Regulator to grant 3rd Internet-only bank permit in May next year

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 19, 2018 - 13:41
  • Updated : Dec 19, 2018 - 13:41

South Korea plans to give preliminary approval to a third Internet-only bank in May next year as the government seeks to reinvigorate the financial industry, the head of the financial regulator said Wednesday.

Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the Financial Services Commission, told reporters that the regulator will receive applications from companies to set up an Internet-only bank in March next year. 

Chairman of the Financial Services Commission Choi Jong-ku (Yonhap)

Two Internet-only banks -- K-Bank and Kakao Bank -- were launched last year. The two banks have challenged traditional banks in South Korea, forcing them to cut commission fees and renovate their online and mobile banking services.

By granting a permit to a third Internet-only bank, the government will continue to drive innovation and deregulation in the financial sector, Choi said.

In September, the National Assembly passed a bill that allows non-financial firms to boost their stake in Internet-only banks beyond the 4 percent ownership ceiling.

The new bill permits non-financial firms to hold up to a 34 percent stake in a web-only bank.

Earlier this week, the government announced a package of measures worth 3.5 trillion won ($3.11 billion) to support the embattled auto parts industry.

As part of the government's efforts to help small and medium-sized firms, the FSC is planning to offer them a financial support program worth 15 trillion won, Choi said.  (Yonhap)