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FSC to tame competition among financial job seekers

A long list of licenses will no longer be a prerequisite for acceptance by state-owned financial organizations, according to plans announced Tuesday by the nation’s financial regulator.

Public banks gestured that they would uphold the changes, but expressed doubts as to whether the move would have the intended effect of taming competition in the job market.

The Financial Services Commission decided to ban major public financial institutes from requiring job applicants to specify which certificates and licenses they held, starting from July, officials said Tuesday.

The new rule will initially take effect at six organizations ― Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, Korea Technology Finance Corp., Korea Finance Corp. and Korea Housing Finance Corp.
The headquarters of Korea Development Bank. (KDB)
The headquarters of Korea Development Bank. (KDB)

Applicants will nevertheless be allowed to present other certificates, such as those qualifying them as lawyers, patent attorneys or accountants, according to the FSC.

The FSC’s policy largely reflects the comments of its chairman, Shin Je-yoon, who demanded that the public banks take the lead in improving Korea’s employment culture.

Financial institutions, especially those in the public sector, should break away from bureaucratic standards and select employees based on their actual suitability for the job, Shin said Thursday in a briefing on the government’s three-year economic development plan.

“In order to change the current employment culture, state-run banks should take the lead and set an example so that private financial companies may follow suit,” Shin said.

Public financial organizations, due to their relatively stable working environments and high salary levels, are considered a dream target for job seekers.

Though none of them explicitly require certificates or licenses, it has become customary for applicants to get them anyway.

“We do not judge an applicant based on the number or range of certificates, but we will not rule out that they reflect the applicant’s interests, passions and knowledge,” said an IBK official.

But state-run banks claimed that omitting a section on licenses on job application forms would not really affect the recruitment process.

“We are well aware of the overheated competition between applicants, and we have long adopted an open hiring system for the sake of fairness, limiting the disclosure of personal information during recruitment processes,” the official said.

“Those who have tried hard enough to obtain key licenses will continue to be competitive, with or without making that fact known on their application forms.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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