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Hana and FSS heads try for a rapproachment

Sept 04,2018
Hana Financial Group Chairman Kim Jung-tai and Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Yoon Suk-heun are trying to patch up their differences.

Chairman Kim visited the FSS last month for a meeting with the governor right before attending a youth soccer match in Pyongyang on Aug. 17.

During the meeting, Kim explained why he was going to Pyongyang and talked about financial cooperation with North Korea.

It was reported that Kim said Hana Financial Group will actively support the policies promoted by the FSS. The governor was said to have given a positive response.

Kim has clashed with the top financial oversight institution since the end of last year when he decided to extend his tenure for the third time.

In December, the FSS argued that it was unfair for Kim to be on the committee selecting the next chairman of the group. The banking group agreed. In January the FSS asked the committee to postpone its selection on grounds that various accusations against Kim had not been cleared. The committee ignored this request and decided to extend Kim’s position as Hana Financial Group chairman until 2021.

Then-FSS Gov. Choe Heung-sik was outspokenly against Kim extending his role as the chairman of the banking group.

Choe was a former employee of Hana Financial Group, which he joined as head of the research center in 2010 and was promoted to the financial group’s CEO in March 2012. He served for two years under Kim.

The FSS went on to accuse KEB Hana bank of unfair hiring practices in 2013 including hiring young people whose parents have a lot of clout, such as politicians.

FSS Gov. Choe ended up resigning after being accused of helping a friend’s son land a job at KEB Hana Bank. Yoon, a visiting business professor at Seoul National University, was chosen to succeed Choe in May.

During the meeting last month, Kim and Yoon apparently did not discuss Kim’s third term as chairman of the group or the resignation of former FSS Gov. Choe. However, they agreed on the need to normalize the relationship between the two institutions.

The fact that Kim has been cleared by prosecutors of any involvement in the illegal hiring scandal of 2013 is said to have helped improve the group’s relationship with the FSS.


BY JEONG YONG-HWAN [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]