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[KH Finance Forum] COVID-19 provides financial firms new opportunities to go digital, global
The Korea Herald’s first forum discusses paradigm shift in the nation’s financial sector, and its economic resilienceBy Son Ji-hyoung
Published : Nov. 4, 2020 - 17:15
At Korea Herald Finance Forum 2020, held under the tagline “Korean Economy on Road to Revolution,” speakers also urged financial companies here to go overseas in the post-pandemic era by partnering with global financial institutions or by expanding their foothold in regions such as Southeast Asia.
The first-ever finance forum hosted by The Korea Herald since the newspaper was established in 1953 saw the nation’s top policymakers, bankers and leading economists discuss how to rejuvenate the coronavirus-hit economy with innovative ideas and technology.
Attending the forum were leading figures in Korea’s financial industry, including NH NongHyup Financial Group Chairman Kim Gwang-soo, Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byoung, KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo, Industrial Bank of Korea Chief Executive Officer Yoon Jong-won, Hana Bank CEO Ji Sung-kyu, Citibank Korea CEO Yoo Myung-soon and Standard Chartered Bank of Korea CEO Park Jong-bok.
Herald Corp. CEO and publisher of The Korea Herald Kwon Chung-won stressed the role of domestic banking firms and their potential to become the next key driver of the nation’s economic growth, as long as they make the most out of their tech-savvy workforce and information technology infrastructure to fight the fallout from COVID-19.
“Well-trained new employees flock to domestic financial industries to augment capabilities required for the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ such as artificial intelligence, big data,” Kwon said in his opening speech.
“What would banking groups be like in the next three, five or 10 years? Banking groups will be equipped with fearless employees willing to take on challenges ahead of them.”
Kwon also urged Korean financial regulators and the parliament to steer clear of regulations that have so far hampered innovation led by domestic financial institutions’ young employees.
Rep. Youn, who also chairs the National Policy Committee at the National Assembly, vowed to go to greater lengths to ease rules to spur digital innovation by financial services companies, which can subsequently generate cutting-edge financial services and create jobs. Kim of the FSS called for domestic financial firms to keep close tabs on the coronavirus-driven paradigm shift in the industry, as more e-commerce platforms are adopting mobile payments, while insurtech -- a combination of insurance and technology -- and robo advisers are reshaping the industry with artificial intelligence at play.
In the meantime, Castillo-Fernandez urged Korean financial firms to pay more attention to green finance amid a growing need to transform business so that it is greener and more sustainable, adding that the EU’s own green initiative goes hand in hand with Korea’s Green New Deal initiative, which includes a pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Aside from the speeches, Korea Herald Finance Forum 2020 featured lectures from figures representing a financial institution, a regulator and a think tank.
Soh Hoon Sahib, special representative at the World Bank Group Korea Office, highlighted the role of World Bank Group as a partner with Korean financial firms including startups to help developing countries adapt to the new normal in the COVID-19 times, by leveraging innovation and technology to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth.
Lee Hyoung-joo, director general of the financial innovation bureau at the Financial Services Commission, illustrated how the financial regulator’s policy efforts have encouraged the rise of digital finance in Korea. Such efforts helped financial services companies develop data-driven services for consumers with the financial big data infrastructure and offered regulatory relief to innovative financial technologies that stood in regulatory gray areas.
Meanwhile, Jeong Young-sik, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, shared Korean financial firms’ needs and ways to boost economic cooperation with Southeast Asia under the Moon Jae-in administration’s New Southern Policy.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Articles by Son Ji-hyoung
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