The Korea Herald


BOK governor strikes back at FSC chief over online payment data

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : Feb. 24, 2021 - 14:07

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BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol(Yonhap) BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol(Yonhap)
Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to a revision bill that would enable the Financial Services Commission to collect online payment data, lamenting that the regulator lacks understanding of the separate but complementary roles of the two institutions.

Lee was striking back at FSC chief Eun Sung-soo, who refuted the central bank’s open criticism of the bill it likened to “Big Brother” of George Orwell’s landmark dystopian novel “1984.” Eun told reporters Friday that he feels offended by the BOK calling the bill Big Brother and that it should be seen like telecom firms’ role in keeping track of phone records.

”Forcing (platform companies) to collect (and submit) information of (online payment) itself is (an act of) Big Brother and the FSC’s mentioning of telecommunication companies‘ role is inappropriate,” said Lee at the general meeting of the National Assembly’s Strategy and Finance Committee.

“It is important for policy institutions to fully understand each other’s function or role, but we don‘t seem to have such a thing.”

Lee’s remark comes amid a heightening power struggle between the two institutions over who should hold the reins in the area of online payment settlements. The FSC proposed a revision bill in July last year that would allow the FSC to collect all transaction data of big tech companies through a nonprofit organization under FSC supervision, and which would possibly strip the BOK’s authority in controlling the nation’s payment settlements.

Payment settlement is the process through which a merchant receives the money that customers have paid for a particular product or service. It has been garnering public interest as digital financial transactions have been growing swiftly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Jung Min-kyung (