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Head of financial watchdog apologizes again over sponsored overseas trips

The head of the Financial Supervisory Service, Kim Ki-sik, apologized again Tuesday for his overseas trips sponsored by financial institutions while he was a lawmaker.

 Kim, who was appointed to the post earlier this month, has been facing growing criticism for the trips paid by the Korea Exchange, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy and Woori Bank in 2014 and 2015, when he was a member of the parliamentary financial committee. Kim was a lawmaker of the then-opposition Democratic Party.

In an interview with TBS radio, Kim said he is "deeply repentant" for making such trips. 

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Kim also defended himself, saying that such trips were linked to his works as a lawmaker at that time.

The FSS chief has repeatedly stressed he gave no favors to the institutions that paid for the trips, but the main opposition Liberty Korea Party pressed President Moon Jae-in to dismiss Kim.

On Monday, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae rejected calls to fire Kim over the trips, calling them inappropriate but legitimate.

The FSS launched a special inspection into Samsung Securities Co. over the brokerage's "fat-finger" trading chaos after it mistakenly paid windfall stocks to its employees as dividends.

Under an employee stock ownership plan, Samsung Securities had been planning to pay cash dividends of 1,000 won ($0.93) to its employees Friday. However, the brokerage mistakenly paid 1,000 shares to each employee.

The dividend error raised alarms over the brokerage's trading system and concerns about a moral hazard as some employees sold the "ghost" stocks.

Kim said the dividend chaos at Samsung Securities was not a human error but a "problem in the system."

Kim urged Samsung Securities to swiftly take measures to pay compensation to investors who were hurt by the dividend chaos.(Yonhap)
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