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S. Korean brokerages vying for MyData license

South Korea’s financial district of Yeouido, located in western Seoul (Yonhap)
South Korea’s financial district of Yeouido, located in western Seoul (Yonhap)
South Korean securities firms, which are infamous for their rigid company culture, are competitively setting up their own digital platforms and seeking partnerships with rising fintech startups. Conventional stockbrokers are doing this for one reason -- they hope to do business in the MyData segment.

MyData is one of the government’s marquee projects to reshape the outdated financial sector in response to the “fourth industrial revolution,” centered on digitalization.

The government-led project allows service providers to collect and analyze personal data scattered across different business sectors upon consumers’ request, and to build tailored services and products.

Ahead of the beginning of the so-called MyData era in August, the state watchdog Financial Supervisory Service on Friday started accepting a second round of applications from major banks, insurance firms, credit card issuers and even technology companies that want to do business in the segment.

“Hyper-personalized asset managing services enable customized financial portfolios based on a close analysis of an individual’s previous investment information,” said an official from Kyobo Securities. “We look forward to winning the MyData license in the near future to provide asset management services that fit each and every client by using both financial and nonfinancial data.”

In January the FSS reviewed companies wanting to offer MyData services, and 28 of the applicants received final approval. Of those that received the green light, Mirae Asset Securities was the only brokerage.

In a bid to stand out among the applicants for the second round, local securities firms are trying to show off their digital prowess, launching units specialized in running digital platforms and joining forces with fintech companies to provide services that meet the various needs of young, mobile-friendly customers.

Among the applicants are Shinhan Investment, SK Securities and Kyobo Securities, all of which are beefing up their mobile platforms and concentrating personnel in their own digital divisions.

“As the MyData license is likely to serve as a guarantee for a broker’s asset management ability, many brokerage firms seem to have applied,” a market watcher said.

By Jie Ye-eun (