The Korea Herald


Hana Bank to offer W100b in support for small business owners

By Song Jung-hyun

Published : Nov. 5, 2023 - 14:47

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Hana Bank CEO Lee Seung-lyul (right) visits Gwangjang Market, a traditional market in central Seoul, Friday. (Hana Bank) Hana Bank CEO Lee Seung-lyul (right) visits Gwangjang Market, a traditional market in central Seoul, Friday. (Hana Bank)

Hana Bank is set to roll out a comprehensive financial support scheme worth 100 billion won ($75.6 million) to support small and medium-sized businesses, amid a prolonged economic slowdown and high interest rates.

The program aims to offer cashback on interest payments, subsidies on utility and telecommunication bills as well as consulting services to a total of 308,500 individual business owners, according to the bank Sunday.

It will be implemented in phases starting next month, alongside its existing support programs.

Under the package dubbed “interest cashback”, more than 66 billion won is designated to return the interest paid in previous months to approximately 110,000 business owners, including those with deferred principal or interest balances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the bank will select financially vulnerable self-employed individuals to help pay their energy bills through a separate package worth 30 billion won. Selected individuals will receive up to 200,000 won in support.

As for new business owners, some 2 billion won is allocated to help them settle telecommunication bills.

The bank also seeks to provide consultation services for existing business owners grappling with dips in sales through another package of some 1.5 billion won.

Reflecting its renewed commitment, high executives of the bank including its CEO paid a visit Friday to Gwangjang Market, a traditional street market in central Seoul, to communicate with the business owners there and to listen to their concerns.

They reportedly pledged to deliver realistic support.

“Amid a prolonged period of inflation and high interest rates, a comprehensive program that addresses both financial and non-financial aspects is highly needed beyond simple financial support,” Hana Bank’s CEO Lee Seung-lyul stressed during the visit.

“Through our tailored assistance, we seek to achieve mutual growth with small business owners in times of crisis.”

Inflation rose 3.8 percent on-year in October, an increase for three consecutive months and a peak of 4.2 percent in March.