due to a slowdown in housing market transactions. Other types of loans grew KRW2.6 trillion, declining from KRW3.9 trillion a year ago. Credit-based lending fell significantly compared to the end of previous year as lenders tightened control over credit risks and the demand for stock investment subsided. The government will closely monitor trends in household loans and work on policies to induce a soft-landing of the household debt-related risks. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Apr 01, 2021
- Insurance Costs to be Lowered and Choices Expanded for Designated Drivers
- As a part of the governments efforts to improve the rights of essential workers, the FSC announced that the insurance cost burdens of designated drivers will be lowered with more choices offered for personal insurance subscription online. Beginning in April, the number of designated driver matching agencies joining the designated drivers personal insurance checking system will be expanded to cover nearly eighty to ninety percent of the market. This will help resolve the problem of designated drivers who already carry personal insurance having to subscribe for another group insurance coverage through a driver matching agency. Previously, the agencies had no mechanism of checking whether the listed drivers were carrying their own personal insurance coverage, so that they required drivers to subscribe to group insurance coverage offered through their agency. On the part of designated drivers with personal coverage, this resulted in heavy cost burdens as well as duplication in insurance coverage. As more agencies are joining the system, the cost burdens of designated drivers who are listed through multiple agencies will be lowered by about KRW1 million per year. In addition, there will be expanded choices and increased convenience for designated drivers as insurers will begin to offer online subscription services with lower premiums beginning on April 6. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.
Apr 01, 2021
- FSC Chairman Meets with Bank Chiefs and Urges Cooperation on Consumer Safeguard Measures
- FSC Chairman Eun Sung-soo held a meeting with heads of major banks on April 1 to discuss various issues and seek cooperation on the implementation of new consumer safeguard measures. At the meeting, Chairman Eun talked about the heightened responsibilities of banks as well as the more deliberate sales process that is required by the new consumer safeguard measures which can be cumbersome to both consumers and bank employees. To help resolve this problem, Chairman Eun suggested that financial institutions can inform their customers about the changes taking place in a more proactive manner to mitigate confusions and quickly become accustomed to the new practices. In this regard, Chairman Eun said that the authorities will provide active support through close communication with the industry. Chairman Eun also spoke about other issues with bank chiefs, such as the extension of maturity extension and payment deferral for small merchants and SMEs, taking into account businesses potential for recovery when evaluating their credit ratings, the household debt management plan, expanding the contribution base for microfinance services, strengthening efforts for vishing prevention and working to stamp out speculation in the real estate market. * Please refer to the attached PDF for details.