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[Newsmaker] FSS governor rings changes

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Published : 2014-03-27 20:56
Updated : 2014-03-27 20:56

According to its usual protocol, the Financial Supervisory Service should have made its regular personnel appointment in March. But this year, the troubled regulator was far too preoccupied.

FSS Gov. Choi Soo-hyun, weighed down by an endless string of scandals in the financial industry, decided that the only way out was by changing everything, especially his staff.

As such, the financial regulator has agreed to name Park Young-joon, assistant deputy director of financial investment, as new vice governor, according to officials on Wednesday.
FSS Gov. Choi Soo-hyun. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The post had been left empty since the former official in charge stepped down last year to take responsibility for the Tong Yang Group fiasco.

The appointment is expected to be finalized in early April, once the plan is officially confirmed by the Financial Services Commission.

“(The appointment of Park) was not just a measure to fill a vacant post, but Choi’s gesture to put an end to the prolonged aftermath of the Tong Yang case,” said an official of the FSS.

The Tong Yang probe is now considered to be out of the FSS’ hands as the case is now pending in court. But it is still not in the clear, and with a data leak at local credit card issuers and the alleged involvement of a senior FSS official in a massive loan fraud case, the public has few reasons to trust the financial authorities.

Well aware of this, the regulator has set upon reforms for restoring the public’s faith, and to enhance security in the local IT sector.

“The massive leak of personal information highlighted the importance of proper oversight in the IT industry,” the FSS official said.

Also, in an effort to eradicate irregularities, the FSS will establish a special inspection department to handle large-scale financial scandals.

With the new department, the regulator hopes to detect any sign of irregularities in the financial sector in general, as well as within the FSS.

“The governor is well aware that his top priority task is to recover the organization’s integrity and trust, before he may even start to discuss other issues,” said the official.

In fact, Choi made “integrity” his highest priority when he took office in March 2013. He also created the constant monitoring system, which detected the involvement of the FSS official in the KT ENS loan fraud case.

“Though he has largely been pressed by the pending issues, Choi is a man of determination,” the official said. “He has recently hinted that he has given a long enough grace period so it is likely that he will step it up.”

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

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