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Over W100b embezzled by financial firms' officials over past 5 years: data

This composite photo shows a Woori Bank employee (L) and his brother, who are suspected of embezzling company funds, exiting Namdaemun Police Station in central Seoul to be sent to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on May 6, 2022. (Yonhap)
This composite photo shows a Woori Bank employee (L) and his brother, who are suspected of embezzling company funds, exiting Namdaemun Police Station in central Seoul to be sent to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office on May 6, 2022. (Yonhap)

More than 170 employees from banks and other financial firms have embezzled more than a combined 100 billion won ($79.62 million) over the past five years, but about a mere 11 percent has been retrieved, data showed Sunday.

Calls have grown recently for financial firms and authorities to strengthen overall management and supervision in the wake of a series of embezzlement cases, particularly after a Woori Bank employee was arrested last month for allegedly pocketing more than 60 billion won in collusion with his brother.

According to the data compiled by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), a total of 174 officials from the country's financial firms pocketed 109.18 billion won combined from 2017 through May 2022.

The amount of stolen money has surged in recent years from 2.08 billion won in 2020 to 15.27 billion won in 2021 and further to 68.79 billion as of mid-May this year.

Bank employees took up the largest share with 91 people, followed by those working for insurance firms with 58 and workers at securities firms with 15.

In terms of amount, bank officials stole the largest amount with 80.8 billion won, followed by savings bank workers with 14.68 billion won and securities firm employees with 8.69 billion won, the data showed.

But only 12.71 billion won, or 11.6 percent of the total, has been redeemed during the cited period, sparking concerns over damage to corporate profits and ultimately to customers.

"The FSS and other financial authorities must come up with measures to strengthen their supervision of financial companies over such wrongdoings," Rep. Kang Min-Kuk of the ruling People Power Party said. (Yonhap)

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